Herb Infused Vinegar
One of the things the Minnesota Herb Society is known for is making herb infused vinegars. They are a major feature at our Fall and Winter Sales and bottling the vinegar is a fun annual event and another occasion for a pot luck.
New members often ask how to do it, so here is a guide, a jumping off point so to speak to spark your creative energy.
Choose what kind of vinegar you will use; many of us use apple cider vinegar, but any vinegar that has 5% acidity will work, including white wine, red wine, and rice wine vinegar.
Use ½ cup herbs for every 2 cups vinegar; this is a great way to preserve your favorite herbs to use in marinades, salad dressings, and sauces. Pick them in the morning and give them a rinse, then dry them (The herbs should not be damp).
Use a sterile glass container, add your herbs, pour in the vinegar, cover with plastic wrap before adding the lid. Store in a cool dark place for 4-6 weeks.
I’m including a couple of recipes from our library, for more recipes you can contact Jill Boettcher (see your Membership Directory).
Jim Long also has an excellent book, “Making Herb Vinegars”, it can be purchased through his website, http://www.longcreekherbs.com.
Be sure to join us at the home of Bonnie Hector on Wednesday, August 30 at 9:30 for vinegar bottling. Bring your infused, strained vinegar or join us in labeling and bottling to see what it is all about.
Orange Rosemary Vinegar
Rind of 2 or 3 fresh oranges
½ to ¾ cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 gallon apple cider vinegar
Take rind form orange so that little or none of the bitter white is attached. Pluck tender sprigs of rosemary from woody stalks, removing leaves at the top of the stalk and keeping them intact. Bruise individual leaves with mortar and pestle. Stuff orange and rosemary into a gallon jar and pour vinegar over. Steep 4-6 weeks.
Italian Herb Vinegar
1 quart white vinegar
4 bay leaves
1 small red onion
6 sprigs oregano
6 sprigs basil
3 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs marjoram
Wash and dry plant material. Bruise with mortar and pestle. Pour vinegar over plant material and steep for 4-6 weeks.
Note: Use 5 inches as a guide for a sprig.