Tag Archives: balsamic vinegar

Balsamic, Garlic, and Butter Bread (or Best Appetizer Ever)

I had this once at a restaurant and loved it so much that I went home to replicate the recipe.  It is delicious!  I especially love using this on my homemade bread, but that recipe will come later.

This recipe is very easy and has won over even someone who doesn’t usually enjoy garlic or balsamic vinegar.  Try it, you’ll love it!

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  • roasted garlic
  • whipped butter
  • reduced balsamic vinegar
  • loaf of French bread (or 1-2 bagettes)

Roasting Garlic

  • 4-5 garlic bulbs/heads
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

An hour ahead of time, preheat your oven to 375.  Cut off the tops of your bulbs of garlic so that the garlic is exposed and put all five cloves (root end down) on foil that is long enough to wrap around everything.  Drizzle a hearty amount of olive oil over all of the bulbs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Wrap your bulbs in the foil (and maybe also place it on a baking pan so in case it leaks, it won’t be on your oven bottom) and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

When the garlic is done, remove from oven and let it cool before trying to remove the garlic cloves.  Removing the garlic cloves is as simple as grabbing the bottom of the bulb and gently squeezing out the cloves.  They’ll be mushy and delicious.

Whipped Butter

  • 1/2 pounds of butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk

In the meantime, using a blender, mix the softened butter and milk together until light and fluffy.  This will take about 10 minutes and might splash milk everywhere, so be prepared.

Reduced Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

While the garlic is cooking, and after you have whipped the butter, grab a small sauce pan and pour in your balsamic vinegar.  Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil, and then reduce heat so that it simmers for another couple of minutes (3-5).  Remove from heat and let cool.

Final Product

Take your French bread (toasted or untoasted — it’s up to you) and spread some whipped butter on top.  Next, take a roasted garlic clove and spread it on top of the butter.  Lastly, dip your bread in the reduced balsamic vinegar.

Now take a bite … and enjoy.

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that I never liked — until I started cooking them myself.  To be fair, I’ve only ever cooked them the single way a friend once recommended, but my point still stands.  This recipe takes that cooking style (oven roasting) and adds extra delicious flavors to the mix.  While my significant other doesn’t actually like Brussels sprouts, he’ll happily eat them when there is bacon involved.

  • 8 oz bacon, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp bacon grease from cooked bacon (or 3 tbsp of good olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar *

Foil a roasting pan and put it in the oven.  With the pan in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 F.

On the stove top, heat a pan and add the bacon.  Keep an eye on the bacon so that it doesn’t burn.  When it is cooked to your liking, remove the bacon from the pan and put the pieces on a paper towel covered plate.

While the bacon is cooking, chop off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and any outer leaves that are yellow.  Slice the Brussels sprouts in half and put them in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once the bacon is done cooking, pour the bacon grease (or olive oil) on top of the Brussels sprouts and toss / mix until well covered.

Carefully pull the preheated roasting pan out of the oven and pour the Brussels sprouts onto the pan before replacing it in the oven.  Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20-30 minutes, or until tender and brown.

Near the end of the roasting process, take 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and pour it into a small skillet on medium high heat.  Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 2-4 minutes, or until it’s slightly thinner than you want it (since it will keep reducing after you take it off the stove). *

* If your balsamic vinegar is aged and already thick, skip the reduction!  All you need to do is drizzle balsamic vinegar (to taste) over the Brussels sprouts in the following step.

Once done, remove the Brussels spouts and mix with the bacon pieces.  Drizzle your reduced (or aged and already thick) balsamic vinegar on top, toss to mix, and serve.