Barbecue sauce is one of my favorite things on the entire planet. I don’t discriminate — sweet, tangy, thick, runny, you name it and I’m a fan. It’s the main reason I go out for barbecue in the first place. This versatile condiment is not only great for grilling, there are a plethora of uses for barbecue sauce (most of which I have tried) as a marinade, slathered on meatloaf, french fry dip, substitute for tomato sauce on pizza or spaghetti, pretty much in and on anything. Maybe not on cereal, though. I draw the line there. I have tried tons of different types and this following recipe is one of my top favorite barbecue sauces I’ve ever consumed.
Vinegar is the main ingredient in barbecue sauce and I’d never seen one that used balsamic in place of red or white, so this piqued my interest. I had seen this recipe for balsamic-based barbecue sauce on Giada DiLaurentiis’ show Everyday Italian on Food Network a few months ago and jumped at the chance to make it. I love this version because of its unique, slightly sweet, and rich flavor. I could even eat it on ice cream (maybe not on cereal though). Seriously tasty.
I improved upon Giada’s recipe by adding fresh basil and orange zest for added zing. Fresh herbs and citrus zest really brighten up the sauce and add a fresh and unique kick of flavor. Fresh rosemary or sage in place of the basil would also be amazing, as well as lemon instead of orange zest. This recipe is also incredibly quick and easy- 20 minutes to prep and cook. Whip this up for your next grill party, slather it on some chicken or ribs, and brag to all your guests about your gourmet homemade barbecue sauce they’re enjoying.
Basil-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce (Say that five times fast!)
(makes one cup; adapted from Giada’s Kitchen:New Italian Favorites by Giada DiLaurentiis)
1 cup balsamic vingear
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine.
2. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally. Cook 15 minutes until reduced (will be thick, the consistency of barbecue sauce).
3. Remove from heat, let cool, and store in the refrigerator until ready for use.