Makes 3 to 4 half-pints
Use just one herb or a combination. Don’t forget to consider herb flowers, such as roses and lavender, and root herbs, such as ginger and horseradish.
• 1 to 2 cups chopped herb leaves, flowers, or roots (depending on the intensity of the herb and the desired flavor), or 1/3 cup dried herbs
• 3 cups water, wine, sherry, or port
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 4 cups sugar
• 1 3/4-ounce package powdered regular pectin
1. Place the herbs in a bowl. Bring the water or wine to a boil in a nonreactive pan over medium-high heat and pour over the herbs. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and measure the liquid, adding water, if necessary, to make 3 cups.
2. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath. Pour the herb liquid back into the nonreactive pan. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Place over high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Stir in the pectin and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture once again reaches a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Cook 1 minute longer. Turn off the heat and skim the foam from the surface of the mixture.
3. Ladle the hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a boil, process for 5 minutes. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.
(Adapted from Herbal Vinegar.)
Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include Recipes from an American Herb Garden (New York: Macmillan, 1993) and Herbal Vinegar (Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.
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Canning and Preserving Herbs: 13 Recipes