You don't have to say good bye to the lovely summer flavor of basil! Just make an easy infused basil vinegar (time does most of the work) and you can have the fresh taste of summer all year long!
We are in peak of basil season around here. I love it and grow pots, pots and more pots of it! If you haven't read my post on rooting it and making more basil from a single basil plant, read this - Basil Cuttings in Water.
One of my favorite things to do with basil, besides pesto, is an herb vinegar. At the end of summer, I usually have at least a couple of bottles of basil vinegar in my pantry.
In the middle of winter, I buy cherry tomatoes, dice them (sometimes roast them) and drizzle this vinegar over them. One whiff and it's like your back in the sunny days of summer.
Basil - I use fresh basil from my garden, you can also use store bought basil.
Vinegar - a white wine vinegar or a rice wine vinegar will give a softer flavor, however I have even been known to use plain old white distilled vinegar!
Pour 2 cups vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat.
Place 1/2 cup of basil leaves in a clean jar.
Pour vinegar into jar over the basil leaves.
Put a lid on it and store it (I stored mine on a shelf in my pantry) for about 2 weeks.
Tasting it to make sure it's the desired strength.
When the vinegar tastes as strong as you would like it, pour it through a strainer to remove the leaves.
Pour the vinegar into a bottle with a lid.
Herbed vinegar lasts almost indefinitely, the flavor just fades with age. But it will last you all winter, until you can make some fresh next summer!
You can see from the above photo that I already have started my collection of herbed vinegars. Ready to get me through the winter!
I use the basil vinegar (and all the others) all winter long. I drizzle them on tomatoes, deglaze pans to make pan sauces, marinades and of course vinaigrettes.
More Infused Vinegars:
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- 2 cups vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- Place the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat.
- Place the basil leaves in a clean jar and pour the warm vinegar over them.
- Place a lid on the jar and let it sit in a pantry or dark shelf for about two weeks.
- Taste, when the flavor is to your liking, strain into a lidded bottle.