This balsamic reduction recipe makes a sticky, tangy, and sweet glaze using only 1 ingredient.
There's just balsamic vinegar in this recipe which is why it's so simple! In fact, it's hardly a recipe and more of a how-to.
Balsamic vinegar vs balsamic reduction
A balsamic reduction (otherwise known as a balsamic glaze) is simply balsamic vinegar that has been reduced down into a glaze. This concentrates the flavours, brings out the natural sweetness and slightly thickens the vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar is a concentrated vinegar made from whole grapes. It's deeply flavoured and dark with natural sweetness from the grapes. This is enhanced when it's simmered and reduced. The vinegar tang is still there too but it's softened.
Uses for balsamic glaze
There are so many uses for balsamic reduction, both in sweet and savoury dishes. You can -
- Drizzle it over fruit salad, or any sweet fruits like peaches, strawberries, blueberries...
- Use it on a caprese salad
- A rocket salad is so good with balsamic glaze too
- Finish off roasted cabbage or roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic reduction
- Drizzle it over roasted veggies
- On pizza
- Add it to berry pie fillings
Types of balsamic vinegar
There are different grades of balsamic vinegar.
The highest grade is an Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale vinegar. These are made purely from grapes and often aged for years and years. The vinegar is fermented and boiled down into a glossy glaze. They are quite expensive, and rightly so after the time, it takes to make.
Middle grades of balsamic vinegar will have a mix of grape must and wine vinegar. It doesn't taste as good as the traditional balsamic vinegar when eaten as is, and it's a lot thinner. However it works just fine for balsamic reduction, as now it has a chance to simmer down and become concentrated. A decent quality middle grade 'balsamic vinegar has been used in this recipe.
The cheapest and lowest grade of balsamic vinegar can still be marketed as Aceto Balsamico Di Modena but don't contain any grapes. They can be made very quickly and have the additons of flavours and thickeners added. Check the ingredients on the bottle to see. If it doesn't include the ingredient 'grape must', it's best to not use it or it won't be a proper balsamic glaze.
Add the vinegar to a small-medium saucepan.
Bring the vinegar to a simmer and keep it simmering on medium heat for around 12-15 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by about half and it just coats the back of a metal spoon.
How fast this happens depends on how wide the saucepan is (the wider the saucepan, the faster it will reduce.)
Don't let the vinegar reduce too far down or you'll make balsamic toffee. The glaze will thicken slightly as it cools.
- 250ml good quality balsamic vineagr
- Add the vinegar to a small-medium saucepan.
- Bring the vinegar to a simmer and keep it simmering on medium heat for around 12-15 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by about half and it just coats the back of a metal spoon.
- How fast this happens depends on how wide the saucepan is (the wider the saucepan, the faster it will reduce.)
- Don't let the vinegar reduce too far down or you'll make balsamic toffee. The glaze will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Let the glaze cool to room temperature, then store in a sealed jar at room temperature or in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 24Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g