Monday, December 18, 2006

A Gift from the Kitchen: Rosemary Salt


(Update December 2009: (Kalyn's Kitchen is part of Holiday 2009 at Oprah.com, and this is one of the recipes being featured there. You can also find more herb blends in the Christmas Recipes on the blog. Welcome to anyone visiting from Oprah.com!)

We all know those amazing people who make incredible holiday treats like homemade candies and baked goods and give them out to friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Even back in the days when I was more interested in sugary treats, I was never one of those people. Still, even though I'm not a baker or a candy-maker, I do like to make something from the kitchen for Christmas. For many years now I've created interesting blends of herbs and spices to give as little holiday gifts.

My idea to make rosemary salt was inspired by a bottle of rosemary salt from Eatwell Farms I bought at the Ferry Building farmers market when I went to San Francisco this summer. All summer I ate it on tomatoes, grilled veggies, and chicken, and the first time I tasted it, I knew I wanted to try making some. This was simple to make, and I think it will be an unusual treat for the people I'm giving it to.

I used a relatively inexpensive variety of sea salt crystals from the grocery store, and dried cracked rosemary from Penzeys. If you don't have cracked rosemary you'll need to buzz your rosemary in the food processor for a couple of minutes so each of the dried rosemary leaves is broken into several pieces.

I'm making herb blends for people at my school, quite a few people, so I can't afford jars for this. I simply put the rosemary salt into a small plastic bag and stapled on a note about how to use the salt, with a Kalyn's Kitchen card (designed by the fabulous Rand, who also designed our Holiday Cooking with Herbs banner.)

Rosemary Salt
(makes about 4 cups)

3 cups sea salt crystals
1 1/2 cups dried rosemary (cracked rosemary is best)

(If you don't have cracked rosemary, measure rosemary and put into food processor with steel blade attached. Process about 2 minutes, until rosemary is broken into small bits.) 

Combine salt and rosemary in food processor and process with steel blade less than one minute, until salt and rosemary are well combined. Don't process too long. You want this to still have a slightly chunky texture. 

Suggested uses: Use sparingly, as you would regular salt. Sprinkle on fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocado. An excellent seasoning for eggs, potatoes, butternut squash, or chicken. Delicious on any type of roasted or grilled vegetables. 

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18 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great idea. Rosemary grows well in my garden. I definitley try the recipe!

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  2. I love this idea for holiday gifts! It's so difficult to make all those sweets to give away without indulging a little myself. Though I'm making little individual pumpkin breads to give as teacher gifts this year, I'm going to keep this suggestion in mind for future holiday seasons.

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  3. What a wonderful idea to give salt blends as gifts! I just recieved one yesterday from a friend that had fennel seed and lemon peel with sea salt.

    I would have never thought to make it myself though, I will have to remember that for next year, maybe thinking ahead I can pick up a few jars here and there.

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  4. Cracked rosemary...too funny...looks like a fun present!

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  5. Wonderful idea! I have three rosemary plants that have survived a mild winter in my garden, where nothing else is growing at the moment. I was about to dig them up and give the plants to friends who will tend them over the winter....but rosemary salt is an even better idea.

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  6. Wonderful!! I made some citrus salt last week, but haven't gotten around to posting it. Note to self: Do it! :):)

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  7. This looks gorgeous - Would make a great rub for steak I think.

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  8. I love the idea of this and I love the packaging with your card attached. I consider myself very lucky to have one of those cards, as you tucked it into the South Beach Cooking for Holidays cookbook that I won. Now, would someone please work on cloning Rand for the benefit of the rest of the food blogging world? :)))

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  9. Mmmm, rosemary salt all over my roast potatoes, I definitely think so...

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  10. I'm glad you all like this idea, I love the rosemary salt from Eatwell Farms so much, I had to try making it. Lucky you who have your own fresh rosemary still. Love the sound of some of other salts like the fennel/lemon peel salt and Sher's citrus salt. (Sher, please share your recipe.)

    More herb blends coming up the next two days.

    Christine, yes a clone of Rand would be great. I'm so lucky to have him.

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  11. Rosemarry Salt - sound like wonderful idea! Def to try out when I have rosemarry on hand!

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  12. this is a great idea. I can "smell" the salt mix you put together. Morning comes, I need to get out and snip some fresh rosemary and dry them out to make this blend. Thanks for sharing this nice gift idea Kalyn!

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  13. I found my rosemary sea salt at a Paris neighborhood market when we were there. It is so wonderful on so many things. It would make a lovely gift! Great idea and I have rosemary growing in the front and back yards!

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