Spring is here. The flowers are blooming, the squirrels are chasing each other around, and I am sneezing like crazy! Spring is indeed here.
Now that the bout of stomach flu my dear daughter brought home from her preschool has made it through the household, I can get back to developing recipes and cooking. Although I will admit that having that flu sure helped me when I weighed in at my Weight Watchers meeting! Hey, I’ll take a weight loss however I get it!
I recently had the opportunity to try a new vinegar, and it blew me away. It is a chile spiked, lemon and orange peel infused, honey kissed burst of flavor! (how’s that for hyperbole?) Fire Roasted Chili Honey Vinegar is from Honey Ridge Farms, a family owned company that produces a variety of honey products. When I try something for the first time I like to taste it by itself, with no distractions. I poured a teaspoon full and sipped. Wow! Slightly sweet, quickly followed by a mouth puckering sourness, and then heat. Not too much heat, but enough to know this was chili spiked vinegar.
Fresh, ripe tomatoes immediately sprang to mind. This was a vinegar that only needed to be splashed on an ingredient to bring out its best. I don’t usually like tomatoes until they are in season locally, but Trader Joe’s had these beautiful Kumato brown tomatoes from Mexico. Yes I know, carbon footprint. . . Anyway, I brought them home to try.
I was thinking of a simple salad of tomatoes, maybe with a few herbs. I called my friend Holland to see if I could drop by her wonderful organic backyard garden, and grab some Italian parsley. Once there, I saw she had a riot of colorful lettuces and herbs. I couldn’t just take parsley, because she actually wouldn’t let me leave without taking more! So I loaded up on romaine lettuce, green leaf and red leaf lettuce, arugula, shiso and of course parsley. Forget simple tomato salad, now I REALLY had a salad!
This vinegar will taste good on any kind of greens. In fact, next time I make collard greens, I will splash this vinegar on while I eat some. I usually like the juice from a jar of pickled peppers, but this would work just as well if not better to give the greens a nice tart, peppery boost.
I dressed the salad with a simple mixture of the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I used 1/3 cup of vinegar to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, but adjust it to your taste. Give it a quick whisk and pour. You do not need either salt or pepper, as the vinegar is already so full of flavor anything else wouldn’t even be noticed.
Now for the GIVEAWAY! If you would like to try this vinegar I will giving away a few bottles! Just leave me a comment stating what you would do the vinegar, or a favorite dish you like with vinegar. I will choose the winners using Random.org!