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Jan 2, 2012 06:56 AM

SO MUCH BALSAMIC VINEGAR--what to do with it??

Don't know why I have so many bottles of balsamic vinegar in my pantry--but I do, and I'm not sure what to do with it other than using it for salad dressings. Any suggestions are welcomed!!

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  1. Reduce some of it to a thick syrup consistency. I like that drizzled over stuff... like on a fried green tomato, on a lettuce wedge with bleu cheese, some like it on strawberries, ice cream.... try it out. When it is syrupy like that, it's really yummy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      I agree....I find I use the balsamic glaze on all sorts of things. A little bit adds so much flavor!

      1. re: wyogal

        my suggestion as well. good way to use a lot of it deliciously and quickly. it may keep indefinitely, but sometimes ya just need to make the room in the pantry!

        1. re: wyogal

          I fourth this suggestion. Just make sure to do it on a day when you can throw a window open or run your vents on high while reducing it. The acid smell is pretty powerful!

        2. For standard balsamic vinegar (the stuff costing less than 10 bucks a bottle), the following are some of the ways I use it.

          I use a little balsamic mixed with an equal amount of olive oil to toss with cooked green beans or cooked/roasted beets. I also use balsamic ( along with olive oil or butter, some pepper, some sugar, sometimes some crumbled bacon) when roasting or braising brussel sprouts. I'll often add some balsamic near the end of roasting vegetables (yams, carrots, parsnips, beets, etc). I've also used balsamic in my sweet & sour red cabbage, and in sweet & sour cabbage rolls.

          I add it to borscht and cabbage soups, and cut back a little on the sugar (since balsamic contains some sugar). I sometimes add it to my marinade for my roasted chicken parts (usually balsamic, herbes de provence, olive oil, sometimes a little dijon), and to marinate pork chops and lamb.

          I would drizzle the more expensive balsamics on fruit, veggies, cheese. Or add a few drops to improve tomato soup, lentil soup, and other veggie soups. Crumbled chevre drizzled with balsamic, good olive oil, cracked pepper, chopped olives served with flatbreads was a surprisingly the most popular appetizer at a friend's party last summer.

          1. Use it in braised pork. Heavenly.

            1. The first thing I'd do is triage. What do the labels say? I'd separate the top grade from the decent middle from the artificial supermarket junk, which I would toss. You've had some good suggestions. Use the better stuff uncooked to flavor foods after cooking and the middle stuff for cooking and marinating. For salads, use red wine vinegar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mbfant

                It all keeps indefinitely, so there's no reason to toss it. Just put some of it out of the way until you've used up a bottle or two.

                I add it to braises and soups, for a sweet/sour fillip. The cheap stuff is fine for this purpose, since cooking removes any harshness. Use it for smothered greens and other slow-cooked or roasted winter vegetables.

                1. re: greygarious

                  My reason for tossing the junk (if OP actually has any) was that junk is junk, not that it would go bad. The serious stuff gets better and better. I have tasted 80-year-old balsamico tradizionale.

              2. Send some to me? Kidding. Reducing is the best idea. You can whip olive oil, dijon with a dash of Balsamic reduction until smooth and creamy. Toss in some pasta. Heaven.