“What’s a must-have in your kitchen?” a student asked me point blank last Friday night in class. “It depends upon the season,” I explained while also avoiding the question. An artful dodge but upon further reflection, it was true. Take vinegars, for example. The vinegars I keep in stock change from season to season. In the winter I focus on the balsamic; in spring I lighten up with apple cider, white wine, or rice vinegar. These vinegars are mild in flavor yet tangy enough to hold up to spring's pungent flavors like ginger, or spicy peppers come summer.
A few notes on each of my spring/summer favorites.
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar brings out the sweetness of melon and berries and a dash in the salsa gives it a nice punch. It's a nice way to lighten up bruschetta, too.
Found mostly in Asian cooking in salads and stir-fry recipes, you can also use at the end of sauté of greens. Its gentle flavor mildly influences the dish without overwhelming.
Made from apple cider, this vinegar adds a tart and subtle fruity flavor to cooking but can also be added to salads, dressings, and marinades. It's all the rage these days as many health benefits are being found by adding apple cider vinegar to your diet. Learn more at Apple Cider Vinegar and Health.
Try out these vinegars this spring & summer and let us your favorite vinegar!