Sitting at my desk trying to write this blog post, I can’t help but think of what story to tell you guys about my first experience with tea. My most vivid memory of drinking tea has to date back to when I was 5 years old; My siblings and I had a nanny that would prepare tea and mini cheese wraps for us as a pre-school snack. And even though to some that might sound like an unhealthy option for a 5-year-old, it was the early nineties and I lived in Saudi Arabia for the first few years of my life. We didn’t have black tea straight up though! She used to mix it with a drizzle of condensed milk which is very similar to Vietnamese coffee and just as addictive!
My most vivid memory of drinking tea has to date back to when I was 5 years old; My siblings and I had a nanny that would prepare tea and mini cheese wraps for us as a pre-school snack.
As my taste buds and I grew older and all the wiser, we began to develop quite the love for tea blends, so much so, that some of my friends would bring me tea from their world travels as gifts! Yes their go-to gift ideas for me were always food related but that’s for another blog post!! Fast forward some years, I first came across Shanti Tea when I was baking for a local café in Ottawa, Canada. Immediately, my taste buds and I fell in love with their Creamy Earl Grey and we decided that a raspberry earl grey union must happen in the form of a refreshing sorbet. One thing led to another and I found myself using their tea blends to infuse and flavour so many different desserts! The sky was the limit. Fast forward again to today, I am sitting with a package of different blends that Shanti Tea sent me to experiment with! Which brings me to my first recipe that I developed using one of the samples they sent: Pomegranate Tulsi Vinaigrette.
Their Pomegranate Tulsi is a beautiful blend of Tulsi (Holy Basil), dried orange peel, hibiscus & dried elderberries to name a few of the ingredients. The aroma and flavour remind me of warm summer nights spent back home in my mom’s garden; one of my purest forms of comfort.
The aroma and flavour remind me of warm summer nights spent back home in my mom’s garden; one of my purest forms of comfort.
And now for the fun part! In order to make the vinaigrette, I first had to infuse a vinegar with the tea. I chose white wine vinegar because I knew that this blend, once steeped, will give a beautiful ruby red colour and you don’t want a “colourful” vinegar competing with the tea.
For the infused vinegar:
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. pomegranate tulsi tea
You want to heat the vinegar in a small sauce pot and avoid breathing in the fumes! My husband learnt that the hard way! Once the vinegar is nice and hot, pour it into a mason jar and add your tea blend to it. Allow the tea to steep for a couple of hours before using; You want to extract as much of those flavours as you can.
For the pomegranate tulsi vinaigrette:
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5 tbsps. Infused vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup (do not use honey, it will overpower the flavors)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I mince my garlic by grating it using a microplane)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Even though I made my vinaigrette the old school chef-y way of slow oil drizzle while I whisked till my arm fell off, I will save you that pain all together! Instead, use a blender or one of those mini smoothie blenders. Put all your ingredients in and blend till you notice that the consistency is now thick and creamy. Congratulations, you have successfully emulsified your oil and vinegar!
Now as you all know, you cannot fully taste the powers of an epic vinaigrette unless you drizzle it onto a salad and experience it with different flavour profiles. For this vinaigrette, I chose to pair it with some baby kale, small cucumbers, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried unsweetened cranberries and fried Halloumi. The flavour of the tea came through differently with every bite we took; the best pairing by general consensus (meaning my husband and I) was when we had the vinaigrette with the kale and cranberries! Totally mind blowing!! Needless to say, this vinaigrette will win your tummies!
For more recipes, tips and tricks follow us on Instagram @rebelsinthekitchen and definitely keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts coming soon!!