Fresh strawberry season is in full swing! Is there anything better than sweet, delicious strawberries. I love them in cereal and yogurt for breakfast, in a sugary sauce with homemade pound cake and my favorite-- with plain ole vanilla ice cream. I could eat it every night for dessert. So simple and so tasty. A few years ago, a neighbor introduced me to something unique that will forever be a part of my ice cream & strawberry incidences.
Our former neighbor Phil came over for dinner and brought some high-dollar balsamic vinegar for us to try with our salad. First off, this was a really expensive bottle of balsamic vinegar, around $100 for just a few ounces, and it was aged for about 25 years. It was syrupy, a little sweet, and came straight from Italy. I had never had balsamic vinegar that tasted like that. He told us that it was also good on vanilla ice cream, though I'd never heard of that and I'd certainly never tried it. He left the bottle with us and it was all I could do to whip our my carton of ice cream and give it a try. But boy was Phil right! It is delicious together!
If you happen to own one of those really expensive balsamic vinegars from Italy, then pour a
little on your vanilla ice cream and see for yourself. But you can also achieve a similar syrupy sweetness by reducing down regular store-bought balsamic vinegar to a glaze. When you reduce balsamic vinegar, it thickens up and develops a sweetness to it, while still having a little tart edge. And those flavors work with the sweetness of the ice cream beautifully. It’s just delicious and a unique addition to vanilla's simple and uncluttered profile. I make my own balsamic glaze, keep it in a little glass jar in the fridge, and use it on a lot of things, like bruschetta and caprese salad.
So as you're picking your own strawberries fresh from the field this month or visiting a country roadside stand, think about pairing them with some vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze. Here's how to make it at home or you can buy it already made at your grocery. I like the flavor of homemade better and it's just one ingredient-balsamic vinegar! You can do it! The odor is a bit pungent while it's reducing, but it'll be worth it!
Homemade Balsamic Glaze
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until vinegar has reduced down to a syrupy consistency (should cling to the back of a spoon).
Cool before serving. Vinegar will thicken more as it cools, so don't overcook or glaze will be too thick. Store in the refrigerator.
Nan's Notes: If you want to double the amount, but not double the time it takes for the vinegar to reduce down, consider using a larger saucepan with a larger cooking surface.