Lunch/ Recipes/ Seasonal Ingredients

My Soul Shall Sing


Allow me to introduce to you my very favorite summer lunch; it’s so simple it will make your soul sing.

First, you must meet the characters:

That would be reduced balsamic vinegar, not chocolate as it appears. To reduce balsamic, all you do is simply simmer it for about fifteen minutes until it reduces by about half. It will thicken up when it cools and be more like a syrup than a vinegar. It’s great for not only for topping Caprese salads, but also for drizzling over juicy strawberries that have been sprinkled with dark brown sugar and topped with fresh whipped cream. I hear it’s also yummy on ice cream but I haven’t gone that far yet.
Perfect with a zucchini muffin (or two)!

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  • Kim
    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    This is beautiful. The only kind of food I even want to eat anymore is simple food with excellent ingredients and very little preparation. Thanks for that first photo – it’s lovely!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    These photos are absolutely stunning! Love them =) I’ve been meaning to make some balsamic reduction forever…I think it would be great on top of roasted veggies!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    August 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    So jealous of those figs, they look SO fresh!

  • sarah
    August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    LOVE FRESH FIGS! I bought six this week (they are Calmyrna, I believe) and I wish someone could have seem my excitement when I saw them at the store. But, it was probably even better when my boyfriend and I made a special trip to the store so I could show him where they were and he bought a bag full. He missed them the first time he made a trip and was so disappointed. It’s funny how much drama we had over figs. The first time I had them was at an outdoor farmer’s market.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I could eat only caprese salads for the rest of my life an die happy (provided tomatoes are always in season on the East Coast). They’re the best thing about summer.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Gosh I love fresh figs… and with balsamic reduction? Feed me please.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please
    August 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Mmmm… I once had reduced vinegar on a pizza and it was heaven. Pure heaven. I would never thought to have put it on something sweet like ice cream!

  • eatmovelove
    August 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    What is the purple thing?
    Pomengranate? …or Eggplant?…;)

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    August 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Oh YUM!!! SUPER jealous of the fresh figs!

  • Krista (kristastes)
    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Yum, I love fresh figs. Just wrote a post about my fig tree the other day 🙂

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Looks delish! Caprese salad is my favorite summer meal!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    LOVE balsamic reduction — easiest way to make anything taste more decadent!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    August 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I never manage to reduce my balsamic to that consistency! I always get too impatient. 😛

  • Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food
    August 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Beautiful! These pictures are works of art, girl!
    Have a great night!

  • Dorry
    August 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    So fresh and simple but genius all at once!

  • Tina
    August 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Simple meals like that are the best. I love when you can really taste the flavors of all the ingredients without anything overpowering.

  • Chelsey
    August 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    you totally have me drooling!!!

  • S @
    August 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Caprese is never wrong, in any way. 🙂

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats
    August 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I have a feeling Ina from Food Network would love this! Lovely post 🙂 Very fresh and simple

  • theemptynutjar
    August 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I hear alot of people using balsalmic vinagerettes,etc…in your opinion , what are the best staples for those kinds of things? I don’t have anything fancy (cause I’m cheap), but wondeirng what things are worthy.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    August 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I so wish I liked balsamic vinegar. That lunch looks fantastico!

  • Nadia Jaber
    August 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Pardon my ignorance but what kind of fig is that? It looks delish and I need to know what it’s called in order to obtain it!

  • Stacey
    August 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    The is a perfect summer lunch. It’s full of color and nutrients.

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I’ve never done the balsamic reduction….looks good! And I love figs. My parents have a ton of different fruit trees on their property and fig was one of them, but it died this past year. I’ve since bought them a new fig tree to plant {because I know it won’t grow at my house} so hopefully I’ll have some home grown figs next year once again:)

  • Erin
    August 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Wow, so simple yet so delicious! I’ve been making very basic salads for lunch with just diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumber and fresh basil, with a splash of balsamic. Very easy but flavorful.

  • Paige @Running Around Normal
    August 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve never had balsamic reduction OR figs. I think I’m in the market to try both after this post:)

  • Susan
    August 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    In the white tub, is that bocincini?

    • Susan
      August 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      bad spelling , I meant – bocconcini….

  • Cati @ crave and create
    August 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Hmmm…maybe strawberry sorbet with balsamic reduction? Sounds delicious to me, but I think I’d just go for it with vanilla ice cream! Those figs look absolutely perfect!

