With garden produce in full swing right now, I find we’re eating lots of salads. I love having oil and vinegar dressing on my salad. They generally have a lot less calories than other types of dressings but sometimes I want something a little different than plain oil and vinegar. I’ve taken a look at the flavored oil and vinegar dressings in the grocery store but the prices are fairly high and they often contain ingredients that I’m not all that fond of.
It’s really quite easy to make your own flavored vinegars. You can simply make them for you and your family to enjoy or dress them up a bit with a bow and give them for gifts this winter. I keep my eyes open for pretty glass bottles with corks for stoppers to store them in while I’m tag saling but you could really use any type of bottle or jar as long as it sealed somehow. Even a canning jar with a lid would work. Don’t use plastic as the flavor will seep into the container and ruin it. Don’t use metal as the vinegar will react with it and ruin it.
You can flavor your vinegars with any type of herb with a strong flavor. A few of my favorite choices are garlic, chives, rosemary, sage and dill. You can even use raspberries or blueberries for a unique flavor combination. You want to make sure you use fresh herbs or fruits not dried or powdered.
Simply pick the fresh herbs you want to use and wash them carefully. Dry them and lightly bruise them by pressing or gently squeezing them to release the flavor oils. If you are using berries, wash and dry but do not bruise. Gently push the herbs or fruits into the bottle and fill to within an inch of the top with white vinegar. Put on top or cork and place in a dark place for about two weeks. Do not leave it in the light or the vinegar will turn cloudy. Use within three months. it does not need to be refrigerated.
You can use flavored vinegars in salad dressing (one part vinegar & two parts olive oil) or in any recipe where wine, fruit juice, plain vinegar, lemon, or lime juice is used. Substitute equal parts of flavored vinegar for the item called for.