Herring with balsamic reduction

Herring with balsamic reduction, pickled red onion, rye bread and capers.

For many people herring most probably associates with some “weird” food – something that our grandmother’s used to (still do) put on the table at Easter, Christmas or other special occasions. For me personally it is one of the most favorite snacks that I usually indulge in when visiting my Mom and Grandma. Never risked to try and make it myself, but once I got a craving for it… Well when it happens, it happens.
Not quite a “classic” and traditional preparation. It combines to salty, sweet and sour, with a good crunch from the onion.

* Salted herring in sunflower oil
* Red onion
* Lime
* Rye bread
* Capers
* Balsamic vinegar

Easy to make, quick to serve, a perfect appetizer or a quick bite to satisfy your cravings.
First, prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction. A balsamic vinegar reduction is a simple process of boiling down balsamic vinegar. The result is a syrup like kind of sauce that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Use good quality balsamic vinegar, it doen’s have to be aged/expensive – it has to taste good and it will be reduced anyway. Double the amount of the reduction you need and you’ll know how much to pour into a pan/pot. Use a small, stainless steel saucepan. Place the pan over medium high heat and bring the vinegar to a slow boil, until it just starts to simmer. Reduce the heat and slow boil for about 15-20 minutes. Try the reduction – it should be a thicker consistency, honey-like. If needed, boil a bit longer, but watching carefully – it may start burning if reduced too much. Have in mind that it will thicken when cooling. Once done, set it aside to cool. Can be used right away or stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Balsamic vinegar contains natural sugars. When reduced, it becomes thick and brings out the sweetness. 
While the vinegar is being reduced, slice the onion and pour over freshly squeezed lime juice. Mince it with a fork and set aside. Estimation – 1 lime per 1 medium red onion. For non onion eaters (like myself) – red onion in lime juice looses its “onion-ness”. I’m sure that’s not a word, but hopefully it makes sense.
Slice the herring and plate it. Top with the onions (pour off the excess lime juice), capers and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction. Serve with rye bread.
Bon appetit!

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