Can Jam – In the Herb of Time – Infused Vinegar

Time for a brief break from the hot stuff series this week – the year-long can jam continues and this is the week our posts are due.
This month’s mystery ingredient was herbs. We also were served up with a whole basket of `not enough time` so we had to make a small, practical batch of something. I actually enjoy the challenge of constraints like this – some of our best preserves have been the simplest and a 3-day jelly experience doesn`t guarantee culinary success (at least for me).

There isn`t an abundant of fresh local herbs around these parts right now so we had to create a small batch.

I bought 1 bunch each of thyme, rosemary and chives.

Can Jam   In the Herb of Time   Infused Vinegar Herbs Herb

We cut them up nice and pretty and placed each in a 1-cup (250 millilitres) mason jar.

Can Jam   In the Herb of Time   Infused Vinegar Herbs Herb
We covered the rosemary with cold apple cider vinegar and covered the other two with cold white wine vinegar. We then put them on the shelf (where they currently sit) and they are in the middle of a 30-day infusion process. After 30 days they can be strained (new herbs added if desired; we won`t) and stored like this for four months or, in our case, treated to a hot water bath and shelved for up to a year.

These 3 vinegars will be the basis for summer salad dressings, added to marinades and sandwiches. Quick `pickles` can be made by dipping or soaking cut garden cucumbers in a vinegar bath for 15-30 minutes.

Preserving can be done in small amounts and does not need to be an involved process. It can be as simple as this – a small amount of effort followed by patience will yield amazing results that you can`t buy anywhere. The jars are a little expensive this time of year – about $4 per but it`s tremendously scalable and easy to do.
The ratio of herbs to liquid is about 10% of packed herbs to vinegar. White wine and cider are best for this.

Now for the biggest tip of all with infused vinegar (and infusions in general): a lot of recipes call for you to mix all the ingredients together and infuse them all at the same time. Phooey. We`ll start tasting the bottles around day 25. One my finish 3 or 4 days before another (it`s a matter of preference). By keeping the flavors separate we can choose when to combine (or not to) – if you infused these together, you`d have no option. A bit of chive and wine vinegar may compliment white fish (a la pickled herring) but rosemary will surely overpower.

Comments

  1. Nice! I love the small-batch preserving that just sort of happens while you are prepping dinner: the bulb ends of ramps, tossed into the vinegar for fridge pickles while you saute the greens; half a bunch of basil, blanched in the pasta water and frozen while you’re serving up the other half with olive oil & parmesan; tag ends of ab out-to-go-off bottles of milk and cream turned into tiny batches of fresh ricotta and tucked into the freezer. These things always make me feel much more resourceful than a huge preserving project.

    I’m out of all of my herb-infused vinegars from last summer; time to start thinking tiny-batch vinegar!

  2. I made a batch of lavender-thyme vinegar, not for eating, but for cleaning. Works great and smells yummy, too! Guess I should trying spraying it on my salad next time. ;)
    I did make a batch of firecracker carrots this afternoon for the first time.

    • awesome stuff Kimberly – and brilliance re infusion for cleaning. I’ve never thought of that and this is definately on our list of to-do’s – we also do a lot of cleaning with vinegar and this could be a real game changer in the house. I really think it’s a brilliant idea. :)

  3. wondering how long to water bath the vinegars, can’t find info in other resources and would love to be able to keep it longer and not always in the fridge until ready to use!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Well Preserved made me jealous with Herb Infused vinegar(s). 3 batches- thyme, rosemary and chives.  I wanted to do this!  And now I will!  I was wondering…then wasn’t sure if it would “count” for canning or if hot water processing would alter the taste etc.  Can’t wait to have batches of various vinegars to concoct summer salads.   I have images of a basement room full of more vinegars (plus oils and liqueurs) like we experienced in a Vom Fass in London (@ Harrods) a few years ago.  A sip of this. A sip of that.  Needless to say we left with armfuls of glass jars filled to the brim with our ‘finds.’ [...]

  2. [...] Whatever the case, I highly reccomend you playing with infusion (for a non-alcoholic version, check out our article on raspberries which includes describing how to create raspberry-infused vinegar or how to make herb-infused vinegar). [...]

  3. [...] to do something easy that will take 10-20 minutes of work.  You don’t even have to seal an infused vinegar or infused vodka (you can use things like hot peppers or pears and apples.  Here are some tricks [...]

  4. [...] Herb-Infused vinegar can be an easy winter addition to any larder. [...]

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