One of the simplest recipes for using herbs is this 19th-century hint for making flavored vinegar: Pour plain vinegar over herbs in a bottle and let it sit for a month or so. What could be easier?
See more about homemade vinegars in our “Great Gifts from the Kitchen” article.
- Place herbs in a clean quart jar.
- Heat vinegar just to the boiling point.
- Pour heated vinegar over the herbs, filling the jar to the top.
- Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least three weeks for the fullest flavor. Strain the vinegar into 2 pint bottles and add a fresh sprig of the herb. (Use decorative bottles if you're planning to give these as gifts.)
You can use a single herb in plain white vinegar, or try a medley of herbs in other vinegars. Here are a few suggestions to get you started, but feel free to experiment and invent your own blends:
—white vinegar with tarragon leaves, basil leaves, and peeled shallots
—sherry vinegar with fresh rosemary leaves, minced horseradish, or chopped dried chilies
—red wine vinegar with sage, parsley, and shallots
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