When I still lived at home, I was constantly taking advantage of our summer garden tomato supply. Not to mention, the last several years were so hot, tomato production was through the roof. We could’ve started our own damn cannery. Thanks to this (at times out of control) ‘mater growage, tomato, basil, and mozzarella stacks became a regular treat. Mostly just as an appetizer or snack, and, often as homemade margherita pizzas. You just can’t go wrong with the perfectly fresh, Italian trifecta.
Let’s cut to the chase, though. The real treat in those caprese stacks was not the tomato, basil, and cheese… It was the processed & bottled, high fructose corn syrup-based, figgy, glazey, sweet & syrupy reduction that I smothered on top. Sure, caprese stacks are amazingly delicious on their own, but, why have just “Great” when you can have “holyshitballsGreat”?! ‘Cause that’s where that shiz takes it!!
Unfortunately, after going “paleo” (it’s very hard for me to truly call myself paleo. I’m more of an “eat whatever I want which mostly just happens to be paleo” kinda gal.) I had to ditch the processed balsamic-fig glaze. I mean… I didn’t HAVE to, but, once you become aware of the nasty ingredients hiding in “foods” (that can hardly be called food), the guilt hits you pretty hard when you willingly consume crap.
So, here I am, a few days ago, freshly home from the supermarket with a box of ripe Kumatos, a ball of mozzarella, and a bushel of basil. I had recently been dreaming of my long lost, $5 a bottle Roland-brand balsamic-fig glaze in all of it’s glorious BPA-laden plastic packaging, when I realized, I CAN MAKE HOMEMADE GLAZE! AND it’s easy as shiz. Like, stupid easy.
I immediately heat up a saucepan and dump in vinegar, honey, salt, and some dried figs I had previously sliced for some cookies. (I never made the cookies. Procrastinator Extraordinaire strikes again. Shocking.) All it takes is a bit of reducing and the engulfment of your home in Yankee Candle’s new scent/stench: HotPungentNostrilBurningVinegar. It’s actually not anywhere near that bad, but, when you have an adult baby (James) who HATES vinegar and is freaking out about the vinegar smell wafting through the house, it’s hard to blame him. All it took was 10-ish minutes & a resilient nose and I was enjoying my childhood favorite, again – balsamic-fig reduction. Except this time it was freshly homemade and 100% CLEAN paleo! So, now that I’ve scared you out of stinking up your kitchen, just go boil some vinegar!!!
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup dried black mission figs, sliced or finely chopped, your preference
- 1-2 tbsp honey OR maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat until boiling.
- Once boiling, immediately reduce heat to med low and simmer, stirring frequently.
- Once mixture has reduced and thickened (around 10 mins), use immediately or store chilled in an air-tight glass container.