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Categories: Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Aromatic Vinegar

Aromatic Vinegar
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Before Terry, I had an unbreakable rule about cooking with wine vinegar. Prefer lemon. Then a former colleague from the London Independent, a crime correspondent named Terry Kirby, set two tightly sealed jam jars on my desk. One contained a ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes, plus 3 hours standing | Makes 2 cups
Note: From "The French Menu Cookbook" by Richard Olney. Leftover mixed herbs would go nicely in an omelet or vinaigrette.


  • 1 quart good wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Mixed herbs
  • A few sage leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole coriander

Step 1Reduce the vinegar by half over high heat (the fumes are choking--close the kitchen door and open a window), about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove it from the heat and add the garlic, bay leaf, Mixed Herbs, sage, cloves and coriander. Leave it covered for several hours or overnight. Place a cloth or several pieces of cheesecloth over a funnel and strain the vinegar into a bottle.

Step 2Makes 2 cups

Mixed herbs

  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh savory
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely crumbled fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf, finely crumbled

Step 1Cultivated marjoram may, by all means, be added and, if one likes, a couple of leaves each of sage and dried mint, crumbled finely.

Step 2Combine the savory, thyme, oregano, rosemary and bay leaf. Store in a small, tightly closed jar.

Step 3Makes about 5 tablespoons.

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