I wrote a post on violet vinegar a few weeks ago for Eat Local, but I’m stealing it for tonight since I had planned to write a blog post but ended up at the garden a lot longer than I had planned. So, if you found me from Eat Local, I apologize for what basically amounts to a cross post.
Last year, I came across this blog post at Beekman1802.com. I loved it; I thought it was gorgeous and I really wanted to make some for myself. However, it was later in the summer and I couldn’t find violets anywhere. K tells me violets grow all summer, but I’m not even seeing them anymore nowadays. They seem to get quickly overshadowed by the big summer flowers.
So this Spring, I was prepared. I wanted to make some violet vinegar. I quickly sought out the only place where I new I could get chemical free violets – my community garden! The only problem I realized later – half the violets there are white! I couldn’t find enough violet violets, so I ended up mixing those in there.
I rinsed the violets well and picked off any stems or loose debris I could find. Then I loosely packed a small canning jar (half-pint for me, 8oz) with all the violets I had.
Once that was done, I poured rice vinegar in the jar, over the violets, to the brim. I read elsewhere you can use cider vinegar, but it changes the color slightly. I sealed up the jar, placed it in a sunny window, and left to steep for a week, turning over daily to make sure the violets got mixed in there well.
Such a pretty color! After a week, I filtered out the vinegar and threw the used violets into a salad for lunch! Yum, and a great source of vitamin C! Due to the mixture of purple and white violets I had, the color of mine didn’t come out very deep, and faded to a crystal pink – but it’s still very pretty! I think this would make a great hostess gift or housewarming present.
There’s also so many other things you can do with violets, from making violet jelly to candied violets! Even a violet simple syrup to make a refreshing spring or summer beverage! If I find them again this summer (or definitely next Spring) I will be trying my hand at another violet-inspired edible.