Balsamic reduction

  • 4 Servings
  • 50mPrep Time
  • 30mCook Time
  • 80mReady In
  • Category : Food
  • Subcategory : Sauces, dressings and condiments
  • Main Ingredient : Balsamic reduction
  • Chef : Paul Katz

An intensely flavored Italian sauce or paste, pesto is typically made with fresh summer herbs, a goodly amount of garlic, grated hard cheese, olive oil or butter and nuts.


Balsamic reduction: 4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup light brown sugar Pesto: 2 ounces pine nuts 2-1/2 ounces fresh basil leaves 2-1/2 ounces fresh spinach 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1 cup olive oil 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste Vegetable stacks: 2 red bell peppers 4 portobello mushrooms 1 medium eggplant 1 zucchini 1 yellow squash 8 carrots 12 asparagus spears 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles 1/2 plus 1 tablespoon cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 thyme sprigs 4 sage sprigs Salt to taste


Preheat the grill.
Make the balsamic reduction:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
  • Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until volume is reduced by two thirds.
  • Let cool, empty contents into a bowl or squeeze bottle and reserve for later use.

Prepare the pesto:

  • Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven.
  • Roast the nuts for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, checking frequently. Let cool.
  • In a food processor or blender, blend all pesto ingredients on high speed.
  • Place the pesto into a large bowl.

Cook the vegetables:

  • In a 450-degree oven, roast the red bell peppers until the outer skin is blistered and black.
  • Place the roasted pepper into a metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Afterward, remove the skin from the peppers, cut in half, de-seed and lightly rinse under cold water to clean.
  • Place the halves into the pesto to marinate.
  • Next, clean out the gills of each mushroom cap and place into the pesto marinade.
  • Slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and carrots about 1/4-inch thick lengthwise and place into the marinade.
  • Brush the asparagus spears with olive oil and season with the salt.
  • Remove all the vegetables from the marinade and grill 1 to 2 minutes on each side (2 to 4 minutes for the portobellos).
  • Let all the vegetables cool.


  • Stack the vegetables on the center of each serving plate in the following order (bottom to top): Portobello mushroom cap, 2 zucchini slices, 2 carrot slices, 1 eggplant slice, 3 asparagus spears, 1/2 roasted red pepper and 2 yellow squash slices.
  • Drizzle each plate with balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Top with the crumbled cheese.
  • Garnish with the sage and thyme sprigs.