Making Homemade Tuscan Herbed Salt

Monday, February 15, 2016

Herbed Salt

During the long winter months I can’t help but think of spring planting, sprouts emerging or the bright fresh harvest of summer. Fresh anything is a welcome relief from a desolate winter. Herbs especially make winter seem a little less brutal. They add so much life to winter dishes and nothing tastes better than dishes made with fresh herbs.

Most of my herb harvest is preserved in oil or ice, to be pulled out and added to soups or stews or to other hearty winter fare, but roasts, those hunks of meat cooked long and slow, benefit greatly from a crust of salt and herbs. Preserving herbs with salt lets you savor a bit of summer in the middle of winter. The herbs will dry out as the salt draws out the moisture, but somehow they still seem fresher than those I dry the traditional way.

It’s important to use a coarse salt rather than table or iodized salt because these will make the mixture too salty and overwhelm your meat. This is where you can be a bit adventurous as well. Try a Celtic or pink salt for a different flavor. Experiment and find your favorite mix. The mix of herbs can also be changed to fit the meat you are cooking. I like rosemary and thyme for lamb or parsley, basil and tarragon for beef, but the choice is yours.

No matter what salt or which herbs you choose a fresh batch of herbed salt will enhance any cut of meat, so it’s worth the few minutes of your time to bring summer’s flavor to your winter dinner.

This batch is made using a food processor, but you can also use a chef’s knife and chop the whole pile by hand. Just remember to keep scraping and piling the mixture in the middle of a cutting board, and use a rocking motion when cutting. Scrape, pile, chop. That’s all there is to it.

Tuscan Herbed Salt


  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt or a mixture (not table or iodized salt)
  • 4 cups fresh herb leaves – any combination of rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, savory, dill, parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil, etc.


  1. Peel the garlic cloves and rough chop
  2. Clean, dry & remove leaves from herbs (you don’t want stems)
  3. Add ½ the salt to a food processor
  4. Add ½ garlic and top with ½ the herbs
  5. Pulse until mix is incorporated, but not pureed
  6. Add remaining salt, then garlic, then herbs
  7. Pulse more until mixture is well incorporated
  8. Spread mixture in a thin layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let air dry for a few days
  9. Store in an air tight container (will stay fresh for several months)

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