Flavoured Vinegars: Spring Recipe

Use those half-used bunches of herbs and fruit to infuse your own flavoured vinegars, which, when bottled, make beautiful homemade gifts.

| June 2019

flavoured-vinegars 

Flavouring vinegars is so easy, and a good way to use up half bunches of herbs, the knob of ginger left in the bottom of your fridge, the peel from a lemon when you’ve only used its juice, and so on. Flavoured vinegars are great to have on hand for deliciously easy salad dressings, quick pickling, dipping sauces and marinades.

They also look so pretty in bottles and they make lovely gifts.

  1. Simply put your ingredients in a sterilised jar or bottle and cover with white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  2. Leave to infuse for 3-4 weeks.
  3. During this time, keep tasting the vinegar, and one day you’ll know it’s ready; it’s really up to you how long you leave it.
  4. Strain, then return the flavoured vinegar to the bottle and store it in the cupboard or fridge. Your vinegar will last for up to 2 years, but just remember that the flavour will deteriorate over time.

You don’t need to buy the most expensive vinegar on the shelf for infusing vinegars, but you do want a vinegar that has a nice soft flavour and isn’t too acidic. Never use straight-up white vinegar for these recipes, as its astringency will overpower the flavour of your aromatic ingredients.



Always match your ingredients to your vinegar.

So herbs would be lovely with white wine vinegar; chillies, lemongrass and garlic would work well with rice wine vinegar; and fruits would pair nicely with apple cider vinegar.

We’ve given you single flavour ideas, but you can also experiment with mixing other favourite ingredients together as well – rosemary, garlic and lemon peel; ginger, lime and chilli; mulberry, orange and peppercorn.

If you want to make your infused vinegar more of a ready-made salad dressing base, you can add a small amount of sugar and salt (to taste) into the bottom of your jar with your other ingredients. For 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vinegar, start with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and sugar, let the flavours develop for a few weeks, and then add more seasoning if needed.

We always use cold vinegar to infuse flavour. This helps keep the good properties of raw vinegars alive, but it will take a little longer to infuse in the colder months. You can use warmed vinegar to speed up the process.

This is such an easy and satisfying preserving technique, so get started!

nasturtium
Nasturtium photo from Adobe Stock/SanLyn

Spring Recipes

Herb Vinegar

Use 3 heaped tablespoons of fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary, parsley, chives, bay, thyme, oregano and a few white peppercorns. You can either do a single flavour, or a mixed herb combination. Place in a small sterilised glass jar or bottle. Cover with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cold apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and leave to infuse for 3-4 weeks. Strain, then pour the vinegar back into the bottle. Seal and store in the cupboard.

Garlic Vinegar

Use 2 blanched garlic cloves, skin left on, lightly bruised or bashed. Place in a small sterilised glass jar or bottle. Cover with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cold apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and leave to infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Strain, then pour the vinegar back into the bottle. Seal and store in the cupboard.



Nasturtium Vinegar

Place 4 small nasturtium leaves, a few nasturtium flowers and some nasturtium capers (the young green unripe nasturtium seed pods) in a small sterilised glass jar or bottle. Add 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few black peppercorns. Cover with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cold apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and leave to infuse for 3-4 weeks. Strain, then pour the vinegar back into the bottle. Seal and store in the cupboard.

Fennel Vinegar and Fennel Honey

We pick the flowers, seeds and fronds from the fennel that grows wild along the river to make flavoured vinegars and infused honey; we also use the flowers and seeds in our vegetable pickles. Place a few fennel flower heads in a small sterilised glass jar or bottle. Cover with 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cold apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or honey and leave to infuse for 3-4 weeks. Strain, then pour the vinegar or honey back into the bottle. Seal and store in the cupboard.

Also from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste:

cornersmith-salads-and-picklesPreserving, using up and seasonal eating is the Cornersmith way. Since opening their neighbourhood café in Sydney in 2011, Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler have been committed to sustainability. Their recipes put veggies first with dishes such as black bean and spring slaw tortillas. Quick recipes include roasted sweet potato and parsnip topped with feta and walnuts, or make a tabbouleh with leftover veg ahead of time for an autumnal evening. Cornersmith reinvents everyday sides with pickled veg which can be stored for up to six months. In Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles, Alex and Sabine share their passion for cooking with minimal waste. In four chapters, each dedicated to a season, Cornersmith shows us the best way to use seasonal produce, before rounding off with three salad dressing, fermenting and pickling guides and innovative ways to use kitchen scraps, such as using fruit peel to flavour oils. These recipes aren’t about dieting, instead Cornersmith is a must have for anyone interested in the food waste management trend, providing a road map for the future of food.


Reprinted with permission from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler and published by Murdoch Books, 2017. 





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