Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Purple Basil Vinegar

The inspiration for today's post comes from my mother, Lynda. For several years my mom has been making purple basil vinegar, and the stuff is amazing.

Although it might not feel like it outside, summer is drawing to a close. If you would like to capture summer and enjoy it all year long, consider making yourself some purple basil vinegar! You'll be able to enjoy the vinegar in so many ways. It taste great mixed with olive oil and drizzled on tomatoes and cucumbers. You can drizzle the basil vinegar and some oil on sandwiches for extra flavor. The basil vinegar can be used for an incredible vinaigrette for salads. Yum!
If you do not have any purple basil, you can look for some at your local farmer's market.
Or, purchase purple basil plants or seeds at a garden center so you can grow it next year!

Recipe for Purple Basil Vinegar
A lot of purple basil (stems and all)
A large glass jar that has a lid (don't use metal)
Bottles of seasoned rice vinegar (save vinegar bottles and lids)
A large pitcher
A funnel
A wooden spoon

The amount of basil and vinegar you use will depend on the size of jar you pick. You want to have enough basil to be loosely packed full in the jar; and enough vinegar to cover the basil.

Wash the basil vinegar and shake off the water. Let the basil rest on a towel for a few minutes. Lightly crush the purple basil leaves to release their scent. Loosely pack the basil leaves into the glass jar. Pour the vinegar into the jar so that the basil leaves are fully covered. Tightly cover the jar, and let it sit out for 2 - 3 weeks.

Once the vinegar has set for ample time, prepare the vinegar bottles for use. Soak the vinegar bottles in a sink full of water for several hours, until the labels come off. Then run the bottles through the dishwasher. 

Strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve into a large pitcher. To get as much flavor as possible from the basil, press down on the basil with a wooden spoon and allow juices to seep into the pitcher. Use a funnel and pour the vinegar from the pitcher into the clean glass bottles.

Store vinegar at room temperature. Can be enjoyed all year long.
Purple Basil Vinegar in bottles.

Recipe Source: Lynda 

NOTE: For a basil vinaigrette, mix together basil vinegar, olive oil, and 1/2 package of Good Seasons salad dressing mix. For amounts, follow the directions on the Good Seasonings package.