Minimal Monday: A Trio of Finishing Salts

A Trio of Finishing Salts makes a super fun diy project for the holidays ~ who wouldn’t want these vibrant flavor boosters in their kitchen?

three different finishing salt recipes

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.

finishing salts

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.

red hot chili pepper finishing salt

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.

spicy red pepper salt

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.

lemon finishing salt

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.

making lemon salt

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.

lemon salt

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.

homemade rosemary and thyme finishing salt

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 guidelines. Use 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 flavorings. Process 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.

finishing salts from scratch

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!


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    June 6, 2014 at 5:22 am

    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.

    • Reply
      June 6, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Thanks, Tina! I think that peeler is just a regular OXO brand, it works great!

  • Reply
    Patricia Wallace
    November 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Where are the recipes for the salts?

    • Reply
      November 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      The how to is in the post, Patricia, it’s more of a guide than an exact recipe.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2013 at 7:47 am

    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!

    • Reply
      October 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

      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!

  • Reply
    2day diet
    September 4, 2013 at 3:34 am

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

  • Reply
    Maria Quiros-Perez
    March 27, 2013 at 6:43 am

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

  • Reply
    January 27, 2013 at 7:41 am

    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

  • Reply
    December 24, 2012 at 7:22 am

    thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Angela @ Canned Time
    December 8, 2012 at 2:38 am

    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:
    I need to try your red pepper now! Great post, thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    December 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 12:10 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 6, 2012 at 1:48 am

      It’s really up to you, you can make them as lightly flavored or as strongly flavored as you want. Just use your judgement, since salt is used sparingly anyway, the proportions can be flexible. Hope that’s not too vague!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    December 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

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

  • Reply
    Cathy at Wives with Knives
    December 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 6, 2012 at 1:46 am

      It is funny how much of a mark-up some things get in stores. And as for Goo Gone, it’s a kitchen essential, and I’m lost when I run out.

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    December 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 6, 2012 at 1:45 am

      They are a nice change from sweet gifts. I’d love to see your tray of pepper grinders, etc, that sounds right up our alley, we travel with our pepper grinder!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    December 4, 2012 at 3:00 am

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

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    December 4, 2012 at 1:15 am

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

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    December 3, 2012 at 9:11 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 6, 2012 at 1:41 am

      I always get carried away on Minimal Monday…

    • Reply
      Mary Sheehan Winn
      December 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      I’m a fool for lemon anything – thanks for these great ideas!

    • Reply
      Mary Sheehan Winn
      December 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      I’m a fool for lemon anything – thanks for these great ideas!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

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

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 6, 2012 at 1:40 am

      It would be fun to try to adapt these without salt, and I was also thinking about making a lemon pepper, which are two of my favorite seasonings of all time.

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