one of the most fun things about cooking is experimentation. the options are truly endless when it comes to things to learn in the kitchen. i think we all tend to get stuck in ruts in the kitchen, cooking and eating the same things in rotation. sometimes experimentation comes out great with positive results, and other times we’re just stuck with a mess. either way, it increases your knowledge in the kitchen and gives you more cooking inspiration!
so, in honor of experimentation, a few days ago i entered the world of balsamic reductions, mmm!
this balsamic reduction turned out so much better than i thought it would. it is an orange balsamic glaze infused with basil; it is really beautiful for the summer time, as it is lightly sweet but also lovely and tangy from the fresh orange.
the process is extremely easy, but i’ll give you a few tips:
orange balsamic reduction
1c balsamic vinegar
- juice of 1/2 an orange (you could also use the zest!)
- a few fresh basil leaves, optional
1) in a small sauce pan, bring your mixture to a rapid bowl and reduce heat to low.
2) allow your balsamic mixture to bowl away, watching to make sure that it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.
3) reduce until your mixture coats the back of a spoon (or the sauce pan, as shown above) (roughly 20 minutes)
4) store in an air-tight container
Notes: it would be wise to open some windows during this process, the smell of the vinegar cooking off can be quite potent.
– this mixture will become slightly thicker as it cools in the fridge. it will last multiple weeks (but you’ll definitely eat it by then!).
– this recipe will give enough for quite a few single servings, as you only need a small amount.
i really loved this glaze paired with my tofu as shown above. ideally, my tofu would have been crispier, but the brand i bought was not nearly firm enough and fell apart in the pan. however! if your family is a mixture like mine, i think this balsamic reduction would go great with chicken as well.
what ever you decide to use it for, i promise it will lift and spruce up an otherwise “typical” weeknight meal!