This past summer lemon was our ingredient of the season. We’ve created a dandy of an archive of lemon posts, and we’re still not done!
As September’s weather is straddling the line between summer and fall, we found that the combination of flavors in this bright and savory lemon & herb salt do the same!
While doing some canning at the beach, I noticed this recipe in a copy of Preserving by the Pint and was immediately excited to try it. I love fresh herbs and am always looking for new ways to preserve their flavors as the plants fade in our late-summer garden. On the other hand, it’s taken me quite a while to appreciate lemon flavor in my savory dishes. Thank goodness I’ve come around, because this chicken dish is something I would not have made a few years ago, but we had it again last night for dinner (it’s just that good!). What I’m getting at is that a few years ago, I would have turned my nose up at this simple seasoning recipe, and what a shame it would have been. This seasoning is simple to make and adds a flavorful punch to a variety of savory dishes, making creative weeknight cooking a breeze.
Preparing the seasoning requires just a bit of chopping and time. I did my chopping on a day when people were constantly coming in and out of the beach house, and every single person asked what was cooking and remarked that the kitchen smelled great. The chopping releases an amazing blend of aromas from the herbs, lemon zest, and garlic.
Once chopped, the mixture is spread out on a plate and left to dry for a couple of days. Since we were making this on the humid east coast in the middle of August, I put my plate in front of a fan to help with the drying process. If I were to make this at home in Colorado, the fan would be completely unnecessary because the air’s so dry. So use your discretion and help the drying process with a fan or warm oven if you’re in a high humidity environment.
- zest from 4 lemons
- small bunch parsley
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp coarse sea salt
- Wash the parsley and rosemary and remove the leaves from the stems. This can be tedious with the parsley, but do the best you can, and a few stems are fine.
- Roughly chop the herbs. Add the zest and chop together with the herbs until well combined. Add the garlic and continue chopping. Add the salt, and... continue chopping until all ingredients are finely chopped.
- Spread the mixture on a plate and allow it to dry for at least 48 hours. It should be completely dry, with no sign of moisture.
- Store in a jar and use anywhere you would like to add a bit of flavored salt.
After the seasoning has dried, you can use it on any variety of dishes. One night we tried it on our roasted summer veggies, which were a combination of summer squash, onions, potatoes, and corn. They were delicious, but I didn’t *love* the flavor of lemon on the vegetables (can’t win them all!). The next night we sprinkled the seasoning on and in some fish freshly caught by our pop. I included a pat of butter inside each fish because they were on the leaner side. Our mom loved the fish so much that she made sure to confirm that I “took a picture for the blog”. Everyone loved the fish, and it couldn’t have been easier to make.
I have to admit that I never buy seasoned salt or herb mixes from the spice section. Instead, I sprinkle on the combination of individual herbs I want for any particular dish. That said, this seasoned salt was so easy to make, and it’s motivated me to experiment with the rest of the fresh herbs in our garden to develop a number of custom salts that will let me preserve those flavors and use them all winter long.