It’s amazing how a spoonful of zest can elevate something as simple as kosher salt that is typically used for rubbing or seasoning, into a fine finishing salt. Sprinkled over peas and beans, it livens up that bright taste of spring. On top of roasted beets and carrots, it adds crunch and kick to those earthy flavours.
How about orange salt on homemade salted caramels? Or lemon salt on thick-cut slices of heirloom tomatoes? Or lime salt to line a roasting pan for fish? You can even make blended citrus salts (perhaps a citron-tangerine?) to finish a plate of grilled asparagus or dry rub a slab of steak.
I use kosher salt in this recipe, but any coarse salt will do. Try it with Maldon sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or another flaky finishing salt if that’s what you have.
Makes 1/4 cup
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon citrus zest
In a small bowl, combine the salt and zest. Reach in there and really squeeze and stir it up well with your fingers; this serves to not only release all the fragrant oils from the zest, but also separate clumps of wet zest so they’re dispersed more evenly in the salt.
Spread the citrus salt across a shallow dish or baking sheet. Let it air dry for at least eight hours, or overnight. The zest should feel flaky and crumbly between your fingers when it’s fully dried.
If you’re making a few different kinds of citrus salt, you can spread them across a baking sheet on individual sheets of parchment. The parchment will make it easier to scoop all the salt off afterward.
To bottle it up right away, you can speed up the drying process by heating the citrus salt in a 225°F oven for about one hour. Citrus salt will keep for a few months at room temperature. Storage in an airtight container will prolong shelf life. The zest may fade in color over time, but it won’t affect the taste.