Tuscan Herb Salt

Circle B Kitchen

Recipe courtesy of Sally Schneider via The Splendid Table


This is a classic herb salt used in Northern Italy.  It is good on just about anything. Use it as an essential seasoning for roasts of all kinds, but it’s also great on vegetables, beans, popcorn, potatoes, bread or eggs.  It's truly wonderful on fish... here's my salmon recipe which uses the herb salt to season the fish and also to create a creamy sauce for it.

The recipe calls for kosher salt, which I thought worked really well.  Diamond Crystal kosher salt is very good.  You can use other favorite salts for this, but do not use regular table salt (too salty), and I would stay away from grey salt because of its moisture content.

Hand chopping gives a slightly less-uniform salt and is surprisingly easy, but a food processor will get the job done in no time.

Ingredients:

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled
Between 1/3 and 1/2 cup kosher salt (I used close to 1/2 cup)
About 2 cups loosely-packed, pungent fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme (the traditional Tuscan version uses 50/50 sage and rosemary)

Instructions:

Hand-Chopped Method

1. Cut each garlic clove lengthwise through the center and remove the sprout (if any) in the center and discard.

2. Mound the salt and garlic on a cutting board. Use a chef's knife to mince the garlic, blending it with the salt as you work.

3. Place herbs in a mound and coarsely chop them. Add the herbs to the garlic salt and chop them together to the texture of coarse sand.

4. Can use this immediately, or spread the salt on a baking sheet or in wide flat bowls and leave them near an open window for a couple of days to dry. Store in clean, dry jars, or for gifts, pack into cello bags and tie with a ribbon.

Food Processor Method

1. Cut each garlic clove lengthwise through the center and remove the sprout (if any) in the center and discard.

2. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Pulse until the garlic is chopped medium-coarse. Add the herbs and continue pulsing until the mixture is the texture of very coarse sand. Transfer to a sheet pan and toss with the remaining salt.

3.  Can use this immediately, or spread the salt on a baking sheet or in wide flat bowls and leave them near an open window for a couple of days to dry. Store in clean, dry jars, or for gifts, pack into cello bags and tie with a ribbon.