Shallot, Tarragon & Lemon Vinegar
Stir a little of this shallot-, tarragon- and lemon-infused vinegar and some fresh chopped tarragon into reduced-fat cream cheese and try it as a spread for crackers. Top with a piece of smoked salmon for an instant appetizer. Or combine the vinegar with a little olive oil, low-fat mayonnaise and chopped celery and use as a dressing for tuna salad. The recipe makes enough vinegar so you’ll have enough extra to decant into a decorative bottle or two to give away as a simple homemade gift.
Yield: 6 cups
Active Time: 40
Total Time: 40
- 6 cups cider vinegar
- 3 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 6 strips of zest from 2 lemons (see Tip)
- 12 sprigs fresh tarragon
- Additional fresh herbs for decoration (optional)
- Wash 3 pint-size (2-cup) heatproof glass canning jars (or similar containers) and their lids with hot soapy water. Rinse well with hot water. Fill a large, deep pot (such as a water bath canner) about half full with water. Place the jars upright into the pot; add enough additional water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil; boil jars for 10 minutes. Add the lids to the pot, and then remove the pot from the heat. Let the jars and lids stay in the hot water as you prepare the flavoring and vinegar. (Keeping the jars warm minimizes breakage when filling with hot liquid.)
- Thoroughly rinse herbs and zest with water and pat dry with a clean towel. Remove the jars from the water bath with a jar lifter or tongs. Divide shallots, zest and tarragon among the jars. Heat vinegar in a large saucepan to a bare simmer (at least 190°F). Carefully divide the vinegar among the prepared jars, leaving at least 1/4-inch of space between the top of the jar and the vinegar. Remove lids from the water bath, dry with a clean towel and screw tightly onto the jars.
- Store the jars in a cool, dark place, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain vinegar through cheesecloth into another container. Repeat as needed until all the sediment is removed and the vinegar is clear. Discard all solids and pour the strained vinegar back into rinsed jars or divide among sterilized decorative bottles. Decorate with a few well-rinsed fresh sprigs of tarragon, strips of zest and/or quartered shallots, if desired
Tips & Notes
- Tip: To remove citrus zest: Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of the outer skin (zest), leaving the bitter white pith behind.