Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zesty and Wonderful Basil Vinegar

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...


  1. There is nothing better than herbal vinegar -- I only make tarragon now although I've done many different kinds in the past. It does make great gifts and I love the ones that tint.

  2. Sounds wonderful! I recently used a recipe (not yours) and made tarragon vinegar. It didn't say to strain it when bottling it up and now I have "floaties" at the bottom of the bottle that I'll have to filter out. I want to try making some for gifts and a set of basil and tarragon would be perfect. Thanks for sharing! Karen

  3. Your opal basil vinegar sounds very pretty. I don't have that kind of basil, but I do have some cinnamon basil that a friend shared with me. I know it wouldn't have the pretty pink color but I think it might be a tasty vinegar too. Enjoyed your blog!

  4. I love the flavor of Basil! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I use lemon verbena in cakes and cookies, and of course, it makes great potpouri and I love rubbing my hand over it when I'm in the garden -- pure heaven!



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