We don’t have a vegetable garden at home – only flower gardens. But… we have very gracious neighbors who share extras from their huge garden with us, which is such a nice treat! I especially love their most delicious tomatoes. Plump, and juicy, and… oh! I’m getting sidetracked.
Last year, I made a batch of my flavored sea salt as a return gift to them – it tastes so good on fresh tomatoes! I make a lot of flavored salts, and wouldn’t you know… I can’t find my notes of the things I blended last year for the batch of salt our neighbors loved so much. So I just mixed up a new batch – and now I can’t wait to get the salt to my neighbors! It turned out really good. …And I made notes this time.
I buy fumme de sel sea salt from France. The salt is dried and smoked in vintage chardonnay oak barrels, so it already has a delicious, rich flavor. The fumme de sel is sort of a moist salt and it mixes so well with other spices.
In this latest batch, I mixed in:
- my secret spice (sorry, it really is a secret!)
- dried shallots
- dried onion
- dried garlic
- dried lemon peel
- dried orange peel
- dried chives
- a dash of cayenne pepper (for a bit of a kick)
I usually start with around 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of fumme de sel for each container, and then add the other flavorings to taste. While I don’t measure exactly, I would say I use about 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of flavorings to each container. But it’s always best to go by taste.
I used dried flavorings to mix with the sea salt. It’s very easy to dry fresh ingredients, and fresh always tastes best. You can dry fresh herbs, fruit, and vegetables in the oven or in a dehydrator (I use the oven). You can dry a lot of herbs, fruit, and vegetables at the same time and then store them to be used later. Just place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, spread your herbs, fruits, or vegetables on the sheet and place in a 150-degree oven until dry (usually around 1 to 5 hours, depending on the volume you are drying, and exactly what you are drying). If you prop open the oven door a little, it will help speed up the drying process. Your house will smell amazing during this time! You’ll know when everything is dry when it starts to crumble.
There are several different ways you can turn these dried ingredients into a powder or small flakes – mortar and pestle, food processor, etc. – but I just crumble them with my fingers. When everything is powdered or in small flakes, you can add the flavorings to the sea salt. Make sure to stir everything together gently so you don’t break up the nice flakes of sea salt.
It’s best to store flavored sea salt in an air-tight container. If you let the flavored salt sit for a day or two before using, the flavors will blend so nicely and will really enhance the flavor of the salt.
Flavored salt can be used as a replacement for regular salt in any recipe! And it’s especially good on sliced tomatoes that you get from your friendly neighbors! You may have to decrease the quantity though, as flavored salt packs a lot more flavor than regular salt.
There are so many flavors you can play around with when making flavored salt! Your imagination, and taste buds, are your only limitation. Give it a try!
Time for me to get back to eating my sliced and salted tomatoes….