Flavoring vinegars with herbs is easy to do and adds wonderful tasting notes to salads and marinades. It’s a good way to use fresh herbs and, the bottles of vinegar make terrific gifts. Besides, how often have you seen basil or dill or oregano or cilantro vinegar at the supermarket?
1 cup loosely packed fresh herb, or perhaps a combination of herbs
2 cups vinegar–rice, white wine, red wine, apple cider
1. Pour boiling water into a glass quart canning jar. Let sit for about 10 minutes while you wash, dry and measure the herb. Drain water from jar, invert for a few minutes on a dish towel, then turn upright and allow to air dry.
2. Put herb into jar. Bruise the leaves slightly with a wooden spoon or similar utensil. Pour the vinegar over the herb and cover tightly. DO NOT USE A METAL CAP. The vinegar will corrode the metal. If a metal cap is all you have, then cover mouth of jar with wax paper or plastic wrap first.
3. Let the herb vinegar steep in a dark place at room temperature. Shake the jar every couple of days. Taste after a week. If the flavor is not strong enough for your liking, recap and let it steep for another one to three weeks, checking the flavor weekly.
4. When the flavor (strength) is to your liking, strain the vinegar, pour into clean, sterilized jars, cap them tightly and label them. It’s always a nice touch to add a fresh leaf or two of whatever herb you flavored the vinegar with, if still available.