Flavour infused salts are my most favourite way to boost the flavour of a dish and I love creating them!
And did I mention they make a wonderful gift idea if you creatively package and label them.
This is not boring salt – this is fancy salt and best news is – they are v v easy to make!
You can use any salt, my preference is for the sea salt flakes, either white or pink. The flavour combinations are endless,
as are the uses for these fancy salts. You can use them in cooking to enhance flavours, you can use them as a finishing salt
to add a touch of colour to the plated dish, they are fantastic sprinkled on popcorn or even add them to desserts for a savoury
burst. The possibilities are endless!
So, how do you make them?! Thankfully, it’s really simple! You will need a food processor, grinder or mortar and pestle
to grind the flavours, and then all you need is the salt and your imagination! I always start with a ratio of one quarter cup
of salt to one teaspoon of flavour. This seems to be the best starting point – and of course you can up the flavour if required.
Combine the flavours using your fingers, a mortar and pestle, or pulse in a coffee or spice grinder or food processor. I prefer
the use the mortar and pestle because I can see and control the grinding process – don’t want to over pulverize the salt! The
other reason is, I gain a sense of satisfaction (must be something primal!) from grinding things in this manner!
This infusion is Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt flakes – I used ¼ cup of salt and 1 teaspoon of good quality balsamic vinegar –
mixed them thoroughly and then popped it in the oven to dry off for a few hours. (If you are infusing with ‘wet’ ingredients make
sure you dry the salt out properly. You can do this by heating your oven to 160C, and then turn the oven off – when you’re ready
to dry the salt, put it on an oven sheet or spread it thinly in an oven proof dish and put it in the oven for a few hours to dry slowly.
This is one of my favourite salts – It’s an incredibly versatile blend of Basil, Thyme, Oregano and Garlic. I use this on meats,
pastas, seafood, dressings and vegetables. So delicious!
I went outside and picked my first lemon for the season! I used the zest from it to make this delightful Lemon Salt. This salt
also requires the drying off time in the oven for a few hours using the same method as above.
While I was outside picking the lemon, I also plucked a few leaves from my Kaffir Lime. This highly fragrant leaf makes a
wonderfully aromatic salt which can be used in many Thai dishes as well as other Asian influenced dishes.
To make a very easy, yet versatile blend, mix a good quality smoked paprika with some sea salt flakes and that’s it! A salt that
can be used freely on meat, poultry, seafood, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes and it also makes the best home fries ever!!
I had a dinner party recently and a whole lot of good alcohol got consumed! To my horror, when it came time for the big clean
up I found a bottle of Bollinger not finished (yes, you read that right!) and a nice bottle of Cab Sav that still had a good third
left in it! How that happened, I’m still not sure, but I did know I couldn’t throw it down either my throat, or my sink! So I reduced
it! Poured the left overs separately into their own saucepans and slowly boiled them down to a few teaspoons of thick, syrupy
goodness – and then I blended that with some beautiful fleur de sel salt – the result is the most wonderful, versatile salt that I use
probably more than any other blend I’ve concocted! Cabernet Sauvignon and French Champagne Salts – life is good!
Whether you make them and keep them, or make them and gift them – you really owe it to yourself to make some flavour
infused salts. I’m sure you won’t regret it!