29 March 2012

Wild Violet Vinegar

 Spring has come extremely early to Michigan this year.  Nearly 3 weeks of 65+ degree temperatures have given us blossoms, lush green grass, BUGS and many smiling faces! 

Over the course of a few years, I've come across several recipes for wild violet vinegar, sugared violet blossoms, violet liquor and more.  It seems like I usually find the recipes in September though and have never made anything with violets.   We have an abundance of wild violets under a large stand of pine trees that were just begging to be made into something delicious!  I spent a most enjoyable 20 minutes sitting on the dry pine needles, a tiny breeze scented with pine, earth and violet.  Surrounded by violet blossoms, pine cones, tiny feathers and our orange cat,Otto, I experienced a calm that's been absent for a while now.

I filled up a shallow dish with flowers, dug through the pantry to find a couple bottles of rice vinegar and a glass container with a lid.  I rinsed the violets in a colander and laid them out on kitchen towels to dry.  Once they had dried I used about 2 cups of blooms to 24 ounces of vinegar and put the cap on the container.  (My container has a metal top, which is a no-no with vinegar.  However, there was no chance the vinegar would come into contact with the metal, so I used it anyway.)


I placed the vinegar in a dark pantry for a few days and just brought it out to find the most exquisite pink color and floral notes to the aroma!  I'm planning to let mine rest a few more days before I strain and bottle it.  (2 weeks total infusing time)

I will strain the vinegar using cheesecloth as it really catches little no-see-ums the best.  I will sterilize my jars in boiling water for a few minutes and recycle some wine corks for stoppers.  A cute-sy vintage tag will complete my presentation and we will be feasting on a unique vinaigrette dressed salad in another week!  I made enough for us to use throughout the spring with fresh salad greens.

I think this would make a lovely Mother's Day gift tied with a beautiful length of ribbon!

I am also planning on making violet jelly and a sweet violet liquor (this excites me on SO many levels) to share with my April Preserving Class at The Boulevard Market!  I'll let you know how they turn out!

I would love other recipes for violets if you've got them!  Happy Spring!   

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