I was recently sent a sample for Marzetti’s Balsamic Vinaigrette and asked to write a review with a few recipes. However, they had no idea they were sending this sample to a self proclaimed Arab-Fusion Cuisine master. What I know is that balsamic vinaigrette is the key to many Persian, Middle Eastern, and Arab recipes. In addition to the great balsamic vinaigrette recipes of the Mediterranean, southwest Asian recipes use Balsamic Vinaigrette in sweet and savory ways you wouldn’t expect.
I have compiled five unique recipes that you can make in the microwave. Three are easy and take less than seven minutes to prepare each. All of these dishes are complimentary with a Persian or Arab cuisine theme. I have also included tips about flavors and how these traditional tastes combine well with a product like Marzetti’s balsamic vinaigrette.
Why Balsamic Vinaigrette Works With Arab and Persian Cuisine
Adding balsamic vinaigrette complements the flavors common in Persian and Arabic cuisine including pomegranate, tomatoes, honey, red hot pepper flakes, cinnamon, onions, raisins, chicken, beef, and citrus. However, you will need to leave out the curry, tumeric, cardamom, eggplant, and green spices like oregano and basil.
Easy Microwave Smoked Turkey Sausages
Sometimes, we buy sausages because they are on sale. Or, we have a lot of leftovers from a 4th of July cookout or tailgate party. If you are bored with the same old taste of smoked sausages or hot dogs, try re-heating them in the microwave cooked with a little balsamic vinaigrette.
Recipe: Slice the sausages into coins. Place them on a microwave safe dish. Sprinkle balsamic vinaigrette over the top. You don’t want to drown them. Place in the microwave and cook on high for five minutes.
Tip: Marzetti’s is a little sweeter than your average balsamic vinaigrette and includes beet juice. This makes it great for adding a little caramelizing to the food if you use it as a marinade for grilled and baked vegetables or meats. It will also caramelize in the microwave.
Easy Sliced Microwave Jalepenos and Carrots Side Dish
In Latin America, Southwest Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, it is common to combine hot spicy peppers with carrots. Often found in pickles, this combo is one that Americans can easily grow to love with a little added sweetness from balsamic vinaigrette. This side dish is great with steak and potatoes or other grilled dinners.
Recipe: Slice jalepenos and carrots into coins. Place them on a microwave safe dish. Sprinkle balsamic vinaigrette over the top. You don’t want to drown them. Place in the microwave and cook on high for three minutes.
Tip: Marzetti’s works well as the only spice you need. Cheap veggies can be sliced and cooked in the microwave. Adding a little bit of balsamic vinegar adds flavor without adding extra sodium and salt.
Easy Sliced Microwave Red New Potatoes Side Dish
Finding a new recipe for toddlers or potatoes can be difficult. However, this is a potato dish that kids can eat with their hands and doesn’t add extra fat or sodium. This side dish also tastes great with leftover roasted chicken or pot roast.
Recipe: Slice red new potatoes (the little ones) into coins. Place them on a microwave safe dish. Sprinkle balsamic vinaigrette over the top. Place in the microwave and cook on high for seven to ten minutes.
Tip: Marzetti’s doesn’t include olive oil and uses soybean oil instead. Soybean oil is better for cooking because it has a lower flash point. Using olive oil for baking and grilling isn’t really effective because the olive oil will burn quickly at low temperatures. For example, you would never want to put olive oil in a deep fryer.
Medium Difficulty Classic Microwave Cous Cous with Raisins and Almonds
Making cous cous in the microwave is easy. Just follow the directions on the package. However, the next time you buy plain cous cous by accident, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette to it. It is also tasty with the raisins and almond cous cous that contains a little cinnamon.
Recipe: CousCous with Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Green Oinions at Epicurious.com
Tip: Marzetti’s is a little different from other balsamic vinaigrettes because it includes a touch of lemon
Advanced Microwave Saudi Kabsa (chicken)
To use this recipe in the microwave, you can use grilled or baked chicken leftovers. If you don’t have leftovers, you can use frozen chicken or frozen fajita chicken. Otherwise, use the following recipe as it is and add a little balsamic vinaigrette. Even if you have a family recipe that you feel must not be altered, you may find you like the new way it can taste with the balsamic vinaigrette included.
Recipe: Saudi Kabsa Recipe at Arabic Food Blogspot
Advanced Cooking Tip: Marzetti’s includes a small amount of garlic and basil. This makes them perfect for Persian and Arabic red sauces, like Sauid Kabsa, that are served over rice.