The storm on Tuesday knocked over many plants in the garden. My tall sunflowers came crashing down on the Opal Basil. So I am "forced" to trim the Basil. The good news is that now I am going to make Opal Basil Vinegar. This is one of my favorite harvesting tasks.
It is so easy to make this wonderful delight. I harvest some stems and leaves of Opal Basil. I rinse them and let them dry. Then I put a gallon of white vinegar in a pot and bring it to a boil. I do not let it boil! In the same container the vinegar was in, I stuff( don't you like the technical aspect of this recipe) opal basil leaves in the container and then pour the hot vinegar back into the jug. It is so cool..the vinegar turns this amazing reddish/pink color instantly.
I let the vinegar seep and then strain it and put it into decorative jars. I will sometimes leave it in the jugs for several months. It is amazing!! I do put a fresh sprig of basil ( with a blossom) in the decorative jar for an added decorative touch.
When we first moved to Shelbyville, I was busy making this vinegar and I had some plumbing issues so the local appliance center was there to fix it. I had about 10 jugs of vinegar and basil on the counter. I could tell there where some questions...finally the worker turned to me and said "Ma'm(we are in the south) is that wine you are making"? I guess the beautiful rose color fooled them!
Here is my favorite Recipe to use up my wonderful Opal Basil Vinegar. Enjoy!
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch broccoli
2 stalks celery diced
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1tsp dry mustard
1 onion finely diced
1/2 cup Opal Basil Vinegar
1 1/4 cup salad oil
Break cauliflower and broccoli into bite sized pieces. Add celery
Mix sugar, poppy seed, salt, mustard, and onion vinegar and onion and add to the vegetables. Refrigerate for at least three hours.
Stand back and wait for the love...