Strawberry and Basil Vinegar
- 1.25 litres (2 pints) of white wine vinegar
- 1 kilo (2 lbs) of ripe strawberries. (Organic berries have a very good taste!)
- A few small strawberries and a few basil leaves
- You will need sterilised glass bottles or jars
An ideal base for making a flavoursome salad dressing for a healthy Boxing Day meal of cold turkey and salad leaves, strawberry vinegar has a gentle taste and is a lovely festive red in colour. An unusual gift when decanted into interestingly-shaped bottles!
Bring the vinegar to the boil, gently, and keep it at boiling point for approximately two minutes. Leave to cool until 40 degrees C. While the vinegar is cooling, you can remove the hulls from the strawberries. Now finely chop the berries - you can use a food processor for this, but it really is just as easy to simply chop them up with a good kitchen knife! Put all the chopped strawberries into a glass bowl. Pour all the warm (40 C) vinegar over the strawberries, mix well, cover with a cloth and leave to stand in a warm place for two weeks. (You can cut down the time - the flavour will be weaker, but still very pleasant).
Strain the contents of the bow; through a jelly bag - a clean piece of muslin or linen tea-towel will do - pour into the bottles you have already sterilised.
To intensify the flavour, skewer one or two small strawberries and several basil leaves on to a wooden cocktail stick and add one to each bottle.
You can use the vinegar immediately, but the flavour improves over time. Note that you will need to remove the basil leaves after a week or two, but the flavour will remain).