How to Infuse Salt by Heather
Infused salts are as easy as infused sugars, and even more versatile. They can be used not just for savory recipes, but for sweets as well! And like an infused sugar, the flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination.
I like making infused salts and sharing them with others as great homemade gifts. I wrap them up pretty and then usually add a cocktail recipe. For example, I think dropping off a bottle of orange-infused salt with a recipe for cranberry margarita would be lovely. Then there is espresso salt, which would be amazing sprinkled over dark chocolate cookies. Or I could do something more exotic, like a rosemary salt with a recipe for leg of lamb. Again, let your imagination run wild!
Like infused sugar, it can take up to a week to fully infuse your salt, but it keeps well for up to 3 months.
The instructions are pretty much similar, too. To make these punchy infused salt, just start with kosher salt and a clean, completely dry airtight jar. I would err on the smaller side for salts. Then you just add the herb (I prefer fresh) or spice (I use dry ground spices) to the salt—the drier it is, the less the salt will clump.
Where infused sugar and infused salt differ is in the ratios. The best ratio for infused salt seems to be about 1 teaspoon spice or dried herbs to 1/4 cup kosher salt. With something fresh like citrus zest or fresh herbs, you can be more generous.
Here are some of my favorite varieties of infused salt and how I would use them:
Chipotle and lime zest: This makes an amazing rub for pork, beef or chicken before grilling, and would also be great on the rim of a bloody mary.
Cayenne: Great for sprinkling on dark chocolate cookies or chocolate truffles. It’s also wonderful on fresh fruit, like mango, watermelon, or fresh jicama with lime juice.
Lemon, lime and orange: Margaritas! Also lovely sprinkled on on fish and cooked vegetables, or even in a shortbread recipe.
Curry: This is amazing for seasoning rice and soups.
Rosemary and lemon: A great seasoning for lamb or fish, this would also make a beautiful shortbread or sugar cookie addition.
Espresso: Sprinkle this on dark chocolate or chocolate chip cookies. Or maybe even over a chocolate brownie?
Sage: Sprinkle on butter for spreading over hot rolls, or use it to season pork chops.
Fennel: Amazing on fish or shrimp or to season a salad.
Porcini: Made from minced dried porcini (best done in the food processor), this is incredible sprinkled over scrambled eggs or used to season potatoes.
Garlic: Made with dehydrated garlic, use this to season avocado toast, soups, potatoes, rice, or sprinkle it over cooked vegetables.
Red wine: This is slightly more complicated because it calls for reducing a bottle of wine, but it’s so worth it for the gorgeous color! To reduce the wine, bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until the wine has almost completely cooked off. You will have about 1 tablespoon wine syrup left. Let it cool, then add it to 1 1/2 cups kosher salt. Mix well and then spread it on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a shallow layer. I leave it in a warm oven, with just the pilot light on, until dried out, which can take a few days. It’s great sprinkled on grilled red meat, roasted lamb, or on anything chocolate!