Herb infused vinegars are easy to make and can turn your salad into a show piece. This post features Sage Blossom and Chive Blossom Vinegar.
Having a garden in the drought state of California isn’t always easy, especially here in San Diego where we have a bigger problem than up north. We removed our green grass from our tiny yard and now I am reduced to container gardening in the backyard — of course, I’ve been buying a lot of containers.
I have focused on filling up my new drought tolerant garden with edible plants – edible in any formation, fruit, leaf or flower. I’m a bit obsessed with edible flowers as they brighten up even the simplest meal.
Although I haven’t yet begun planting for my summer vegetable garden, there is one thing I always have growing in the yard – herbs. All kinds of herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, mint, parsley and sage. There is something about a sprinkling of fresh herbs to finish off a meal and really bring a meal to life.
This is the time of the year where my herbs are happily growing and blooming. I was excited about my abundant chive blossoms that I posted a picture of them on my facebook page. One of my readers told me to make Chive Blossom Vinegar. And that’s when I began to learn more about how to make herb infused vinegars.
I started with David Liete’s recipe here and quickly realized that although I had a lot of chive blossoms in my garden, I didn’t have THAT many to make a big jar of herb infused vinegar. I had enough for a small spice jar. So, back to the garden I went.
My sage plant has grown to a monstrous size, and this year we have gobs and gobs of blossoms on it. So, why not make Sage Blossom Vinegar?
The first step of making herb infused vinegars, whether with herbs or the blossoms, is to pluck them and rinse them with cold water. You don’t want any dirt or critters in your vinegar, do you?
You then warm up your white wine vinegar, but do not boil it. You want a slow infusion of the blossoms into the vinegar, not a hard shock to completely destroy them.
Strain your freshly cleaned herbs and fill your jar with as many blossoms as you can, then pour the warm vinegar in until your jar is full. You will need to push down the blossoms as they float to the top so they can soak up the vinegar.
After your vinegar has cooled, seal the lid and wait about two weeks. Strain and discard the sad looking blossoms and enjoy your beautiful new herb infused vinegar. The very first picture at the top of this post shows you the glorious fuchsia color the vinegar transforms into after the two week wait.
This is my chive blossom vinegar and it produced a gorgeous rosé color. I wish I had more blossoms so I could have made a larger batch of the chive infused vinegar. I had forgotten that my Asian market typically sells chive blossom by the bunch. Next time, I’ll grab it!
I used whatever white wine vinegar I had in my cabinet. But, the general thought process is that you should choose a high quality white wine, champagne or cider vinegar for herb infused vinegars for optimal flavor. Avoid using the cheap plain vinegar.
You can bet that I will be hunting down more vinegar to use in my next batch!
- 1 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 cup sage blossoms
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm vinegar.
- Wash sage blossoms in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt and bugs. When cleaned, place blossoms in a colander and shake off excess water.
- Fill a pint-sized jar with the blossoms and pour enough of the warm vinegar into the jar just to submerge the blossoms. You will need to use a spoon to push the blossoms floating to the top down into the warmed vinegar.
- Let the vinegar cool completely before sealing the jar. If you have a metal lid, place a square of parchment paper over the opening of the jar and screw on the top. This will prevent the acid from the vinegar to erode the lid of your jar.
- Place jar in a cool dark place for at least two weeks to produce a vinegar with a strong sage flavor. When you are happy with the strength of your herbal blossom vinegar, strain and discard the blossoms.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with your favorite salad and vegetables.
Cooking Tips: Try with other herb blossoms, like chive, garlic and basil. Try using champagne or cider vinegar, too.