This Sunday is Mother’s Day- a time to honor and pay homage to the amazing women that brought each of us into the world. This Mother’s Day let us not forget the other mother that gives us so much- the one that heightens and brightens the flavor of foods, adding a touch of acidity to really balance a dish. Of course I am taking about the mother like no other, the vinegar mother.
A vinegar “mother” is the culture starter that begets vinegar from wine or cider. It is a cloudy, slimy, quite unsightly substance that you may have noticed at the bottom of some of your vinegar bottles before.
Making homemade wine vinegar is easy to make and a great way to use up any leftover wine you might have. To make the vinegar: combine the vinegar mother, 16 ounces of wine and 8 ounces of water in a clean 1-gallon vessel. Cover opening with cheesecloth and place in a warm area for about 3-6 months. Additional wine and water can be added (in the same proportion) to continue making more vinegar.
My resulting red wine vinegar batch turned out terrific and I used some of it in the recipe below. Of course you can use store-bought red wine vinegar instead to make this dish.
Tossed Salad with Feta, Roasted Red Peppers & Toasted Walnuts in a Homemade Vinegar Dressing
To make the dressing: mix together 2 Tbsp. each red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Combine: 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers, ½ cup toasted walnuts, ¾ cup feta cheese, and lettuce; toss to combine, season with pepper to taste