Balsamic reduction is the perfect complement to many summertime foods; grilled steaks, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh strawberries all benefit from its sweet, complex flavor. Making a balsamic reduction is easy; it can be made with one ingredient (although others are optional), and only takes about fifteen minutes to make.
Using a medium-sized saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium-high heat. You can also add a small amount of sugar or spices to the vinegar if you want to develop a unique flavor. As the vinegar warms, its fragrance will become stronger; you may want to open a window or use a fan to circulate the air in the kitchen. Continue to simmer the vinegar over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to thicken the reduction much more than this; it will continue to thicken as it cools.
If you’re not using the reduction right away, you can reheat it gently when you’re ready to serve it.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.