Next time you want to add plain ol' salt to your recipe, don't. Instead, use a delicious citrus herb salt, which will elevate the flavor of your dish more than salt by itself ever could.
You can make lemon rosemary salt, orange cilantro salt—whatever flavor combos suit your taste buds. Homemade seasoned salt blends are easy to prepare with fresh herbs from the garden and will enhance the flavor of poultry, fish, vegetables, potatoes, and more.
- You'll need sea salt or flaked salt, depending on your preference. Flaked salt is versatile enough for all dishes, but coarse sea salt is perfect for rubbing meats before they hit the grill.
- Select a citrus—from basic Eureka lemons to lime, or even blood oranges; it's up to you.
- Pick fresh herbs from your garden or the grocery store. The emphasis on fresh is important: you can make seasoned salts from dried herbs, but the flavor won't be as potent or distinct.
To show you how easy it is, I'll be making a citrus herb salt with lemon, basil, and tarragon. Follow along to see how it's done, then hit the bottom of this article for more flavor combinations.
- ¼ cup coarse sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Feel free to add in any additional herbs or spices. Black pepper, red chili flakes, and garlic powder are always good mix-ins.
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- Wash the herbs and vigorously scrub that lemon before you zest it (you don't want any pesticides or dirt getting into your salt blend).
- Use a sharp knife to chop your herbs or a pair of herb scissors for minimal effort.
- Zest and juice the lemon (you'll have extra zest and juice left over).
- Place the salt, herbs, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Pour the lemon juice on top and mix. The salt will become heavy from the wetness of the lemon, so it's important to combine the herbs and zest prior to this so that all the ingredients will blend well.
- Turn your oven on to the lowest heat setting (200-250°F for most ovens), and spread the salt mixture onto a baking sheet. You can line your baking sheet with parchment paper for a quick and easy clean up. Since I like to "double dip" and reuse the seasoned baking sheet for making crispy potato chips after making my salt, I don't use any parchment paper.
- Bake the salt for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring and redistributing the mixture halfway through the process. The salt should be completely dried when you are finished.
- Pour the salt into a glass jar for storage and enjoy. Use your salt within a year, and remember to make sure your storage jar is airtight so the salt keeps its vibrant flavor.
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There are endless variations on seasoned salts, so get creative. Just use the base recipe above, and substitute different citrus, herbs, and spices as you see fit. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Lemon rosemary salt for grilled fish, chicken, and potatoes.
- Orange cilantro salt for salsa, salad, and pork.
- Herbs de Provence salt (lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon, and marjoram) pairs well with almost everything. Use this on your grilled meats, soup, salad, and roasted vegetables.
- Basil, chili pepper, and lemon for zesty Italian dishes.
- Mint lemon salt for lamb and Mediterranean food.
You can't go wrong this summer with a fresh citrus herb salt blend. What's your favorite seasoned salt? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to recommend any blends we might have missed.