Easy elderflower vinegar for your salad dressings
Nothing says summer quite like elderflowers. Flowering from late May until early July, the white flowers are said to have immune boosting properties. Make sure that you pick the elderflowers on a warm day when they are in full bloom – and pick from trees away from roadsides with heavy traffic to avoid carbon emissions.
Elderflower vinegar has a slightly liquorice-like flavour which will add an extra dimension to your salad dressings.
Preserving the flavour of the blossoms in this way will ensure a little bit of summer all year round.
Do not be tempted to skip step 1. Elderflowers can harbour many crawly insects so make sure that you liberate them all before immersing the heads in vinegar.
• 20 elderflower heads
• 2 cups (½ litre) raw apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1. Shake the elderflowers to remove any insects. Rinse the elderflowers in cold water.
2. Remove the flowers from their stalks using a pair of scissors. Place the rinsed flowers on a tray covered in kitchen towel, pat dry and inspect for further insects, removing any that you see.
3. In a sterilised kilner jar (mason jar), add the elderflower blossoms and top with your vinegar of choice. Apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegars are great vinegars to choose as they have a milder flavour.
4. Seal the jar well and leave for 2-3 weeks, turning the jar over every few days so as to ensure the flower petals are immersed in the vinegar. In the last week transfer to the fridge or a cool dark place.
5. The longer you leave the flowers to infuse, the stronger the vinegar will become.
6. After 2-3 weeks, strain the vinegar to discard the blossoms and store the vinegar in a sealed bottle in a dark cupboard or the refrigerator. If kept in the refrigerator, it will be good for up to a year.
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