Drizzle Cruets Gourmet

Drizzle Cruets Gourmet

Balsamic Vinegars

Balsamic Vinegars – So Many to Choose From

Take a trip down the cluttered aisles of your local gourmet foods market and be confounded by all the choices. You might consider organic spreads and sauces, wine vinegars, infused oils and vinaigrettes flavored with herbs. Some have been imported from distant lands and exotic-sounding locales. Some sport celebrity faces on their labels or are heartily endorsed by your favorite movie star. How do you make sense of the difference between labels like Aceto, Traditionale, aged and special blends? Maybe your salad could benefit from the enticing bottles holding California Napa Balsamic, Modena consortium or imported Spanish vinegars. What should a dressing-lover do?

Sweep all others selections aside and choose the classic simplicity of a great-tasting, healthy vinaigrette with the basic ingredients of oil and vinegar. You will want to choose an olive oil of excellence as well as a traditionale aged balsamic vinegar. But you need not spend a small fortune on the balsamic vinegars. Reasonably-priced Villa Vellentani balsamic and Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic are two to try, but don’t waste your money on others under $8.

Try your balsamic vinaigrette on other dishes, too. Pour the dressing on fresh-sliced tomatoes, steamed artichokes, asparagus, and other steamed vegetables and even dare to try a vinaigrette with fresh seafood like lobster and scallops. Experiment with a basic balsamic dressing recipe to suit your own tastes. Sprinkle in herbs and spices such as chives and sage, maybe even finely-grated ginger root.

Traditionally, balsamic vinaigrette dressings are one part balsamic vinegar to three parts olive oil, with salt, pepper and a measurement of about one teaspoon Dijon mustard for every half cup of dressing. Rich and intense as it is in flavor, a proportion of one part balsamic vinegar to four or five parts of olive oil might please your palate. Have fun trying new variations of this traditional Italian salad topping.

Traditional Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove of peeled and pressed garlic
¾ cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
Mix ingredients in a blender. One serving of this thicker dressing will be equal to 2 to 3 tablespoons. One cup will be enough for 6 to 8 salad servings. Refrigerate in a covered container and whisk before serving.
[tag] balsamic vinegar[/tag]

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