Did you know that you can turn basic balsamic vinegar into pure magic? Balsamic glaze is condensed balsamic vinegar that yields a beautiful dark, glossy drizzle with a bold, complex flavor. It’s also know as balsamic reduction… or as I like to say, balsamic magic.
It has a dark, almost honey-like sweetness and complexity, with a hint of residual tartness. By reducing the balsamic vinegar, you decrease the sourness and make the sugars even more pronounced. The flavor is difficult to describe because it is uniquely its own.
Balsamic glaze is marvelous drizzled over ripe summer produce, like perfect red tomatoes, peaches or melon. Add some olive oil, flaky salt, and basil for a beautiful summer salad. I also love it over greens, roasted vegetables and homemade pizzas. You’ll find even more uses below, but the possibilities are up to your own creativity.
Now, if you’re already buying true aged balsamic vinegar that’s thick and syrupy, there’s no need to make balsamic glaze. It’s already there. My favorite affordable, thick balsamic vinegar is this one by Napa Valley Naturals (affiliate link/look for the bottle with “25 stars” on it).
If you have a bottle of basic runny balsamic vinegar—the kind that I grew up with—you can turn it into balsamic glaze in under 20 minutes. It keeps well in the pantry nearly indefinitely, so it’s a worthwhile little project. You’ll be glad to have it!