herb vinegar

Back off olive oil. It’s vinegar’s turn to reign in the kitchen. With the addition of your favorite garden-fresh herbs, you’ll want to move your vinegar from the bottom shelf in the pantry to the prime real estate next to the stove. Herb-infused vinegar will likely play a starring role all over your culinary pursuits. (Olive oil can learn to share a little counter space.)

Herbal vinegars may sound fancy-schmancy, but making them is easy. Snip off whichever herbs in your garden are ready to harvest, add them to a mason jar filled with vinegar, and voilà: Tangy, homemade herbal vinegar.

Before you gather your supplies though, be warned. Herbal vinegars require some patience. These vinegars take about two weeks to fully infuse. For those of you who have ever scorched your tongue on a fresh-from-the-oven cookie that you just couldn’t wait to devour, remember that disappointment of not being able to taste the sweetness because of your burnt tongue. Likewise, if you use this vinegar too soon, the flavors won’t have fully brewed and it will just taste like, well, vinegar.

When crafting these vinegars, go crazy with your herbal-imagination. Use whatever combinations of herbs you think will make a tasty concoction. Here are three savory herbal vinegar recipes to get you started. 

Zesty Herb Vinegar

Use this all-around delicious zesty herb vinegar in marinades, sauces and salad dressings.

Ingredients:

2 sprigs fresh basil

2 sprigs fresh tarragon

2 springs fresh oregano

2 cloves garlic

1 quart white wine vinegar

Method:

1. Place herbs in a glass jar.

2. Heat vinegar until it almost boils. Pour vinegar over herbs.

3. Seal the jar and let it sit in a sunny spot for 2 weeks.

4. Strain the vinegar and place it back in the jar.

Dill Vinegar

Marinate potatoes in this flavorful vinegar or add some to your favorite cucumber salad recipe.

Ingredients:

6 sprigs fresh dill

1 quart white wine vinegar

Method:

1. Place herbs in a glass jar.

2. Heat vinegar until it almost boils. Pour vinegar over herbs.

3. Seal the jar and let it sit in a sunny spot for 2 weeks.

4. Strain the vinegar and place it back in the jar. Add a fresh dill sprig for identification.

Rosemary Vinegar

Drizzle this rosemary vinegar into your favorite dishes that call for fresh rosemary. It’s also especially scrumptious as a marinade for chicken and vegetables.

Ingredients:

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 quart white wine vinegar

Method:

1. Place herbs in a glass jar.

2. Heat vinegar until it almost boils. Pour vinegar over herbs.

3. Seal the jar and let it sit in a sunny spot for 2 weeks. 

4. Strain the vinegar and place it back in the jar. Add a fresh rosemary sprig for identification.

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image: Felicea