JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rosemary citrus salt

When you decide to cut cheese out of most of your cooking, you're left with a problem: how to give your food a certain savoury taste. Nothing is the same as cheese, and none of my ideas is intended to replace cheese - but lots of the other seasonings I use, including this one, add piquancy rather than smothering with their own all-pervasive flavour. I've come to like this new way of flavouring food rather better than using cheese, and I now don't particularly like the taste of cooked cheese. But I still think there's little to beat a slice of well-made Cheddar, or Stilton, or Vacherin, or ... well, you get the idea.

Rosemary citrus salt is one of a number of useful things to keep in the fridge and use where you might once have used cheese. It takes moments to prepare, and keeps forever in a little plastic box in the fridge. Put 100g Maldon sea crystals in a mortar, add the finely grated zest of a lemon and an orange (earlier in the year a Seville orange might be extra tang-y), and the chopped leaves of a couple of twigs of rosemary. Bash it all up until you get a sticky mess, then spread it out thinly onto a baking tray. It needs to dry out before you can store it, so I put it on top of my Aga for a few hours, but anywhere warm and dry would do. It goes on lots of things, to make them a little more exciting - fish, lamb, gratins - and makes a change from anchovy breadcrumbs, another stalwart of this kitchen.

I've posted this before, but in a place where it could easily be missed, so here it is again, with an idea for using it.


janelle said...

I am so excited you are talking salt. See my chatter here:)

I love salt!

Joanna said...

I loved your salt post ... I must say, I like it too, but not very much, and not all the time. I always use Maldon salt, it's what my grandmother used because she used to live near the salt pans in Essex, and those huge crystals always seemed miraculous to me, not like the Saxo which you poured out of a bright red pot.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lemon and orange with the rosemary! That is inspired! I like this very much.