Flavored sea salts are one of my favorite indulgences. They bring a really lovely and rich finishing flavor to dishes that is unlike anything else. They are so simple, quick and inexpensive to make at home and they make the perfect gift for the food-lover in your life. Package in cute jars, wrap paper or fabric around the lid, finish with ribbons or twine and make fun handmade tags or labels, to really personalize the gift. I kept it simple and just painted the lids with chalkboard paint so I could write what was inside. I plan to actually give these as gifts this year, so I will make some fun personalized gift labels for whoever these end up going to. Keep in mind, the sky is the limit in terms of flavors for making your own finishing salts. You can also try flavors like rosemary, thyme, cocoa, chipotle peppers, dried mushrooms, ginger, curry, and the list goes on and on. You can even smoke your sea salt indirectly on your grill (which I cannot wait to try myself). Plus, you can even use the same general instructions and make flavored sugars as well – use a nice quality turbinado sugar in place of the salt. Feel free to double or triple these recipes depending on what you hope to yield. I made a small amount of each to fit in the jar size that I was working with. These salts can be stored in an airtight container for several months.
Flavored Finishing Sea Salts
Note: I prefer to use a course sea salt, but you can use whatever grind you would like.
Citrus Sea Salt
This bright and fresh flavored salt would be great on vegetables, grilled or roasted chicken or seafood, shellfish, steamed rice, chocolates, cookies etc.
1/2 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh citrus zest from well scrubbed fruit such as lime, orange, lemon, grapefruit or any combination of those (I used Organic Navel Oranges)
Mix together the zest and the salt, making sure there are no large clumps of the zest. Spread out evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Allow the citrus zest dry out in the oven at 200ºF for about 60 minutes. Once cooled, package in airtight container of your choice.
Vanilla Sea Salt
This smooth and aromatic salt would be great to rim drinks, for the top of truffles, caramels, cookies and other sweet treats, and don’t let it fool you, it would be great with savory items as well.
1/2 cup sea salt
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
Remove beans from vanilla pod and mix thoroughly with sea salt. Package in an airtight container of your choice.
Sezchuan Peppercorn Sea Salt
This spicy salt has a kick plus a nice earthy rustic flavor and it would be great on grilled veggies, meat and seafood, popcorn, homemade chips, veggie burgers, stir-fries, etc.
1/4 cup Sezchuan peppercorns (aka Sichuan peppercorns) or any other peppercorn of your choice
1/4 cup sea salt
Dry roast the peppercorns over a medium/high heat in a dry skillet on the stove top for 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool then add to processor (a spice grinder or mortar and pestle would also work) and grind to the size of the sea salt, add the salt to incorporate, pulse a few more times. Package in an airtight container of your choice.
Lavender Sea Salt
This fragrant and flavorful salt would be great on sweet treats like truffles, chocolates, ice cream, shortbread cookies, scones, etc. Also try it in savory dishes like roasted squash, herbed flatbreads or with grilled chicken , lamb or salmon, etc.
1/4 cup dried lavender (make sure it is culinary grade lavender)
1/2 cup sea salt
Add the dried lavender to your food processor (a spice grinder or mortar and pestle would also work) to quickly chop the lavender, then add the sea salt, whir it together a bit, then package in an airtight container of your choice.
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
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