I used to take salt for granted.
I’ve always been a fan but you’d never hear me list salt among my favorite seasonings. Smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, rosemary, or ginger, yes. But salt? A pinch of salt is a given, right? Totally taken for granted…until I discovered herb salt.
A new world opened up.
Himalayan Pink. Fleur de Sel. Celtic Gray. ‘Real’. Black. Smoked….smoked salt rocks my world.
Each salt really does taste unique and add it’s own texture to food.
Another obsession of mine is lemon zest. So good.
When I saw this little jar of lemon salt flakes at The Meadow, a specialty salt shop in Portland, I knew I’d love it.
The Meadow allows you to taste each of their 50-billion salts and just as I suspected, I loved it. I loved it enough to pay the price. Yes, gourmet salt can be spendy but a little goes a long way…which is a good thing because it’s a little jar!
In the true DIY spirit that often overtakes me I got busy creating my own lemon salt.
If you have an awesome zester it would probably work better than peeling the lemon. I need an awesome zester. I think I’ll go buy one today. But at the time I used a peeler.
The lemon peels went in the oven at 200* until they were almost dry…20 minutes? Towards the end I added a few sprigs of thyme straight from the garden.
My herb garden is full of thyme but I never quite know what to do with it, aside from adding it to cocktails and stuffing salt. Thyme and lemon is a thing though, right?
I had some Red Alaea Sea Salt on hand (thank you Whole Foods salt bar!) and thought the combo of red and yellow would be perfect.
I love to crunch into crystals so I left the red salt pretty coarse, adding it to the mortar only after the lemon and thyme was all but pulverized.
The flavor is intense and creates little bursts of citrus when you least expect it.
As usual my mind is swimming with possibilities…could I just douse salt with lemon then dry it in the oven? How about just throwing some lemon zest into salt without drying it? Could orange zest salt be a thing? Mmmmm, how about lemon lavender? Good thing I use a lot of lemon!