Recipe: Balsamic Glaze Especial

Balsamic Glaze and StrawberryThis versatile glaze is a reduction of the queen of all vinegars, Balsamic Vinegar. It’s dark, sweet, smokey  and rich, containing cancer fighting and heart healthy antioxidants.

Balsamic vinegar is rich in the cancer fighting, heart healthy and cell protective bioflavonoid quercitin and the antioxidant polyphenols and pycnogenols. Through the activity of antioxidants the body receives protection from cell damage that can lead to cancer or heart disease and signs of aging.

Resveratrol is a uniquely potent antioxidant and cell protectant.  It is known to prevent damage to your genes, your DNA, and to enhance normal inflammation control. It has been used traditionally for longevity in China for centuries.  Modern science has demonstrated that resveratrol can also support normal cholesterol levels, fat metabolism, and enhance the health of your blood vessels.

Balsamic Glaze can be used as a sauce over fish, chicken, vegetables and even on fruits like strawberries and peaches. Flavoring the basic glaze makes it truly Especial!

Makes ½ cup.  May be stored in a covered glass container.

Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Heart Healthy

TIP: The real key to making this glaze is to watch it carefully. Don’t let it burn. Don’t over cook it and over reduce it. You must stand and stir the entire time. You are aiming for a glaze the consistency of thick molasses or honey.

Basic Balsamic Glaze Reduction

1. Measure exactly 2 cups of balsamic vinegar and place in a non-reactive pan, preferably enamel ware, corning ware or ceramic.  If you must, use stainless steel as a last choice.  Never cook this in aluminum, copper or non-stick pans which will not only  react with the vinegar, but also change the taste.

2. Use a wooden spoon, not a metal or plastic spoon.  Stir constantly over a low heat as the water evaporates slowly and the vinegar begins to thicken.  It usually takes 30-40 minutes to reduce two cups down to ½ cup.

As you slowly stir, you might want to listen to some music or an audio book! Or just quiet your mind and use the gentle stirring an opportunity to slow down, meditate and quiet your mind.

Keep the heat low and allow the vinegar to reduce into a glaze very slowly for the best results.

Store in a glass container.

Balsamic Glaze Especial | Flavored Glazes

Now you have done the hard part. Here is where the fun begins.

Be very, very sparing. Do not overdo it when you add “a little” bit of personality to your basic glaze.  You want only a whisper of the flavor, not a shout.  Start with an 1/8 th of a teaspoon or a pinch or two, blend and taste  You can always add more.

The Basic Balsamic Glaze is just fine on its own, like the complex aged ferment that is its heritage.  No need to do anything more.

However, depending upon the pairing, you can flavor the reduction with sweet, savory or spicy herbs and flavorings and make it especial and wow your family and friends.

I especially like the roasted garlic balsamic glaze over chicken and the lavender balsamic glaze over strawberries, grilled peaches or nectarines.  The ginger glaze is very nice over fish.  The possibilities are endless.

Add your flavorful herb or spice of choice after you have spooned the glaze into a glass jar or container (no plastic or metal please) while it is still warm.  The warmth of the glaze will allow the essential oils to be infused and release their flavor.

Or, you can cook down the reduction with a whole clove of garlic, a few slices of fresh ginger root or 2 sliced fresh figs for flavored glazes.

Fold in and stir until well blended

For Savory/Spicy notesBalsamic Glaze-Tomato and Basil

  • Roasted garlic, mashed
  • Ground Coriander seeds
  • Fresh tarragon or thyme leaves, stem removed
  • Finely grated fresh ginger root

For Sweet notes

  • Orange or Lemon Zest
  • Lavender flowers
  • Vanilla or Almond extract
  • Melted dark chcolate