Use this simple and quick tactic to spice up your life, or to make an easy homemade gift . I have seen other blogs that first dehydrate the herbs before adding the salt, but this is not necessary, and it decreases flavor. Salt does a great job of dehydration all by itself and locks in flavor and aroma.
I will show you three easy flavored salts, lime, hot chili pepper, and rosemary, but you could use any strong or distinctively flavored herb, spice, or fruit. One can also flavor salt by smoking it. Some folks even dehydrate wine to make a wine salt, but I don't want to go to that much effort today - you may feel differently if wine is your thing.
Canning jars - I would suggest 4 ounce jars for making quick presents, but I am demonstrating with 8 ounce jars because that is what I had on hand.
Herb, or fruit of your choice
Salt - I used fine canning salt because it has no additives and is readily available, but coarse salt makes a very nice presentation. Just remember that fine salt is about twice as dense as coarse salt, so one would need to use about twice as much herb or fruit if using fine salt.
1. Pick your fresh herbs. You are looking for ends that bend easily, not stiff sticks. Wash herbs and dry with paper towel.
2. Separate leaves from stems. It is okay to include very supple stem parts, but remove any stiff stems.
3. Finally chop leaves. You may use a food processor if that is easier for you, but use the pulse option so you don't over chop and turn everything mushy. Personally, I find hand chopping easiest.
4. Filling your jars: It using coarse salt, you will want to fill your jars 1/4 to 1/3 full with herbs. If using fine salt, fill your jars about 1/2 full.
5. Fill your jar with salt up to the start of the neck area (you want room to shake the jar).
6. Shake your jar well to evenly distribute contents.
7. Shake jar ever other day for about two weeks. If contents shrink below the neck area, add more salt.
Follow above directions, but use microplane, fine grater, or zestier to remove just the outer colored area of the rind, leaving the bitter pith behind. I used the zest of 4 limes in an 8 ounce jar.
Hot Chili Pepper
First choose a truly HOT pepper, something hotter than a jalapeño. If you are adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a recipe you will need a very hot pepper to be able to taste anything. I used 5 Habaneros (very hot chili) in an 8 ounce jar (it was not quite 1/2 full - using fine salt). I used disposable gloves to protect myself. I did remove the seeds, but I would not have removed the seeds if I was working with a chili that was not quite as strong.