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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Romaine, Chicken, Avocado, and Balsamic Reduction Sauce Salad

Here's the nice, light salad I promised!

We have this great place by us.  It's total bar food.  There's lousy, not so fresh popcorn served as soon as you sit down.  It has great burgers, great hot dogs, and also-unexpectedly- some amazing salads. This is one of them.  Any way I can eat more avocado is always welcome.  The balsamic reduction sauce is really sweet- I want to try it with strawberries!

 Romaine, Chicken, Avocado, and Balsamic Reduction Sauce Salad
Balsamic reduction adapted from Jeff Mauro

Balsamic Reduction

4 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
8 fresh basil leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large shallot, roughly chopped

1 head romaine lettuce
Grilled chicken breast or thighs
Cherry tomatoes
1 avocado

Heat the balsamic vinegar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, garlic and shallots into the saucepan and stir. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and let cook until the liquid is reduced to 1 1/3 cups, 45 to 60  minutes. To measure, you may have to strain at 45 minutes, see where you are, then poor back in pot.  It's ok not to re-add all the onions and such back at that point.  Otherwise, once the mixture is reduced, strain it through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and let cool. Store the balsamic base in the fridge; it's great as salad dressing, marinade, drizzled over steaks, over strawberries.

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