Herb Infused Salts
February, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
Salt… I can’t get enough of this magical element. It would seem that in middle age my blood pressure is getting lower and lower (wait, was that an over share?) and with this lovely fact of life, comes the advice from my doctor to embrace salt. Wise? Who am I to question, because frankly I love salt, and am always looking to curb my salty cravings. It seems quite embarrassing to admit that my love affair with salt has never once left my mind wondering how to dress it up, until now. I have become obsessed with infused salts. Frankly there is nothing quite like having a bowl of infused salts to slather on a chicken before roasting, or to dust your grilled veggies with; not only does it taste amazing, but it is the laziest way to add aroma to any dish. It tastes good and offers a short cut…..Brilliant.
When you browse the internet there are a million recipes and methods for infusing salts. I’ve tried them all, and to be honest, it all comes down to how heavily flavored you want your salt to be. Some will say to gently warm your salt with the herbs or spices before sealing (basic infusing), other will tell you to blitz them together in a food processor (forced infusion and instant flavor), and others will tell you to use whole pieces and fold the ingredients together (pretty, longer infusion for the patient). Once thing remains the same, table salt should be avoided at all cost; not only does it taste bitter, it requires you to use more fresh ingredients than the frequently used Kosher salt. As you guessed, I opted for the simple option of folding my salt and ingredients together, never stopping to warm them or trim them into picture perfect accents. The rule of thumb which ever option you choose is to use 1/4 cup of Kosher Salt with a teaspoon of flavor for a light aromatic accent. Taste as you go if you are blitzing your salts, or warming them.. if, like me, you just tossed them in and hoped for the best, shake it day by day, tasting as you go. Once you get the taste you desire, pull out out the infusion ingredients and get cooking.
There is not stop to how many different kind of salts you can create, once you let your imagination take hold you can be at this for hours. Here are a few of my favorite infusions:
- Chicken Salt: (image shown) Sage, rosemary, thyme and Kosher salt.
- North African Salt: Coriander seeds, saffron, lemon peel and Kosher salt.
- Mexican Salt: Coriander seeds, chile flakes, lime peel, and Kosher salt.