Getting Creative with Balsamics

In celebration of our 3 new white balsamic flavors (Passion Fruit, White Raspberry, and Key Lime), Rachel wrote up a blog on getting creative with balsamics. Read on for a tempting passion fruit cocktail recipe and other tasty surprises! 

 

How To Get Creative With Your Balsamic Vinegars 

(Hint: They’re not just for salads!)

             While working at Port Plums one of the most common phrases I hear daily is “Oh, this balsamic would be delicious on a salad!” While there is no denying that our mouthwatering balsamic vinegars can kick up any salad, the truth is that balsamic vinegars can be used for so much more than just a dressing for lettuce. Since starting working at Port Plums I’ve gained quite an impressive collection of balsamic vinegars in my own kitchen cabinets, and I soon learned how to get creative with them. Our sweet and tangy vinegars have quickly become one of my favorite ingredients to perk up my every day cooking. I now feel it’s only fair to share some of these tips and recipes with other cooks looking for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite ways to use our balsamic vinegars besides in a salad (although that’s yummy too!)

 

Use it to make a perfectly refreshing summer drink

                Take a break from sugary lemonade and fruit juice this summer; instead, pour a splash of any of our fruity balsamics into water or seltzer for a sweet and unique refreshment. One of my personal favorite combinations is a couple drops of strawberry balsamic vinegar in iced seltzer with fresh basil leaves on top. It’s the perfect drink for any hot day. Try it in smoothies as well for a boost of probiotics!

 

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Smoothie

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! (Rachel's Recipe)

Passionate Bubbles

Pour prosecco in champagne flute. Drizzle with balsamic and add a splash of lime juice. Garnish with 1/2 lime wheel. 

 

Balsamic vinegar for dessert... yes please!

                 For an unexpectedly delicious twist, drizzle one of our balsamics on ice cream! This is one of my absolute favorite ways to use the vinegars because there are so many fun variations to try. I love the dark chocolate or raspberry balsamic on vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries. Also for a thicker and richer syrup, reduce our maple or traditional balsamic vinegar on the stovetop with a stick of cinnamon and cool before pouring on this noteworthy dessert.

 

Mini Strawberry Marscapone Tarts with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a different surface, add sugar to the dough and roll into a flat disk about 1/8″ thick, turning and flipping to incorporate sugar and to keep it from sticking to surface. With a 3″ round cutter, cut out 12 dough rounds and arrange them on the lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. Put diced strawberries in a small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, mix and let stand about 15 minutes. To assemble the tarts, spread about 2 teaspoons mascarpone on each crisp dough round. Put approximately 1 tablespoon of diced strawberries on top of each “frosted” crisp. Drizzle Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar over the strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy! (Recipe courtesy of The Olive Tap)

 

Excite your favorite soup or sauce recipe!

                It’s no secret that our traditional and Denissimo balsamic vinegars are the perfect match for fresh summer tomatoes, but on cold rainy days they are equally delicious in hearty tomato soups or sauces. I always add a splash of traditional balsamic and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to my favorite tomato soup in the fall and winter.

 

Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Rosemary

  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced in to 1" pieces
  • 1/3 cup Cranberry-pear White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Ultra Premium Olive Oil either Hojiblanca or Arbequina
  • 3" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and balsamic together until thoroughly combined.  Add the rosemary and squash and toss to coat and combine evenly. In a large roasting pan lined with parchment, arrange the squash in a single layer, drizzling with any remaining marinade.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast the squash for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few times until golden brown and caramelized.  Adjust seasoning and serve.  (Recipe courtesy of A Thyme For All Seasonings)

 

Add a kick to your dipping sauces

                There’s no limit to the ways our balsamic vinegars can electrify your party platters. For a fun and tropical alternative to shrimp cocktail sauce, mix sour cream or Greek yogurt with our pineapple or mango white balsamic vinegars. I also love to whip together Greek yogurt, honey, and our grapefruit or Gravenstein apple white balsamic vinegar to make a crowd winning fruit dip!

The possibilities for this often underestimated ingredient are truly endless, and so much fun to play around with! I know all of the employees at Port Plums have fun balsamic recipes they’ve discovered throughout the years and are happy to share. Also, be sure to come on in and let us know what kinds of unique creations you come up with!

 

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Relish

  • 1 tablespoon any Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup Black Mission Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stems, finely minced

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add red onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 45 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and thickened. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cool before serving or storing. (Recipe courtesy of In Erika’s Kitchen