Earlier in the summer, we were out on a family walk and I spotted some red clover. I know that red clover has lots of health benefits, particularly for women’s health. Therefore, I took the opportunity to forage some blossoms to make an infusion. Don’t worry, we left plenty of blossoms for the bees! Upon looking up the best way to infuse red clover blossoms, I found a recipe for red clover vinegar, and thought that making infused vinegar could be a fun experiment. I’m pleased to share with you my recipe for red clover blossom vinaigrette, which is a light, floral, and subtle salad dressing!
Foraging for Red Clover Blossoms
We foraged for the clover blossoms in the middle of a field, away from any paths frequented by dogs, and far away from road pollution. I looked for blossoms which were just opening, so that the flavour would be fresh and the most perfumed. In case you’re wondering, I collected my red clover blossoms in a spare dog poop bag! I roughly gathered one heaping handful of blossoms, which was enough to make one jar of vinaigrette.
Infusing the Red Clover Blossoms in Vinegar
Once home, I soaked the blossoms in water for an hour to clean out any bugs and dirt. Next, I picked out any stems and brown petals and rinsed the blossoms well in a colander. I only had apple cider and Japanese vinegar in the house. I opted for the Japanese rice wine vinegar, which has a mild flavour and a light colour, so that it wouldn’t take away from the beautiful pink hue of the clover. Next, I packed the blossoms into a clean mason jar (old jam jar) and added a whole bottle of rice wine vinegar (150mL). Finally, I covered the jar with parchment paper and put it in a dark, cool place (the fridge) for a month.
Recipe for Red Clover Blossom Vinaigrette
The red clover blossoms infused for one month in the rice wine vinegar. Once the vinegar was pink and had a floral scent and flavour, I strained the liquid into a measuring glass using a flour sack tea towel (cheesecloth would also work).
To the vinegar infusion, I added 1/3 part extra virgin olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Like all vinaigrette, this dressing separates so it needs to be shaken before use! I like this red clover blossom vinaigrette best with a spinach salad, perhaps with avocado and strawberries.
Medicinal Properties and Therapeutic Benefits of Red Clover
As I mentioned above, red clover is valued for its therapeutic properties in supporting women’s health. It is a common herbal remedy for treating menopause symptoms. Red clover contains isoflavones, which are plant-based chemicals that produce estrogen-like effects in the body. It goes without saying that you should always consult with a health professional before taking any natural remedy for health treatment.
In early modern domestic medicine (as well as in modern traditional medicines) red clover was a common remedy for whopping cough. It was also used to treat cancers, and poultices were used to ease inflammations. The Latin name for Red Clover is Trifolium pratense, and it is also known as Trefoil – for the three leaves.
For other herbal recipes and remedies, see:
- How to Make Dandelion Jam (Cramaillotte)
- Elderberry Syrup Recipe and Folklore
- May Day – Celebrations and Remedies