Finishing salts are traditionally added after the food is cooked, just before it’s served. There are various types of sea salts to choose for a finishing salt.
Adding herbs brings more flavor and interest to the idea of a finishing salt. These salts can be used for more than just a finishing touch- try them in marinades, in dry rubs for meat, dressings and more.
The Herbal Salt blends are so easy to make, you can have an assortment at hand for any dish.
Himalayan Pink Salt is mined from ancient marine fossil deposits. The pink color comes from the high mineral content and trace elements contained in the salt.
Smoked Sea Salt is just what it sounds like. It is sea salt that has been slow smoked over coals made from various types of wood. It makes a nice addition to a BBQ blend.
Red Alaea Sea Salt or Red Hawaiian Sea Salt is created when seawater slowly evaporates from tidal pools that are formed in areas with iron-rich, red, volcanic clay.
Black Lava Sea Salt has a dark, evocative color. It is colored by being blended with activated charcoal made from coconut shells- not lava rock, as one might think. The color ‘washes off’ if used in cooking.
Celtic Sea Salt is a coarse sea salt that is gray in color. It is hand harvested by gathering the bottom layer of a salt harvesting area. It is then sun-dried.
How To Make Finishing Salt Blends
With Fresh Herbs:
Gather your fresh herbs and wash them if necessary. Dry them off as well as you can either in a salad spinner or by rolling them in a towel and pressing gently to remove the water.
Chop the herbs as finely as you can. Measure equal parts herbs and salt by volume– not weight. That means if you’re making an Italian Blend, for instance, you’ll have 1 cup salt and 1 cup chopped, mixed herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme and bay. If you’re making a blend, vary the amounts of each herb to your own taste.
Blend the ingredients in a food processor or blender. I like the resulting mixture to be very fine, like beach sand rather than table salt. If you don’t have access to a blender or food processor mince the herbs as finely as you can and mix them with the salt.
Now, you need to let the mixture sit out and dry. Spread the mixture in a shallow pan, rimmed cookie sheet or the like and leave it out to dry. Depending on the ambient humidity the process takes 2 to 4 days. Every so often stir the mixture to break up any clumps.
If you’re in a very humid environment or just don’t want to leave the pan out on a counter top, you can use a food dehydrator or a VERY low oven with the door propped open a bit. Check every so often to see how quickly the herbs are drying.
With Dried Herbs
If you have already dried herbs, simply chop or crumble the herbs a bit, add them to the salt and proceed with the blender or food processor instructions. In this case, there’s no need for the drying step because the herbs are already dry.
Once your blend is very dry, store it in a labeled air tight container. Use just a little at first until you’re used to the saltiness and flavor of each blend.
Packaged in a pretty bottle with a shaker lid or a little spoon, Herbal Finishing Salts make a lovely gift.
Remember– you can always add more, but you can’t remove it if you’ve overdone it. ENJOY!
QUOTE FOR THE MONTH
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.
–Sophia Loren, actor and singer (b. 20 Sep 1934)