Balsamic reduction is one of those things that I never considered making at home. In the past, I didn’t really care for it or think it was cool enough to give it a second thought once I left a restaurant. But a few weeks ago, something changed. I went to this new restaurant in town, Rustique, where I had pesto everything, (I may have mentioned this in my last post or two) but each piece of my pesto-laden meal was crowned with this liquid gem – balsamic reduction.
Suddenly, I couldn’t stop thinking about balsamic reduction. It’s thick, tangy, sweet and syrupy. It’s the perfect compliment to a garlicky pesto sauce or some sweet strawberries. Even a hearty pork tenderloin or a simple salad. And, guess what. It’s easy to make at home. It only requires two ingredients and a little bit of patience. Try making some this weekend. You’ll see….
You guys know that I like pesto right? Are you sure? Ok. Because if you don’t already know, I’ll be glad to tell you again. I love it. I mentioned last week, when I posted my recipe for Smoked Turkey Pesto Pasta Salad, that I would share my recipe for my favorite pesto sauce, spinach basil pesto, and now I am. It really is my favorite. It’s my favorite because it’s the best. It’s the best because it’s adding the spinach makes the basil go a lot farther, and basil can be expensive. Even when I grow my own, there’s never enough.
This recipe makes it easy for you to enjoy any of your favorite pesto-based meals for a lot cheaper. It’s a 2:1 ratio of spinach to basil, so whatever you make will be extra green. I also opted to skip the pine nuts – although you’re more than welcome to use them yourself if you want – and I went for sliced almonds this time. In the past, I’ve used walnuts and even mixed cocktail nuts in a pinch. You really can’t go wrong, but I would steer clear of straight up peanuts since the flavor is so overwhelming.