  • Lauren @ Fun, Fit, and Fabulous!
    August 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Wow that looks amazing! Everything is so colorful and fresh!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    August 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I’m sorry, there’s only one way to describe how “strawberries that have been sprinkled with dark brown sugar and topped with fresh whipped cream” sound: ORGASMIC. I must try that soon, as well as your delicious lunch.

  • Sana
    August 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I deffff thought you were eating chocolate covered veggies! i would not put that past you :)!

  • Nelly@CrazySexyFit
    August 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Seems like everyone and their mother is doing Caprese salads of some sort lately! I totally approve of this trend.

    Been a LONG time since I had balsamic drizzle – thanks for reminding me of it! 🙂

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    August 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    LOVE your new header…your pictures are beautiful!

  • lisampls
    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    love the new look jenna!

  • Krystina
    August 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    If only figs weren’t $5.99. Also, ice cream + balsamic + strawberries = heaven. I love the new layout, btw!

  • Babycakes
    August 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Love the new header!!!!!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim
    August 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Absolutely adore the new banner and tagline! “Celebrating life, one crumb at a time”- love it 🙂

  • Kristin
    August 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I actually do not like your new banner but I love your new tagline! I also love the new direction of your blog and have enjoyed reading for the past few years but I think your blog is worthy of a much more professional banner. This one looks too disjointed, the photos don’t flow very well together and the font does not stand out enough on these photos.

  • Lauri (
    August 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Your pictures are STUNNING!! Love how fresh you caprese salad looks!!

  • Cinthia
    August 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I was so bummed when you stopped writing about running and fitness but then I thought: Whoa! I can learn to cook too (I think I can, I think I can, said the Little Runner Who Could).
    I just made your enchiladas with tofu, not chicken, and green sauce, not red, and OMG, they are so good! I think I’m gonna have to freeze them so that I don’t gobble ’em all down right now.
    Cheers from Alaska,

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    August 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I just need to say that I love everything about your “new” blog. It makes me smile everyday (not like it didn’t before). It emanates joy, for life and food, which is what I think you were going for. 🙂

    Figs + balsamic = heaven. I’ve never made my own balsamic reduction because I’m afraid I’ll burn it, but I think I need to give it a try. Can you keep it in the fridge for a while?

  • Janna (janna's keeping it real)
    August 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Love your new banner!

    Off to go print the pie recipe from below, and reduce the urge to lick the computer screen. I seriously hope you gave that a a gift, because the fact that I haven’t seen the eating of the pie has me seriously questioning your sanity!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    August 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    girl, my soul is singing right now…this might be your best food photography post EVER. really though, the color is gorgeous, perfectly clear, amazing 🙂

  • Kristin
    August 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Caprese salads are my absolute favorite now that I can have farmer’s market tomatoes. Try adding avocado to the mix. You won’t be sorry. Trust me.

  • Anne
    August 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Your lunch is…if I had to choose one lunch for the rest of my life, you know? A strong candidate 🙂
    Love the new header, it goes real well with your whole philosphy I think, I guess that’s how it’s intended?

  • amber's notebook
    August 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    If you could please go in to detail as to how to reduce balsamic that would be fab!!! It frightens me!!!

    Lovely pictures by the way!

  • Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    August 19, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Your pictures are SO beautiful, jenna! Although I think I would have been an even bigger fan if it had indeed been chocolate 🙂

  • Julia @ Brit Bride
    August 19, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I like your new header!

    I DID NOT know that is how you reduce balsamic… I LOVE balsamic reduction… I can now see a lot of balsamic reductions in my future.

    I think I need to go to culinary school! Is it something that you do full time or can you do it part time?



  • Sarah
    August 19, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I love the new layout Jenna!

  • Katie
    August 19, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Love the new layout/header! Its so perfect!

    I really am enjoying your new concept of your blog too! I al enjoying these amazing recipes!

  • Allie
    August 19, 2010 at 4:49 am

    beautiful photos!! how long can you keep balsamic after you’ve reduced it? can you do a bunch and store it in the fridge? for a while?

