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Do your friends a favor, put down the penguin boxers, the earmuff headphones, and that awful candy cane shower gel.  Give them something they really need…salt.  Everybody needs salt.  And these salts are fresh, fragrant, and homemade.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but salt is big right now.  You can buy exotic salts form around the world, smoked salts, flavored salts, even big blocks of salt to cook and serve on.  I’ve seen an entire store devoted to salt.  That was a little weird, but the point is that salts are hot.

These finishing salts are meant to be sprinkled on food before serving.  That way their fresh flavors will be most appreciated.  I would use these on salads, eggs, meats and fish, veggies, french fries, etc.  They would be great on homemade focaccia bread, too.  If you put your salt on your food at the end you won’t need as much because you taste it more directly.

But there’s no reason you can’t use these for cooking as well.  The rosemary and thyme salt would be great sprinkled on potatoes, or the lemon one on salmon before roasting.

What sets my homemade versions apart is not only the freshness of the flavorings, but the large proportion of flavor to salt. I grabbed these luscious lemons from a friend’s tree yesterday; the rind of just one of them will gloriously flavor a small jar of salt.  I removed the zest with a sharp peeler, and grated them up in the small processor.  This is a good way to do it if you want lots of zest at one time.  Ina Garten does it this way when she makes lemon curd.

The lemon zest is so moist that the salt will have to dry out a bit before being jarred.  I left mine spread out on a plate overnight.  You could avoid this step by letting the strips of zest dry out before processing.

Woody herbs like rosemary and thyme work well with this project.  I used both for my third salt.  Clean and dry the herbs thoroughly, then remove the leaves from the stems.   You can combine flavors, and use already dried herbs if you want.  I think a herbes de Provence salt would be nice, made with dried herbs and lavender.

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I made Red Pepper Salt, Lemon Salt, and Rosemary and Thyme Salt.  I used dried red peppers, but you could also use red pepper flakes.  I used fresh lemon zest, and fresh rosemary and thyme.  There isn’t a recipe for these, but just a few guidelinesUse a coarse salt as your base, it could be coarse sea salt, or kosher salt, for example.  Choose smallish containers, nobody wants to get a half gallon of salt for the holidays, and your finished product will look so much more ‘gourmet’.  Clean and thoroughly dry your flavoringsProcess them in a small food processor, adding some of the salt to help it break down and the flavors meld with the salt.  Mix in a little more of the coarse salt into your blend before you fill your jar.  If the mixture is damp, let it dry overnight before you package it.

You can use any small container for these.  Grocery stores and large chain stores like Target sell canning jars of all sizes, but I also like to recycle pretty mustard, jam, and spice jars from my own kitchen.  Just keep a bottle of Goo Gone handy and you can revitalize any bottle or jar.  You can gift these right in a salt grinder, too.
Have a great Monday!

One year ago today—

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35 Responses to Minimal Monday: A Trio of Finishing Salts

  1. tina says:

    hi. nice recipes! could you tell me what brand of peeler you’re using for the lemons?
    it looks like a good one and i’m in the market for a professional peeler.
    thanks.

  2. […] Trio of Finishing Salts from The View from Great Island […]

  3. Patricia Wallace says:

    Where are the recipes for the salts?

  4. Kit says:

    Love these! Did you grind the rosemary up? My little food processor doesn’t get it done, but don’t want to use dried. And I can’t get the lemon and salt to blend well? Love your blog!

    • Sue says:

      A spice grinder, or coffee grinder is the best for grinding something like rosemary, it will get it really fine. The lemon and the salt will basically stay separate entities, but the flavor will mingle. Good luck!

  5. 2day diet says:

    The View from Great Island | Minimal Monday: A Trio of Finishing Salts

  6. Maria Quiros-Perez says:

    What a wonderful idea. What is the shelf life on these flavored salts?

  7. steve says:

    Thanks for the info. I made the sea-salt flakes with Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano and added a few grains of rise to absorb any potential moist. Great site.
    thank you

  8. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing.

  9. These look great Sue! I caught the homemade seasonings but this fall and really love how fresh and personalized they are. So far of done celery, lemon pepper, carrot salt and my favorite: http://canned-time.com/2012/10/04/jalapeno-season-salt/
    I need to try your red pepper now! Great post, thanks :)

  10. cookingmadly says:

    I already planned on making some garlic herb salt as gifts, now I’m definitely going to do some lemon salt and rosemary thyme salt, thanks!

  11. LOVE this idea. What a great gift to give! And i mean that in the way that there’s a good possibility you just made my list of recipes to do for people’s gifts this year. PERFECT! Thanks sue! You are delightful with all these good recipes…I can barely make a cake work this month but you’ve got it all under control. :)

  12. Amy says:

    this is a perfect idea for my xmas gift baskets this year, but what proportions of salt & herbs to you use?

  13. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Loving this idea. I might not want to give them away!

  14. I have a bottle of Goo Gone under my sink for occasions such as this. What a great idea, Sue. Finishing salts are expensive in the gourmet shops and little homemade jars would be wonderful gifts. Thanks for a fantastic idea.

  15. Brilliant! I love it…your photos are as beautiful as what is in the jar. Such a great idea…I know I would love to receive one of these and would love to put it front and center on my tray of oils, vinegars, pepper grinders etc. I may have to start a new pinterest board…homemade gifts!

  16. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    those salts sound perfect for just about any dish! I love using finishing salts and you just gave me three new ones to try

  17. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Can I be on your Christmas list? wonderful! Love all of them, I’m not fussy whatever you have leftover will be fine!

  18. They are not minimal at all:-) So pretty:-)

  19. Mary says:

    These all sound AMAZING. Seriously, I bet they add the most fantastic flavors to the foods. What an awesome gift!

  20. I admit I am not a salt person. I wish I could be, but my body hates salt! I make up for the salt with my sweet tooth :) These are the prettiest pics of salt, ever!

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