A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Make Your Own Herb Vinegar

I was bumming around one of those fancy food and kitchenware shops today and saw a bottle, albeit a beautiful bottle, of herb vinegar selling for nearly 10 bucks. Well, I’ll bet that spendy vinegar has nothing over my RV Cooking Show herb vinegar. It’s simple to make and is a great way to use up those herbs in your garden*. And more good news, the holidays are coming and herb vinegars make fabulous, well-received, and inexpensive gifts.

Here’s how I make my own herb vinegar:

• A bottle of quality vinegar – I like to use a nice white wine vinegar in a pretty bottle (Star Italian Kitchen found in most grocery stores is my favorite) – make sure the vinegar you use has at least 5% acidity. If you prefer a red wine, champagne, sherry or cider vinegar go for it – just try to pair your herbs accordingly.

• A generous handful of fresh herbs from the garden - thyme, oregano, basil, opal basil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, chive flowers, lavender – organic is always best. You can even add peppercorns, peeled garlic, chili peppers, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, etc. Consider your likes – what you frequently use in your kitchen – and don’t be afraid to pair up tasty sounding combinations. For example, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are excellent together - really!

Snip your herbs early in the day and rinse well. Dry thoroughly using a salad spinner or a paper towel. Open the bottle of vinegar, remove the shaker top (if applicable) and pour a few tablespoons of the vinegar into a non-reactive measuring cup (a glass Pyrex measuring cup with a spout works perfectly) and reserve. Take your herbs and begin feeding them into the bottle – stem and all – gently bruising them as they go in. Pour the reserved vinegar over the herbs to the top of the bottle. Put the cap back on the bottle (I don’t replace the shaker top) and label with date and herbs used. Allow to sit and steep at least a week before using.

Yep, that’s it. Easy, elegant, and delicious. Nope, I don’t heat the vinegar and it turns out just as flavorful nor do I buy decorative bottles to decant it in – the bottle that comes with the vinegar is just right – especially if you are living in an RV and space matters. They still make beautiful gifts.

Use the vinegar in salad dressings, marinades, combined with oil for bread dipping or drizzled over steamed vegetables or broiled fish/meat.

Opal basil turns clear vinegar into a dazzling purple concoction of pure bliss - a real wow. If you have plenty of lavender you can make a white vinegar/lavender mixture and use it to clean your windows or tone your face!

Go ahead, spend an enjoyable 30 minutes making your own herb vinegar. Drop a line letting me know what herbs you used and how it turned out – I’d love to hear.

RV Cooking Show.com

*We full-time RVers don’t have a “garden plot” but many of us travel with a collection of pots overflowing with herbs and flowers. If you don’t have a garden you can still make RV Cooking Show herb vinegar by visiting the produce section of your grocery and purchasing a selection of fresh herbs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Found you while looking for herb vinegar ideas...got so much more.Loved the guest post on How much is enough?More to ponder.A lovely herb vinegar can be made with white vinegar and Tai Basil including some flowers from the plant.

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