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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blood Orange Sea Salt

GLUTEN-FREE

Citrus sea salt adds fantastic flavor to special dishes. You can stir it in during cooking or save it for a finishing touch. Either way, even simple dishes become extraordinary.

(Last night I did both. I used Blood Orange Sea Salt to season a chicken before I roasted it, then I sprinkled a bit over sautéed Brussels sprouts just before I brought them to the table.)

I choose blood oranges for this citrus salt because I wanted to extend their short season. You can use any citrus fruit, just be sure to avoid fruits that have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.


Most of the citrus flavor is in the peel, thanks to the essential oils found there. It also contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds.

My citrus salt recipe differs from others. I use more zest because I like a stronger citrus flavor. It enables me to use less salt and I can always adjust the seasoning later with regular sea salt if need be.

Also, I don't dry my citrus salt in the oven. Instead I set it aside to cure for a day or two before I grind it. Salt is a natural drying agent and preservative, so the heat is unnecessary. Heat can also make citrus zest bitter, it causes the flavorful essential oils to evaporate, and it can destroy the healthful compounds.

You'll need:

1 organic blood orange, zested, about 1½ to 2 tbsp, or substitute limes or lemons
½ cup sea salt

Rinse the oranges well and allow them to dry completely before you zest them.

When you remove the zest from the oranges, take only the colorful layer, leaving the bitter white layer underneath. Zest the fruit over a glass bowl. Add the sea salt and stir to break up any clumps, distributing the zest as evenly as possible.



Cover and set aside for 24 to 48 hours.

Once the zest has been allowed to cure, transfer it to a clean electric grinder and grind until smooth.


(Alternatively you can use a mortar and pestle.)

Taste for seasoning and add more sea salt if the citrus flavor is too strong.

Transfer the finely ground citrus salt to glass containers.




Cover tightly and label the jars with the contents and date.

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