Chive blossom vinegar is not just any old flavoured vinegar.
Take a look at this vibrant colour…
Chive blossom vinegar is a flavoured vinegar with a chive/onion flavour that goes well with everything you might dare to put it on. And it’s beautiful to boot! I hoard it through the winter as if it were worth a million dollars. To me, it is.
I first discovered the idea of making homemade chive blossom vinegar last year and with multiple garden beds full of chives, I couldn’t imagine anything better to make with my garden bounty. And am I ever glad I did! Truth be told, the only thing I regretted was making only one batch. Don’t make the same mistake!
This flavoured vinegar is super simple to make: you will need a few dozen fresh chive blossoms and a good quality vinegar. I like champagne vinegar best but if you can’t find it, a good quality white wine vinegar will also do. I would not use plain white distilled vinegar; save that for cleaning and disinfecting your kitchen counters.
You’ll be blown away by how incredibly complex the flavour of chive blossom vinegar is, and by contrast, how easy it is to make. Simply fill a sterilized mason or other jar with as many chive blossoms as you can spare and add enough of your chosen vinegar to completely submerge the blossoms. They should be fully saturated. The vinegar will likely start turning pink immediately, which is fun!
I like to set my jar (jars? you did make up more than one, didn’t you?) in the sun for a few hours (usually at least 3) to really infuse the flavour. Bring the jars inside, let cool and you can either use the vinegar right after straining or let it steep further.
I usually let it steep longer, at least a week, in the fridge to really shore up that delicate chive taste. It should smell like chives when you take the lid off. Strain everything with a very fine mesh strainer to capture any stray bits from disintegrated blossoms or loose dirt. Decant into a pretty bottle and eat up! I store mine in the fridge, which the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences seems to support.
You can use this on salads—every kind. Just mix with 2-3 parts olive or other oil to make a superb salad dressing. It’s mellow flavour adds a je ne sais quoi to everything it touches. It can turn a basic homemade mayonnaise into something to write home about, a zippiness to bean spreads, hummus and sauces of all kinds, and even add some unexpected attitude to grilled vegetables.
Try it and if you’re feeling exceptionally generous, you can also give some away.
Life is a plate… eat up!
Have you ever made a flavoured vinegar? What was your favourite way to use it?