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.
A garden by the sea - The garden at Dunrobin, looking down from the terrace. The air in this part of Scotland is so clean that lichen grows at a pace - here's a close-up of a br...
12 hours ago