Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to Make Herbed Vinegar

Kendall Lane Designs traditional landscape
traditional landscape design courtesy of Houzz

Imagine a warm, breezy October morning. You open the gate and step into the herb garden.  The air is crisp and cool, but your herbs are flourishing. Delicious smells waft around you. A lazy bee circles the lavender. Tarragon grows in a patch of sun, giving off the poignant scent of anise. Rosemary (for remembrance) grows in spiky heaps.  The basil has grown knee-high. You brush your hands over the mint and imagine making sweet tea and jelly. You hunker down and pinch a sprig of oregano--it will be perfect for flatbread pizza tonight. Don't forget a handful of dill for the warm potato salad, along with sage for your cornbread (add chopped, fried bacon bits and a handful of chopped chives).


A Classic Country White Garden traditional landscape

Herb gardens can be lush and formal, sprawling and weedy, or contained in pots. As my grandmother used to say, "The herbs taste the same no matter where they grow, just as long as you provide sun or shade--and water."
Exterior traditional landscape
California Cottage Comfort  dining room
courtesy of Houzz


I miss our beloved former herb garden, but I'm also happy that it is now tended by someone who adores it as much as I did.


It was a formal garden, divided into quadrants, hemmed in with boxwoods.


The new-old herb garden at Rattlebridge consists of three raised beds and a large fenced area. 


No matter if you grow your own herbs or buy them at the market, you can make flavored vinegars. It's an inexpensive, easy way to enhance flavor--and most cooks always look for ways to add flavor, don't we? 
Imagine spiking potato salad with chive-dill vinegar. What about adding a splash of basil vinegar to an heirloom tomato salad? 

How to Make Herbed Vinegar

1. Place herbs in a sterilized glass jar. Use a bamboo skewer to arrange herbs in the bottle. 

2. Pour vinegar into a saucepan and heat gently to 80 degrees. Do not boil.

3. Place a funnel in the top of the jar and add vinegar. Don't be afraid to mix flavors.

4. Cap bottles. Steep in a sunlit window for two weeks. Gently turn bottles every day

5. Uncap bottles, remove herbs, and strain. Return vinegar to clean bottles. Tighten the cap.

6. Decorate the outside of the bottle with fresh herbal sprigs. 





Ideas:

Dill  + vinegar + lemon zest

Tarragon + chives + basil

Rosemary + garlic (spear garlic with a bamboo skewer for easy removal).

Sage + vinegar  (bruise the leaves lightly with the flat blade of a knife to release the flavor).

Lavender + lemon zest -- for vinaigrettes

Lime + cilantro for salsa

Oregano + Basil + vinegar (for Italian salad dressings)





10 comments:

  1. Oh these all sound fabulous. I love flavored oils and vinegars.

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  2. I have always wanted to make herb vinegar. You are inspiring me!

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  3. I have never heard of herb vinegar! How clever!

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  4. I did this with my son and some of his friends about 20 years ago. I was so surprised they were interested and they proudly took home their herbed vinegars to their mom.
    I wonder if any of them remember it now.

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  5. The vinegars all look so wonderful and I've never made it before. Thanks for showing us how to make it!

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  6. Oh, such a pretty post. This is food for the eyes and the soul.

    I love flavored vinegars. Thanks!

    Barb

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  7. I've never made herbed vinegar, Michael Lee, but I'd love to try it. What a beautiful presentation they make, and would make a lovely, flavorful gift.

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  8. Very nice article with stunning pictures and also idea is too good.
    Thanks for sharing this information.

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  9. Thanks Michael Lee, great info and your bottles are stunning~
    Jenna

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