Create Herbal Oils and Dressings

Many herb gardeners often discover themselves with many more herbs than they know what to do with throughout the growing season. Sometimes this happens because it was the first time herbs were planted, and the gardener didn’t realize just how quickly and prolifically herbs can grow. Other times though, experienced gardeners simply can’t resist adding new plants to their gardens, so they too find themselves with many more herbs than they can actually use.

There are many things which can be done with the extra herbs you’re growing, though, and one of the easiest and most popular is to simply make flavored oils and salad dressings from them. You can then store these away in your own pantry for use throughout the year, or you can give them away to friends and family for holiday gifts too.

Herbal flavored vinegar is one of the easiest things to make from your home grown herbs, and these can be used for salad dressings, mixed into mayonnaise or butter to create different flavors, and used in sauces and on all kinds of different appetizers. Herbal vinegars can even be spread on bread themselves, to create a different taste than just putting plain butter or margarine on the bread.

Some herbs need to be dried before you make flavored oils or dressings with them, and others can be used fresh. You can dry herbs by putting them into a brown paper bag, and hanging them upside down in a cool, dark place such as your pantry. You can also just use a food dehydrator too.

To use fresh herbs for flavored vinegar, just wash them and then dry them well with a paper towel. Chop or crush them up a bit, then put them into sterilized jars or bottles. Fill your jars or bottles about one third full with your fresh herbs.

Boil either regular or apple cider vinegar on the stove, then pour that into your bottles and jars carefully. Fill the jar to within a finger’s width or so of the top, then set it aside to cool. Once it’s cooled some, then seal your jars and bottles tightly, and sit them in the refrigerator.

You’ll leave these jars in the fridge for at least one to two weeks so the herbs have time to fully release all their flavor. After that you can strain the herbs out so that your flavored vinegar will last longer. Keep the final results refrigerated and use for whatever you’d like. The newly flavored vinegar should last several months… unless of course you use it all up before then!

Leave a Reply