With the turning of the moon this month, my attention turned to the herbs coming up to flower in the garden.
As a plant puts all of it’s energy into it’s flowers, the best time to harvest is just as the first buds are about to burst.
So on a sunny day, within the correct moon phase, and at the height of the day if you wish you work to have a magickal kick, take a walk down the garden to collect your chosen herbs.
I decided on harvesting a lovely lemon thyme which I’d been keeping an eye on – good with chicken and fish, my intent was to turn it into a herb salt.
I’d first tasted herb salts years ago and had fallen in love with the flavour but not the expense of buying them!
So I scoured the internet for recipes. Satisfied with the general amounts and method, I gathered together:
- Sea salt.
- Herbs of your choice.
- Grease-proof paper.
- Baking tray.
- Wooden spoon.
- Chopping board and sharp knife.
- Pestle and mortar.
- Kitchen scales.
And set off down the garden.
After I’d washed the lemon thyme well, dried it on a clean tea towel and stripped the little leaves off the woody stalks (which was a study in meditation and intent in itself!) I weighed the herb before chopping finely and mixing with equal amounts of salt.
I also added a small clove of finely chopped garlic as an extra taste – I love garlic, but agree it’s not to everyone’s taste, so I added a little parsley to temper it.
The whole lot was then spread thinly on grease-proof paper laid on a baking tray and then popped into a slow oven to slowly dry out.
The aroma was heavenly!
***Tip: I stirred the whole lot gingerly with clean fingers rather than a wooden spoon as I found I could detect if the herbs had dried enough. But if you do this be very careful not to burn your fingers please!
It took about half an hour to *do* but I have no doubt different amounts will take different timing but don’t rush and turn the oven up – keep it on the lowest setting and check often. Any burnt matter will spoil the end result!
When completely dried out (and you will know when) place into a pestle and mortar and grind away!
The herbs will reduce down with the salt to a fine powder if you wish, and mine looks like fine sand, but depending upon the salt and herb you use you can reduce the size of the grain to one of your liking. Or even leave as it is, and pop into a salt grinder or pepper mill.
I was amazed at the flavour! Though the lemony-ness was sadly lost, the health benefits of using less salt are well known and the taste burst it gives can be used on all foods!
I tried it on avocado – sensational results when I tossed the avocado first in lemon juice and then the herb salt, before adding it into the salad I was making!
Fabulous on fish – amazing on chicken – I’m planning to let my sage bushes (yes I have three! Love sage!) grow on so I can make sage salt soon to use with pork and chicken dishes.
I’ve also made oregano salt to use on the Greek salad I make, with Feta cheese and olives, but I used smoked salt rather than ordinary; sadly the result was not as I imagined and I need to add more herb to salt on that one, as it’s too salty! 😦 I must have got the ratio wrong! But the beauty is I can dry out some more herb and add it accordingly! 🙂
I’m thinking of chilli salt now and the other herbs I can use…
So if I’ve inspired you I’d love to hear about it – I’m amazed I haven’t made herb salt before but one things for sure I’m going to make oodles from now on! 🙂