Eating rosemary, as with most herbs, offers some wonderful health benefits. According to whfoods.com:
“The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times. But it could just as easily be associated with good health. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.”
Creating a blend of your favorite herbs with sea salt is an easy way to keep big flavor on-hand to add to any dish in a pinch (literally). Use a coarse, unrefined, mineral-rich salt (either white or grey). You can often find these salts in bulk at a grocery co-op, online, or even at your local grocery store. Here's what I do to make my rosemary sea salt.
Herb & Lemon Salt Blends
- 1 cup fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon peel, etc.)
- 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250ºF or the lowest setting (a "warm" setting will work, too).
- Spread individual herbs on their own baking sheets, and dry in the oven until they break apart when handled between your fingers. This takes roughly 4 hours.
- Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle, grind dried herbs and salt to your desired consistency.
- Re-dry the herb salt in the oven if there is any remaining moisture.
- Store the herb salt in glass jars in a cool, dry place.
TIP: You can dehydrate your herbs overnight in an oven that's off or even let them dry out for several hours on the lowest setting – just keep an eye on them to they don't burn. To allow your entire house to smell like herbs, allow the process to take longer at a lower temperature.
NOTE: If a recipe calls for one of these salt blends and you do not have them prepared, simply use a 1:1 ratio of a dried herb or lemon peel to coarse sea salt. I highly recommend that you make both a rosemary and a sage salt blend to keep on-hand for use on their own as well as in recipes later.
That's it! Do you want to try this recipe with other herbs? If so, which ones? Go for it! Then let me know how it goes.