Boursin Cheese and Smoked Salmon Bites If you need a quick and easy appetizer for the game this weekend, this recipe is the one for you. Not only is it fast, easy and delicious, it’s easy on the waist-line too. When I was younger, I looked at things …
Cucumber Radish Sandwiches If you’re looking for a cool and refreshing sandwich to serve for dinner on these dog days of summer, this one’s for you. Cucumber Radish Sandwiches, sometimes called Cucumber “Tea” Sandwiches, aren’t just for tea anymore. It’s time to take this classic Southern-style …
Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad
Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad is a light and refreshing side dish or side salad. It pairs well with grilled kabobs, chicken or even hot dogs. If you’re a fan of cucumbers you’ll surely like this fast and easy salad. Made with thin slices of English cucumber, grape tomatoes, onion and reduced-fat feta cheese. Not only is this salad light and delicious, it’s not too bad on the waistline either:) With the many balsamic vinaigrette’s on the market today, purchase one that is reduced-fat, low-cal and you can cut the calories even further in this salad.
This salad is made with a bottled balsamic vinaigrette as was the last recipe I posted. With that in mind I thought I’d share some information on balsamic vinegar and vinaigrette. We love balsamic vinegar and vinaigrette in my house and I use both often in recipes. As I’ve stated before, I personally think that some recipes turn out fine with a bottled balsamic vinaigrette. Find a bottled vinaigrette you like, stick with it and stock-up:)
Some recipes turn out better with a homemade, from scratch balsamic vinaigrette. The choice is really up to you but keep in mind when purchasing balsamic vinegar, to buy the best brand you can afford. Prices range from $3 per bottle all the way up to $100 per bottle. Many times the quality of vinegar used in a recipe will determine how much to spend also. For example; if you’re making a dish were the balsamic vinegar will play a huge difference in the taste of the finished dish, purchase a better quality balsamic vinegar. If the recipe calls for a tablespoon or so, a lower quality balsamic vinegar can be used.
What is Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar hails from Italy. It’s made in and around the area of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Balsamic vinegar is produced from white Trebbiano grapes. The “must” is cooked down, concentrated until deep, dark and rich. The vinegar continues to gain its dark color and pungent sweetness from a lengthy period of aging in barrels. Balsamic vinegar is made similar to the way that wine is made and aged.
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is aged in wood containers made of chestnut, juniper, and mulberry. Balsamic vinegar graduates from larger to smaller size barrels as the vinegar ages over a period of years. It should be noted that many balsamic vinegar contain sulfites. Sulfites are primarily added to inhibit the growth of unfavorable, flavor-detracting bacteria.