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The Best Port-Balsamic-Vanilla Glaze


We should all have a few show-stopping sauces to take a recipe from tasty to transcendent. Trust me, this is one is one of those sauces you’ll treasure and share.

What I love about this sauce is that it creates magic with so many different foods. You can use it to dress up grilled meat and vegetables, it makes a great salad dressing, it’s a quick fix for appetizers, it even works over ice cream and cake. The best part? It contains four ingredients! (Note: the curious items floating in the syrup are two halves of a vanilla bean. The longer the syrup sits, the more it is infused with vanilla.)

To get you started, make the sauce and tuck it in the refrigerator. I have created an appetizer platter and a salad using this glaze to inspire your imagination. I’d even recommend putting this over our Pumpkin Gelato. Now it’s up to you to have fun with it!



The Best Port-Balsamic-Vanilla Glaze



1 cup Port wine — Tawny or Ruby

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Vanilla Bean, sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup granulated sugar or agave, coconut or rice syrup


In a heavy, medium saucepan, add wine, vinegar and vanilla bean. Bring almost to a boil and then reduce to a medium simmer for 15 minutes. Add sugar and continue to simmer until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, cool, and pour into a glass container, keeping the vanilla bean with the glaze.

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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.

Comments (2)

  • Jolene


    Can you can/preserve the port balsamic vanilla glaze and if so are any adjustments needed.
    Thank you.


    • Patricia Rain


      Yes, you could Jolene. You would need to check canning protocol for details, as I’ve never preserved it. I will say that it lasts quite well in the refrigerator; I’ve had some for six months that I will use up soon, but I’ve even had some for a year in the refrigerator. The combination of the acid from the vinegar and the sugar, which acts as a preservative, keeps well in the refrigerator. I’ve had to thin it down a bit; bring it to room temperature, however, before thinning.


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