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Lots of recipes ask you to “just add salt” to taste, but how about adding some salt that has flavor and seasoning built-in? Making your own herbal salt is very easy to do. It makes use of the copious amounts of fresh herbs you still have in your garden even when you have dried bunches of them, made herbal teas, and filled jars with homemade pesto.
Herbal salt is an excellent way of preserving fresh herbs to be used throughout the year. For herb salts, it is best to stay away from the basic table salt. As with the overuse of any salt, table salt comes with its issues that many people are trying to avoid. It doesn’t have nearly the nutrient content that other salts have, and its structure just doesn’t work so well in these recipes. It is better to opt for the coarser varieties.
You need to be aware and taste your meal before you add herb salt as a finishing salt. You’ll probably be excited to use your new herbal salt, but go easy, and don’t spoil your dinner!
This is a very free and easy process, but there are a few things to consider when making your herbal salt.
Which Salt Should I Use?
Source: Nina Nelson/Flickr
Different salts have different flavors and nutrient contents, so take a minute to pick a type that works for you.
Himalayan Salt– Mined from the Himalayas, this salt is thought to be much healthier than regular salt as it is minimally processed, allowing it to retain its mineral content.
Hawaiian Black Lava Salt– This salt is said to have an earthy flavor and is truly back in color. It works well as a finishing salt rather than a cooking salt.
Which Herbs Should I use?
This part can be left to your imagination, too. Take a look around your herb garden- parsley, dill, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, and the rest. Any of these herbs can be combined with salt to make a perfect preserve. You can make individual herb salts, or you can think about creating some blends.
Sage, Rosemary, Thyme– This is a classic blend ideal for sprinkling on hearty and warming dishes like soups and stews. It would be beautiful on roasted root vegetables.
Basil, Marjoram, Oregano– Try putting this blend on your Italian-inspired pasta creations or pizzas for a traditional flavor.
Mint and Lemon Zest– Imagine this salt on the rim of your margarita glass on a hot summer afternoon.
Cilantro and Oregano– Use this blend on your tacos. Sprinkle a little on your avocado toast, or stir some into your homemade salsa.
How Do I Make Herb Salt?
Finally, now to the fun part. This is so simple. There is no hard-fast rule as to the proportions here, you can go 50/50 on the herbs and salt or maybe opt for a “herbier” blend with 2 parts herbs to one part salt. It is really up to you.
You Will Need:
- a food processor (or you can chop by hand)
- some clean, dry glass jars
- some fresh herbs
- some salt
Then follow these steps:
- Select your fresh herbs. Make sure they are clean and dry and remove any woody stems.
- Put your salt and your herbs into a food processor and work until the herbs and salt are completely combined. If you have a herb with higher water content, like basil or lemon balm, be sure not to go too far and end up with a green paste. You want to keep some of the structure of the salt crystals.
- If you are chopping by hand, be sure you chop as finely as you can and stir the herbs into the salt manually.
- Turn your mixture out onto a baking tray and let it dry out for a few hours. It will likely not completely dry, especially if you have used a ‘wetter’ herb.
- Spoon your herbal salt into a clean, dry mason jar and screw on a lid. You can keep your salt in the refrigerator. Try to shake the jar to help the flavors meld for the first week.
Now you have your herbal salt, bring it out at any meal. You now have salt with extra flavor, bonus vitamins, and minerals, and lit looks incredible, too. This would also make a perfect gift for a foody friend and family member.
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