Basil in Bloom – Making Herb Vinegars

Basil flowers

While I look forward to most flowers in my garden the basil flowers are not my favorites. Basil is an annual and when the plants start to make flowers and eventually seeds the quality  and quantity of the leaves diminishes. It is imperative to keep after the blooms and trim them off as soon as they appear. Trim down to just above where you see smaller leaves or new stems emerging. Before you toss the blossoms into the compost heap they do have another use. Like turning lemons into lemonade you can transform the basil flowers into another culinary purpose. You can use other herb blossoms the same way. I flavor vinegar with chive blossoms, lavender, roses and even lilac blossoms.  You can later use them  in salads, marinades and well, anywhere you use vinegar in cooking.

It’s really simple. Just place clean blossoms into a clean jar. For every cup of blossoms add 2 cups of any vinegar you like. Be sure it is 5% acidity- the bottle will tell you and most vinegars are 5% acidity.  Put on the lid of the jar and store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks- or longer. Once aged enough, strain then filter the vinegar and store in bottles until ready to use. It can be stored at room temp- but colorful vinegars- like chive blossom- will hold their color better when kept cold.

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