The quality of your salad, entrée, or dessert is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. From farm to table restaurants, all natural chefs, to farms that focus all their energy on creating flavor, one thing is certain- an ingredient can make the difference. With all the options out there, chefs and regular home cooks alike are still learning about the versatility of various ingredients. Here are some ideas for your next dinner party that use aged balsamic vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar can be used to make some great salad dressings or marinades. For example:
- 1 Dijon mustard
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 6 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
This recipe can be used for a wonderful dressing to a salad with arugula or mixed greens as well as can be used as a marinade when roasting a tenderloin or other type of meat in the oven. The dressing is easy to make and full of complex flavors and a rich creaminess from the Dijon. You can also take the vinegar and simply mix it with olive oil and some Italian spices or premade flavor packs to create a very easy and quick salad dressing when time is short.
Caprese Salad: A Caprese salad is created with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves, with the balsamic sprinkled over it. This is a classic and easy dish to make which can be served as an appetizer, salad, or an entrée. All the components balance each other out and the flavors melt together.
Balsamic vinegar is a very versatile ingredient that can be used to elevate many dishes. It adds a tangy and sometimes spicy punch to many dishes and particularly adds acidity. This acidity is of huge benefit to cooked vegetables and meats.
- Pork loin- Balsamic roasted pork loin is a great dish which yields a moist and zesty meat that is naturally tenderized by the ingredients.
- Chicken breasts- a quick and easy way to create delicious and flavorful chicken is to marinade it with the balsamic and bake it in the over. For chicken sandwiches, you can bake the breasts and give them a final sear on the grill for that fire roasted flavor.
- Salmon- a fork tender fish fillet can be easily flavored within its own juices using a mixture similar to the salad dressing mentioned above.
3. Savory desserts:
For a delicious yet savory dessert, a tangy juxtaposition of flavors can be created by combining the tang of vinegar with mild creamy cheeses and fruits.
- You can try balsamic vinegar with figs, strawberries, peaches, and use parmigiano reggiano cheese to create a savory yet sweet parfait.
- Strawberries with the vinegar add to its color and enhance their sweet flavor. Pair it with vanilla ice cream and/or serve it over angel food cake or pound cake.
Use these tips and recipes as a starting point the next time you planning on having a dinner party.