Herbal Vinegars

What tastes good, has only two calories per tablespoon and is easy to prepare? Herbal vinegars offer all this and more. They add flavor to salads, marinades, sauces and also make thoughtful gifts.

Start by picking (or buying) your herbs and washing in cool water. Lay on paper towels and allow to air dry. The basic recipe calls for 1 cup fresh herbs to 2 cups vinegar. Use either red or white wine, cider or rice vinegar. Place the dry herbs in a wide-mouth jar, bruise with a spoon and add the vinegar. Cap, shake and store in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks. (You can hasten the processing time by heating the vinegar to just below the boiling point before adding to the herbs.) Check the taste after processing by placing a teaspoon of vinegar on some French bread. If you like the taste, you are ready to strain the vinegar. Use a funnel and a coffee filter and pour through several times until the vinegar is clear. That’s all you have to do . Pour into a sterilized bottle, add a few sprigs of herbs to decorate and you have just made a real taste treat. Here are some herbal combinations that work well together. Before the summer’s over, you’ll be inventing your own “designer vinegar’s”

Chives, dill and parsley

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Basil and thyme

Garlic, Chives and lemon grass

Garlic, Lemon grass and Lemon thyme

Dill and chives

Salad burnet, garlic and parsley

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