This fun appetizer can be on the table in no time (unless your kids are anything like mine in which case it will never make it to the table…) Read on!
A few Christmases ago I prepared a few dishes that were outside the scope of our traditional meal. One of those dishes included balsamic glaze.
I was so excited…feeling more gourmet than usual – cooking away and imagining the oohs and ahhhs I would receive upon presenting this gorgeous glaze.
No such thing would happen.
Have you ever prepared a balsamic vinegar glaze? If yes – you know exactly what I’m talking about. If no – you’ll learn upon making this recipe.
Balsamic vinegar, while cooking down, creates…wellll, I’m just going to say it, an alarmingly pungent aroma. And right about now my kids are thinking that I am completely understating it.
Case in point: On that early Christmas morn, as I was working away in the kitchen, Dom comes downstairs and ever-so-gingerly asks the question, “What’s that smell?” To which I reply, “Oh, you must mean the balsamic glaze.” To which he responds, “The kids are gagging on the balcony and promise to not come back in until it’s gone.” “What? That can’t be true.” “It’s true; they are outside in their pajamas and cannot, will not, come in until they know it’s safe.”
Yep, my kids were literally woken from their slumber not by visions of sugar plums, but by aromas of balsamic vinegar that caused them to head straight for the door.
Needless to say, there was no balsamic glaze included on that holiday table because of course I had a choice to make – Kids? Glaze? Kids? Glaze? It took me a minute but Kids won. Which was completely unfortunate because once you get passed the cooking process you are left with the most magnificent, sweet, rich, caramel-ly tasting glaze you’ll ever have. I was weak! There were three of them and only one of me!
Which brings us to today…and an empty house…
Pairing this glaze with sweet little cherry tomatoes that have been carved out to accommodate perfect little chunks of mozzarella makes for an eating experience that is rather special. The glaze puddles in and around our garnet baubles creating a bite that bursts with flavor.
I’ll try again…they’re older now…they’ll like it…right?
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ lb. low-moisture mozzarella
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Prepare tomatoes by cutting just enough off the bottoms so they stand tall on the plate.
- Next, cut a small amount off the top and scoop out the center.
- Cut mozzarella into small cubes to fit the center of the hollowed out tomatoes.
- Fill each tomato with mozzarella.
- Place tomatoes on serving platter.
- In the meantime, in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, pour balsamic vinegar and add the chopped garlic.
- Cook down until a glaze is formed, about 20 minutes, or when the vinegar coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Drizzle glaze over tomatoes.
- Add salt and pepper (to taste).