Do you like to cook or do you know someone who does? Fresh herbs add wonderful flavor to any dish and when you pair them with salt – it is a match made in heaven. When added to dishes with chicken, pork and beef or added to soups or roasted vegetables – herb salts take your favorite dish to another level.
Herb salts or gourmet salts have become very popular in the culinary community and are created from different combinations of herbs blended together with kosher salt, which helps to preserve the vibrant flavors of the herbs. The resulting herb salt can be added to your favorite recipes. What is even better is that herb salts are easy to make yourself and can be very inexpensive if you have herbs growing in your garden.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how to make basil salt and as promised, today I will show you how to make a couple of other types of herb or gourmet salts.
For this post, I decided to make an herb salt using some of my favorite herbs – rosemary, sage and thyme, which I harvested from my garden. I grabbed a head of garlic (also from my garden) and a box of kosher salt.
The equipment needed to make your own herb salts are a cutting board, sharp knife, food processor, baking sheet and a glass jar with a lid.
1. You will need a total of 2 cups of herbs, 5 cloves of peeled garlic and 1/2 cup of kosher salt.
2. Tear the leaves of your herbs, getting rid of the stems and then give them a rough chop and set aside. The herbs can be in any ratio you like, but I used a 2/3 cup rosemary, 2/3 cup sage and 2/3 cup thyme – this is where you can increase or decrease your favorite herb to your taste. For example, if you aren’t crazy about rosemary, then use less, etc.
3. Add 5 peeled garlic cloves to the kosher salt and chop finely with a knife.
4. Combine the chopped herbs with the garlic salt and finely chop. When you reach this step, your entire kitchen will smell just wonderful! You can use the herb salt right away at this stage to flavor a roast, vegetables, etc., if desired.
**Some people enjoy using a knife and chopping the herbs, garlic and salt together in steps 3 & 4, but you can use a food processor and add the herbs, salt and garlic all at once and puree them together for 30 seconds, if desired.
5. Place your herb salt mixture on a baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven for a total of 30 minutes. This will help to dry out the herbs. You can always allow them to air dry over a few days instead of putting them into the oven.
6. Put your dried herb salt mixture into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Alternatively, you can put the mixture into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush it into smaller pieces.
7. Put your gourmet herb salt into a glass container with a tightly closed lid. Keep it where you keep your other spices in a dark, dry place. The flavor of your herb salt will begin to fade after 6 months and should be used up within a year for best flavor.
Your herb salt is now ready for you to use to flavor your favorite dish either during the cooking process or afterward in place of salt. I like to use it for beef or pork roasts and it makes roasted vegetables taste wonderful! The flavor of your herb salt will begin to fade after 6 months and should be used up within a year for best flavor.
There are countless herb salt blends that you can make, which can be tailored to your individual taste and what you have growing in your vegetable garden. Here are a few other combinations that you may want to try, following the steps outlined above.
Rosemary Sage Herb Salt – add 1 cup each of rosemary and sage, 1/2 cup of kosher salt and 4 cloves peeled garlic cloves. (This type of herb salt is very popular in Northern Italy in the Tuscan region.)
Garlic Herb Salt – 1/4 cup each of parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme with 1/2 cup kosher salt an 6 cloves peeled garlic.
Lemon Herb Salt – 1/4 cup each of rosemary and thyme, 1/8 cup kosher salt and zest from 1 lemon.
Creating herbs salts is easy to do and relatively inexpensive if you have herbs growing in your garden – you can also buy herbs straight from the grocery store or your local farmers market. Herb salt makes a great diy vegetable garden gift. I hope you are inspired to try creating an herb salt and enjoy the process of experimenting with different herbs to make your own, unique herb salt combination.
For growing guidelines for herbs in your own garden, check out the “Top 10 Herbs To Grow”.