Herb infused oils and vinegars are a wonderful way of using the bounty from your food garden to create very personal and individual gifts.
From simple flavours to elaborate blends, these light (on calories), easy-to use products are revolutionizing menus. They are not for cooking but for flavouring: bread-dipping for a first course, mixing with other ingredients, or adding a sizzling finish to hot cooked items.
- Herb infused oils can be used in marinades, salad dressings or for the initial sauté in a stir-fry – in fact for any dish that requires ordinary oil.
- Herbal vinegars can be used in dressings, mayonnaise, marinades, stews, soups and stews, and for deglazing.
- When making herbal oils and vinegars as gifts attach a little card that details the significance of the herb as well as ways of using it?
- Robust herbs such as rosemary, tarragon and thyme work best. But almost any herb can be used.
- Basil Dark Opal is particularly suitable for herbal vinegar because the purple leaves impart a wonderful colour to the vinegar.
- Use mild flavoured oil. This can be olive oil, canola oil or sunflower oil.
- Use a good quality natural grape, wine or apple cider vinegar.
- Do not use chemically produced vinegar because it overpowers the herbs.
- Keep your infused oils in the refrigerator and use them within a month.
- Keep herbal vinegar in a cool, dark place and use them within three months.