Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient for both a vinaigrette and a marinade. People are wanting to eat healthier and are observing closely the foods that are high in certain ingredients, which can be harmful to their health. It has been drilled into us to stay away from foods that have trans fats, high carbs and high caloric ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know how a company can list a specific food as “low-cal” and “low-carb” on the various product labels. FDA wants a definition as to what is expected when listing these nutritional values.
Perhaps a healthy alternative is preparing foods the old fashioned, simplistic way with no additives. Instead of pouring creamy dressing on your salad, why not try extra virgin olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar, drizzled over a crispy salad. You can even use this mixture over chicken and beef. What makes this even more interesting is that you can prepare your own balsamic flavoring, using your favorite herbs and spices, thus creating a personalized flavor. When prepared this way, a homemade balsamic vinaigrette that is used for green salads can also be used to marinate meats.
You don’t have to purchase expensive ingredients. There is no preparation lasting hours. Simplicity is the key in preparing balsamic vinegar. And…the health benefits far outweigh what you can purchase in the grocery store.
Balsamic vinegar is now being used by professional chefs and celebrities. No longer is balsamic vinegar only used as a drizzle over garden fresh salads. It is also being used as a marinade over prepared meats.
A quality bottle of balsamic vinegar can be used instead of the usual wine being brought to a family dinner. With the host’s contribution of extra virgin olive oil, each guest can provide their own unique blend and a taste testing evening will be enjoyed by all in attendance. A unique taste includes the following ingredients for a marinade, ideal for steak or chicken before grilling.
½ cup aged balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients and place the meat in a plastic bag which is then sealed. Pour the marinade mixture over meat and coat the meat. Leave the meat mixture in the refrigerator up to two hours for tender cuts or up to 24 hours for less tender cuts. While marinating, turn at least one time.
For a simple balsamic vinaigrette, use ½ cup Spanish olive oil, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, a garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder, 1 pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste. Combine the ingredients and you will have created a delightful vinaigrette.
With both vinaigrette and marinade, you will have a unique taste guaranteed to make the evening with friends a success.
oil and vinegar, marinade, vinaigrette