Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Raspberry Vinegar and Vinaigrette

                              Homemade Raspberry Vinegar and Vinaigrette

The first time I had raspberry vinaigrette, was nearly 20 years ago, while working for a caterer.
It instantly became one of my favorites. The Chef wouldn't part with his recipe no matter how much I begged.
After trying numerous store bought bottled versions that tasted like imitation raspberries, I decided to try to make my own.
It didn't take much experimenting to come up with a this fresh tasting duplicate, that I have used for many years.
Both the vinegar and vinaigrette are very simple, although you may prefer to add more oil, I like to keep this as light as possible.

Raspberry vinegar:

1small bag of frozen raspberries or 2 cups fresh -very ripe
3 cups white vinegar
a large jar with a lid-I use a gallon pickle jar
A wine bottle to store the finished vinegar

This makes enough to fill a wine bottle.
Add the berries and vinegar to the jar. Place the lid and put it in a dark cool place.
Allow to rest several days- up to 2 weeks.
The vinegar will mellow a bit as it steeps, but you can use a milder vinegar such as rice or white wine vinegar. both are considerably more expensive.
 No need to shake or stir.
Strain and discard the berries. If you press the berries, your vinegar will become cloudy. You will still have a bit of sediment floating in the vinegar, which can be removed by pouring it through a cheesecloth a few times. (I just leave it in) Store it in a cool place. I'm not sure exactly how long a shelf life this has, but I will use a bottle this size in nearly a year.

                            Allow to steep up to 2 weeks. Strain and bottle.

Raspberry Vinaigrette:
This makes enough for 4 servings of salad.
4Tbl. raspberry vinegar
2Tbl. water
2Tbl. salad oil

Place all ingredients in a blender. Mix on high speed for 5 minutes to allow the oil to blend.Serve.
This goes really well with a salad that has fresh tarragon leaves added to it.

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