Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Chervil or Other Herb Vinegar

Oh look, more chervil! This really will be the last though; it's either pulled out or going to seed at this point.

You could use other herbs for flavoured vinegar too. I keep meaning to try it with chive blossoms, which I'm told make a nice pink vinegar. This one was pink too - you see some occasional red leaves on the chervil plants, but I was surprised that my vinegar turned pink as all the ones I used were green.

Tarragon is another herb suggested for flavouring vinegar, as are rosemary, basil, thyme, or mint.

I recommend using plain white vinegar for flavouring. When I first tried making flavoured vinegars I invested in pricey fancy wine and other vinegars. I expected them to add subtlety and richness to the flavour, but in fact I thought they just tasted muddy. Too much going on, flavourwise, especially if you then plan to blend your vinegar into a salad dressing.

2 cups (2 125 ml jars)
2 weeks - 20 minutes prep time

the infused vinegar waiting to be strained

The infused vinegar waiting to be strained, above. The chervil really shrinks down, so don't be shy about packing it into the jar. Below is the finished vinegar.

the finished vinegar

4 cups lightly packed chervil leaves
2 cups plain white distilled vinegar

Wash the chervil very well, and cut off and discard the roots and any damaged or discoloured leaves. Wash again and drain well - it should be quite dry. Pack into a clean 1 litre/quart jar; fill the jar, in other words.

Pour the vinegar over the prepared chervil. Cap loosely (finger tight) and set aside in a dark spot for 2 weeks.

Before straining and bottling the vinegar, run through the dishwasher: the jar(s) into which you are going to put the strained vinegar, the lid(s) thereto, the strainer, a canning funnel (or other funnel that will allow you to transfer the vinegar to your jar), and a broad spoon possibly slotted.

Using these utensils, strain the vinegar into the jar(s). Use the spoon to press the chervil leaves and extract as much vinegar as possible. Cap them with the lid(s). Keep the vinegar in a cool, dark place; given the relatively small quantity I made I'm keeping mine in the fridge.

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