Garden bliss in a bottle
When spring begins to bloom around our restaurant, many of our dishes also take on a different flavour. Young herbs and blossom add a cheerful freshness befitting the season. In order to keep this spring vibe alive for as long as possible, it’s important to develop preservation strategies. One such strategy is to extract the wonderful floral aromas from an assortment of colourful flowers. This is easily achieved with vinegar, which makes for a suitable preservative and can take on almost any flavour. Taking a stroll through the garden in the evening and picking a few handfuls of blossom from the lavender sprigs, rose bushes or elderberry bushes is a beautiful ritual. Using the blossom to make a fragrant, sour seasoning is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen.
And here’s how: Sterilize the preserving jars (1.5 l capacity), ideally in the steam cooker. Divide 3 large handfuls of blossom (rose, lavender or elderberry) between the jars and fill with 1.5 l of high-quality cider vinegar.
Leave the jars to stand in a light place for four weeks, upending them on a regular basis. Then pass through a fine sieve and pour the vinegar into sterilized bottles. Store in a cool place. Vinegar flavoured in this way makes a great alternative to conventional vinegar. The delicate floral aroma is perfect for salad dressings or for seasoning sauces. Instead of blossom, you can also use herbs. Depending on what time of year you gather the blossom or herbs, the flavour of the vinegar will either be mild and springlike or will display an intense, slightly dry note reminiscent of a sunny summer’s day.