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Herbal Vinegars

When making herbal vinegars, the choice of vinegar is naturally quite important. Apple cider vinegar is preferred for taste, while white wine vinegar is preferred for colour, since it takes on beautiful tints of the herbs (see list below). Ordinary white vinegar is acceptable, but it does not produce the delicate flavours of apple cider or white wine vinegar.

Harvest fresh, well-coloured leaves in the morning after the dew is off. Place the leaves in glass bottles and fill with vinegar (leave a little headspace). Cork or cap and place the bottles in a warm

place where they receive a good supply of daily sunlight. (Ed. Note: Another article suggested the bottles be out of the sun at this stage.) Begin testing for flavour after the first week. If the flavour isn't strong enough, give it about another week. When the flavour suits your palate, strain the herbs out by pouring the herbal vinegar into clean clear or pale green decanters. Long-necked wine bottles look very elegant when serving at the table. Add a sprig of the fresh herb originally used. Store or display in a cool place, out of sunlight.

Some vinegars combinations and tips:

- Tarragon with one or two crushed garlic buds: excellent for salads.

- Chives: gives a subtle taste of onion, the blossoms colour the wine vinegar (lilac colour).

- Dill leaves and seed head: produce a pickle flavoured vinegar.

- Lovage combined a leaf or two with other herbs: produces a taste of celery.

- Basil: traditional green basil offers the best flavour.

Lemon balm: combine with other herbs for a hint of lemon flavouring, blends extremely well with basil and dill.

Borage flowers: can be added to colour vinegars a light blue, works well with dill.

A favorite salad vinegar: a combination of tarragon, lovage, basil, and lemon balm with a crushed garlic bud. Just add oil when using at the table.

Please Note: herbs such as sage, oregano and savory should not be used.

Lamb and Pork Sausage Recipes

(Despite North Americans' apparent concern about their intake offal, sausages are making a big comeback - just check out the many new "gourmet" selections in your local supermarket. One of our members shares his sausage recipes, for sure fire success at your barbecue this summer.)

Recipe #1 Mild Lamb Sausage

10 lb. of ground lamb (or lean mutton)

5 tsp. pickling salt

1 tsp. course ground black pepper

1-2 medium cloves of garlic, minced (add more garlic cloves for stronger flavour)

Recipe #2 Moderately Spicy

Lamb Sausage

8 Ibs. of lean ground lamb (or lean ground mutton) 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper 4 tsp. pickling salt 2 tsp. powdered marjoram 2 tsp. powdered thyme 2 tsp. powdered savory 1-2 tsp. powdered sage (optional)

Recipe #3 Savory Lamb or Pork Sausages or Patties (A real Favorit

- 20 Ibs. of ground lamb or ground pork

6 Tbsp. of pickling salt

1 1/2 on coarsely ground

black pepper

1/4 pint (4 oz.) of summer savory finely chopped

2 medium onions finely chopped

Copyright 1995 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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