It’s been some time since I posted. For those of you who have so patiently visited, thank you. During the summer I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, it was small and only required surgery, but it took a little while to recover (typing was difficult). However, now I’m back and feeling great.
Sometimes the thing that elevates a dish is the sauce or dressing. I love using balsamic reduction on everything from salads to roasted vegetables, but face it, the stuff is very expensive to buy so I thought I would try making it myself. As it turns out, it’s really easy. I’m going to start with balsamic reduction first, and then move on to my next favorite and even more expensive pomegranate reduction.
All you really need is a bottle of balsamic vinegar. Some people add sugar, but I think the balsamic vinegar is sweet enough by itself.
Pour 2 cups of balsamic vinegar into the pan. Bring it to a boil, and reduce the temperature to a low simmer. Let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Don’t let it burn or scorch. Continue to simmer until the vinegar has thickened and reduced by about half. The result should be thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
The reduction will continue to thicken as it cools. Pour into a glass jar, and store in the refrigerator.
Try not to eat it with a spoon. It’s wonderful on salad, vegetables like asparagus, roasted beets and, of course, strawberries.
Now that we’ve got that cooling in the fridge, let’s try another and slightly more exotic reduction. You may have run across recipes that include “pomegranate molasses.” It’s the same thing.
Don’t bother squeezing your own pomegranates. I’ve done it and believe me it’s a real pain in the neck. A bottle of pomegranate juice from the supermarket will work just fine.
In a sauce pan, add 4 cups of pomegranate juice and, 1/2 cup sugar (I used raw sugar), and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. You can add your favorite spices if desired.
Heat the juice and sugar over a medium heat to boiling. Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat and simmer until it is reduced to 1 3/4 cup (50-60 minutes). Allow to cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
Pomegranate molasses is used in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s also great on ice cream.
Be sure to label the jar because it looks a lot like balsamic reduction.
I’ll be back next week with another post. Give these a try and let me know what you think.