Upgrade your everyday cooking any time of year with this exceptionally easy DIY condiment.
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In March and April, I, like many Americans, was all-in with this home cooking thing. Sourdough? Sure! Banana bread? But of course. The Stew (yep, it went so viral it's capitalized and no description required, kind of like Oprah or Madonna)? Sold.

But come July, I was feeling fairly uninspired. Be it watching my local restaurants struggle more and more—and wanting to support them through takeout and patio dinners—or just all-around food-prep fatigue, I was feeling kind of "meh" about my menu.

That is, until I started planning picnic dinners with a unique menu each time; adding one secret sauce to spiff things up to gourmet territory.

The idea was initially inspired by a Peach and Tomato Caprese Salad I had spotted right here on AllRecipes. This rendition called for olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing, but I had snagged a special bottle of aged balsamic vinegar on a trip and wanted to put it to delicious use in a special way. What better time to do so when we can't travel quite as far and wide as before?

So I did what any modern food-lover might do: I did a deep-dive on the internet. I found a slew of balsamic dressing and sauce ideas to spark my creative cooking juices—atop that summery Caprese salad and beyond. I ended up streamlining one of the balsamic glaze recipe discoveries to make it even easier. Here's how to DIY.

2-Ingredient Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

  • ½ cup aged balsamic vinegar (such as Blazing Bella Barrel-Aged Balsamic; $27.99 for 250 milliliters, amazon.com)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option)

Directions

  1. In a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar and honey.
  2. Stir and watch for the mixture to bubble, then turn heat down to medium-low.
  3. Allow to simmer and reduce by about half (which generally takes about 10 minutes), then turn off the heat and cool.
  4. Store in a Mason jar or glass storage container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pro tip: If you're short on time or don't feel like making this from-scratch every time, you can also buy balsamic glaze premade (like with this Acetum Blaze Balsamic Glaze; $20.99 for two 12-ounce bottles, amazon.com).

I proceeded to spoon this easy balsamic glaze not only over this peach, tomato, basil and mozzarella salad, but also over grilled chicken, whole grain panzanellas, pasta entrees, and as we entered fall, roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. With the hint of sweetness from the honey, I've even considered drizzling it over desserts. Balsamic-glazed Fig and Goat Cheese Tart? Sounds wildly intriguing.