Thursday, August 14, 2008

The 15-hour Reduction

A few summers ago, Dave Tallent brought a sumptuous platter of tomatoes, basil, and mozerrella to a potluck I attended in Bloomington. While the dish was a simple one, I couldn't forget the balsalmic he drizzled on top -- thick, like syrup, and so sweet. I called him yesterday to find out of if there was a special trick to the reduction. "Low and slow," was his advice.

I don't often have the patience for good reductions. They can take a lot of time, but in the end, it's worth it. This one took 15 hours. Dave recommends reducing the vinegar over the pilot light on the gas range. I opted for the oven putting the vinegar in a baking dish and leaving it at 175 overnight. (Krissy warned "Open your windows because it *reeks*.) I kept the vent hood on low -- and while there were some eye-burning moments in the kitchen, the house isn't too bad this morning.

And best of all? I have a thick, drizzly, syrupy goodness that isn't bitter or harsh. And it's going all over a big platter of caprese with summer tomatoes, Trader's Point mozzerella, and garden basil.

1 comment:

Gastroholic said...

FYI...you can also Saba. Saba is a reduction of the lees of Lambrusco grapes. In Italy it is primarily used to dress fresh fruit such as figs and strawberries but if you drizzle it on a ripe tomato, the acidity of the tomato combines with the syrup and it works very well. Just drizzle it on like a twenty five year old Modena, but without the labor and cost. It can be found around the interweb for about 25 bucks.

I am currently working it into cocktails.