My youngest daughter Laura and I made this together last night without a recipe to go by and it turned out fantastic! We just knew what we wanted to put on a baguette. Laura wanted the sweet balsamic reduction and that was a learning process! It was easy, but now we know you need to cool it to get it to the right consistency needed. And also, not to keep fresh basil leaves in the refrigerator as they will turn mushy and black! Still tastes ok, just not very appealing. LOL! I told her, thats the fun of cooking, learning! Even at my age, I'm still learning! We didn't make this when I was a kid
Cut tomatoes in half and chop basil, place in bowl together. Put as much basil in as to your taste. Cut cheese into chunks or use round slices, mix with tomato and basil. If doing round slices of mozzarella, set slices aside.
For the balsamic vinegar reduction: Add 1 cup of the vinegar to a small sauce pan. Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Heat to boiling. Lower the heat and simmer 10-20 mins. Depending on how flat a pan you use. (this seemed to take us forever! Or we were really hungry) The smell is very strong so
ventilate using your stove's fan! Another thing we learned! The vinegar should reduce down to about 1/4 cup and be slightly thicker still. Now, pour into a heat resistant bowl as the mixture is hot and put in the refrigerator until cooled and thickened. About 10 mins. Should be like a thick syrup, if its thicker, thats ok to. It all tastes good!
While you are cooling the reduction, set the oven to broil. Put the sliced baguettes on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the olive oil over the sliced baguettes. Not to saturate them, just to add flavor. Stick in the oven and broil until they are crisp and brown. Watch them closely as they brown fast! Take them out when crisped and add the toppings.
Just pile the tomato & basil & cheese mix on top of each slice. If using round mozzarella slices, put those on the bottom and pile the tomato and basil on top. Now drizzel the cooled balsomic reduction on top. You don't need alot as it packs alot of flavor. Enjoy! SO GOOD!
To give an idea: A 1/2 loaf of a baguette made enough for 4 servings of 5 pieces each. (Depends on how long the baguette is)
You can make ahead, except the broiled bagutte slices. The vinegar reduction and vegetable mix will keep for left overs.
You can use the balsamic reduction on just about anything! Fruit, meats, vegetables. It is sweet and tangy.