Strawberry Vinegar

There is one thing that makes me crazy at restaurants, and that is non-seasonal menus. It makes me want to go yell at everyone. And I’m not a yelling kind of person. Just ask my kids. Or maybe don’t.

One menu item that infuriates me is a green salad topped with strawberries. In January. And it’s snowing outside.

Why? And where are you getting these strawberries? And what are they costing you? Because they’re certainly not locally harvested in January. Not in the northern hemisphere.

Strawberries are all about spring. Spring. Time. Add roasted butternut squash and warm lentils to your winter salad, maybe with some goat cheese. But save the strawberries for strawberry season.

Speaking of strawberry season, the featured photo is of some of my just-picked strawberries from last year. I especially love the smaller, wild strawberries because of their sweetness and almost perfume-like quality. But you won’t find me putting any of my garden-ripened berries in vinegar or vodka. I like them just picked, warm from the sun, even if there’s still a little dirt on them.

Store-bought berries are good for this vinegar, as long as you can taste them and you know they’re good.

And just as an aside, the sweet strawberry vodka from last spring is my most favorite infused vodka I’ve ever made. Check it out if you’re interested; there’s still time.

I have actually never flavored my own vinegars on their own, I typically add the flavorings when I make vinaigrettes. But in the spring, I decided the layered effect of having a strawberry-infused vinegar used on a salad with strawberries was a must this year.

I bought a quart of good strawberries, gave them a slight rinse, then let them drip dry on a towel. I thought about mashing or even blending the strawberries to a pulp, but since I wanted the resulting vinegar to be clear, I decided to simply slice them.

I placed the slices in a clean bottle with a wide neck, and added no more than 1 teaspoon of white sugar. Then, using a funnel, I poured white balsamic vinegar into the jar. I used 2 – 8.5 ounce bottles for the quart of strawberries.

After giving the closed jar a gentle shake, I placed the jar in my pantry for one week.

Just in case you’re wondering, I chose a white balsamic instead of the traditional dark-brown color. I am a huge fan of balsamic vinegar – the aged and the less aged both. But they are brown. And this is just my personal opinion, but I have never liked the look of, for example, a pasta salad tossed with balsamic vinegar. It’s just not pretty. Since I wanted to use the strawberry vinegar for more than just my one salad in this post, I wanted it pink instead of brown.

If you don’t love the sweetness of a white balsamic vinegar, simply use an apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or a sherry vinegar.

By Published On: May 19th, 201423 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

23 Comments

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller May 19, 2014 at 8:10 AM - Reply

    I totally agree with you. I never buy strawberries in the winter because they never taste good. It’s nice to wait for the proper season for some things.

    • chef mimi May 19, 2014 at 8:35 AM - Reply

      It just goes against everything I believe in!

  2. 13 Spices May 19, 2014 at 8:39 AM - Reply

    This is a great post Mimi. Who’s even in the mood for a salad topped with strawberries in January?? Your strawberries look gorgeous as does the strawberry vinegar. Can’t wait to make this!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2014 at 8:50 AM - Reply

      I know! Let’s just say that there is no exceptional dining where I live. That’s why we travel so much!

  3. mysimpledelights May 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM - Reply

    Oh wow! Looks so good! Cannot wait to try this…along with a list of others I’ve seen! Gorgeous photos Mimi! 🍓🍓🍓

    • chef mimi May 19, 2014 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      It came out even better than I expected!!!

  4. mycookinglifebypatty May 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I so agree with you about eating seasonal foods. This is a simple way to start achieving balance in your diet and these days since we can get anything from anywhere anytime, we lose this almost too easy way of creating health. I am very interested in your strawberry vinegar taste test in one week! Love that you sliced instead of pureed to keep the color light too. I think I’ll grab some white balsamic and start some vinegar too!

    • chef mimi May 22, 2014 at 8:12 AM - Reply

      Agreed. We shouldn’t complain about bad tomatoes when we buy them in the winter!!!

  5. gwynnem May 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM - Reply

    I made a strawberry vinegar sauce a couple of weeks ago, and it was phenomenal. The tartness of the vinegar made the sauce a great topping for vanilla ice cream.

    • chef mimi May 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM - Reply

      Wow! I wouldn’t have thought about an ice cream topping!!!

  6. DellaCucinaPovera May 19, 2014 at 2:16 PM - Reply

    ahh this reminds me of my inner monologue at my work’s canteen. “Why are you adding pickles or mayo to everything, you crazy Dutchies!!” Makes me nuts.

    But this, this I would eat.

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the seasonal stuff!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM - Reply

      It really bothers me!!! It’s just wrong!

  7. Serena May 20, 2014 at 2:59 AM - Reply

    I am definitely going to try this!!!

  8. Conor Bofin May 20, 2014 at 11:53 AM - Reply

    Strawberries are a sign of summer here. Though, the flavourless imports are available almost year round. Good post Mimi.

  9. Our Growing Paynes May 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM - Reply

    I’m with you on the seasonal items. The co-op is offering local organic apples. I can’t quite figure that one out as apples don’t get harvested until autumn! But I’m really glad strawberries are in season. 😊

  10. Choc Chip Uru May 20, 2014 at 5:51 PM - Reply

    I am all for using seasonal fruits, this vinegar looks absolutely beautiful :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • chef mimi May 21, 2014 at 8:24 AM - Reply

      Agreed! This vinegar tasted so natural, not surprisingly!

  11. Bluejellybeans May 22, 2014 at 4:23 AM - Reply

    Sounds delicious! :)

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