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    August 19, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Mmmm!!! I love reduced balsamic! I only discovered it recently and I’m not going back.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    August 19, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Your photos have recently gone from beautiful to absolutely stunning. Just thought you should know. 🙂

  • Errign
    August 19, 2010 at 5:05 am

    J’adore your new header 🙂 Your links are overflowing 🙂

  • Amy
    August 19, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I’m a little intimidated by fresh figs. I feel like I should definitely try them now, though.

  • leslie
    August 19, 2010 at 5:42 am

    totally my kind of fresh plate. produce is such a joy right now!

    you’ve got to try the combination of figs, arugula, walnuts, ricotta, and a balsamic reduction. it will actually change your life, promise.

  • Lindsay
    August 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Yummy!! And LOVE the new header!!! Brings all your loves together! 🙂

  • Alli
    August 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I love balsamic reduction over ice cream! I remember the first time I spooned some over vanilla gelato, my boyfriend thought I was crazy – he LOVES it now.

    I also make a salad with arugula, blueberries and strawberries, and crumbled goat cheese with the reduction on top that is a hit whenever I bring it out.

  • Heather
    August 19, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Jenna (or anyone that knows)….can you make a balsamic reduction & store it in the fridge?

  • Natalie @ Scarlett Notions
    August 19, 2010 at 6:51 am

    The new header looks terrific! Love this blog!

  • Michelle
    August 19, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Your new header looks great!

  • Camille
    August 19, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I love the new header!

  • Andrea
    August 19, 2010 at 7:18 am

    What a fabulous idea for dinner. I will certainly try the reduced balsalmic. Yum!

  • emily
    August 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Yum! I just bought my first ever fresh figs and I’m so excited to use them!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    August 19, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Um… YUM!! I want that lunch.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    August 19, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I love all of these flavors, reminds me of two summers ago in Italy! Looks absolutely fresh and fantastic 😀


  • Brenda M.
    August 19, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Jenna, I’m so excited for you! As everyone has said, love the new header and philosophy. One “recipe” to share – we’ve been eating fresh mozza, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic glaze and sea salt on crusty baguettes slices for weeks now (great with vino). I think you would love it. And can you imagine – I’ve never tried a fresh fig. Honestly, I’ve just been scared. Do you eat the entire thing or scoop out the flesh? You’ve inspired me to try them!

  • Erica
    August 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Whoa! Your new header just popped up! LOVE IT! It looks so…you 😉

  • R @ Learning As I Chop
    August 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Interesting to know how to reduce. I never realized (duh) that it thickens after cooling

  • eatmovelove
    August 19, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Oh My God – the new header is awesome!!!

  • Kimberly
    August 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Yum, that salad looks amazing! I like to drizzle balsamic vinegar over parmesan cheese…trust me, it’s good!

  • Rachel Wilkerson
    August 19, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Ahhh just so happens that I have ALL those things in my kitchen, including the figs, my most recent love interest! This might need to be my lunch, I need to try a balsamic reduction!

  • Marla
    August 19, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Love the new header and catchy “one crumb at a time”-very cute!

    Miss your daily posts and your morning oatmeal…but that’s only cause I’m a dedicated fan! Also a fan of new and old,all the best!

    With this new format will you blog only once a day or every few days?

  • Mallory @ Little Miss Locavore
    August 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I’ve been wondering about the makings of a balsamic reduction. Does it actually change the flavor or just the consistency? Time to try it out.

  • Katherine
    August 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Must try balsamic reduction soon!

  • Marge
    August 19, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Was it a good tomato? Where’s the olive oil? Have you sampled the local olive oil yet?

  • Megan (Braise The Roof)
    August 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I’m enjoying ELR’s facelift! Good job!

    Mmm…reduced balsamic. Be still my heart.

  • Lina@GreenLivingNY
    August 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

    The new blog look is wonderful 🙂

  • amber's notebook
    August 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I am happy today because my sister is coming in town today and I couldn’t be more excited. She is my best friend and I love her more then anything.

  • Courtney
    August 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I’m happy because my fiance’s wedding band arrived!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged
    August 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I absolutely love how fancy this looks but simple it must be to pull together!

  • Maddy
    August 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I spent a beautiful summer day with my 3 beautiful girls, just perfect!

  • Ally Girl in Her Kitchen
    August 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    That looks delicious! I have a ton of tomatoes right now and this looks like a fun way to use some!


  • Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice
    August 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    That looks great! So simple, yet fresh.