Balsamic Reduction

Balsamic reduction and goat cheese-stuffed dates

A drizzle of tart over the sweet.

For me, balsamic reduction’s intrigue started sometime in the last year, when I began noticing it in italics on tapas menus. The dark syrup accompanies dates, pork sliders, and even asparagus–adding a slightly tart complement to fruity or spiced sweetness.

This weekend I bought a Target-sized bottle of the vinegar ($3.50), poured a couple cups into a pan, and then boiled it with some brown sugar. (Yes, it really is that simple!) The texture worked perfectly with the goat cheese-stuffed dates to the left, making them even gooier and more luscious than before.

And, as if the taste weren’t gratifying enough, you get to don a painter’s beret as you drizzle it on the plate.

Ingredients:

2 cups of balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup (or more) of  brown sugar

Instructions:

1. Boil vinegar in pan. (Note this will produce an acidic smell in your kitchen–but that goes away.)

2. Midway through, whisk in the sugar.

3. Continue to whisk mixture until it’s reached a near-satisfactory consistency, then take off heat. It will grow significantly thicker as it cools.

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