Herbal vinegars.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
From: Deb Skinner <deb.mtjeff.com>
Date: 07 Nov 1995 08:23:45 GMT
Subject: Re: herb vinegar

>I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place, but I'm looking for recipes for herb vinegar. I bought some at a country fair in Connecticut a month or so ago, and have just used it to marinate some vegetables. It's wonderful! Can anyone suggest where I can get various >recipes?

Herb Vinegar

10 Tbls chopped herb (basil, dill, fennel, garlic, lemon balm, rosemary, savory, etc. or a mixture of several)
2 Cups white wine or cider vinegar (get the good stuff for a good result)

Pound the leaves gently to aid in the relese of the essential oils. (use mortar, river rock/wooden bowl...whatever is handy) Heat half the vinegar until warm but not boiling. Pour over herb and pound gently a little more. Let cool.

Mix in the rest of the vinegar, pour into a clean, wide-mouthed jar. Seal tightly (be sure you have an acid proof lid such as a canning jar lid). Place on a sunny windowsill (or a warm spot by the woodstove). Shake daily (or as often as you remember). After about 2 weeks, strain through cheesecloth, test for flavor, if it isn't strong enough, add more herb and let it set again.

Rebottle the finished vinegar. A sprig of the herb is a looks nice and helps identify what is inside, but a good label takes the guesswork out.

From: Deb Skinner <deb.mtjeff.com>

>This sounds wonderful! A few questions:
>1) Fresh or dried herbs, or does it matter?
>2) Can you do the same with oil, and what kind of oil (cooking, pref) do you suggest?

1-My preference is for fresh herb (sometimes I let them set for a few hours to remove some of the natural water--more important in oil than in vinegar) but if I didn't have fresh I would use dried herb and use less.

2-Yes, it's the same basic procedure for oil extraction. Use a good quality cooking oil--whatever you want to cook with--Olive, Sunflower, Canola or a sweet oil for marinades or fruit dishes--Almond or Pecan

You are limited only by your own imagination! ;>

(Do remember that oil is not a preservative: your herb will grow mold in next to no time, and if you use garlic you could get botulism, too. -Henriette)

From: tomnsusi.ix.netcom.com (Suzanne Brecht)

My favorite herb vinegar is oregano & garlic. You make it by simply placing a sprig (any size) of fresh oregano from your herb garden, a couple of cloves of peeled garlic, and a sprig of fresh parsley into a pretty glass jar or bottle of a good apple cider vinegar. Stop up the bottle and let it set for a few weeks (3-5). You can set it in a window, I guess. It looks pretty there, but I don't know if the sunlight helps or not. I suspect that any shelf would do, but it sure looks pretty in a window. I use a cork for a stopper. This vinegar is good on speghetti, or any pasta with tomato sauce. I also like it on any and all bean dishes except chili.

Another way to make any herbed vinegar, besides the simple way above, is to choose your favorite herb(s), fresh (slightly bruise these) or dried, tie them up in a "bouquet garni" (I use a coffee filter twisted closed) and drop them into a quart of apple cider vinegar that you have heated to just under a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let it steep for about an hour. Throw away the "bouquet garni" and pour into a pretty bottle. Please do add a fresh sprig or two of whatever herb you used to flavor it. This is ready to use right after the steeping period.

A label showing the ingredients is a good idea for anything homemade.

Regarding flavored oils, I have for years been dropping a peeled garlic clove into the cruet of extra virgin olive oil I keep setting on the table. Peel the clove and cut off the root end. The oil is flavored in just a little while. Frankly, I have never noticed how much time passes before I taste the garlic in it. It must be only a matter of an hour, or certainly not more than over night.

Hope this gives you some ideas. :D