The basil is browning at the edges. The summer savory’s long-gone, and the oregano has struggled as we’ve gone from excessive moisture to very dry conditions. The herbs in my garden are on their last legs. Most of them, anyway: The chives, tarragon and thyme are happy and lush.
If your garden is in the same shape, then you might use this recipe for herb-infused salt as a way to preserve the flavors for months to come. This recipe is inspired by an Italian herbed salt blend that my brother hooked me on years ago. The method is pretty simple: just finely chop fresh herbs and mix with fine sea salt; garlic and bay leaves infuse the mixture for just a few days before they’re discarded. Salt is a natural preservative, so the herbs retain their bright flavor (without worry of molding). Keep a jar of this herb-infused salt near your stove. I find myself reaching for a pinch of it nearly every time I cook.
herb infused sea salt recipe
1 cup fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. each of the following fresh herbs, finely chopped: thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage
2–3 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 large clove garlic, peeled
Skewer the bay leaves and garlic on a toothpick. Mix the salt and herbs well in a glass jar with a lid; embed the skewer in the salt. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for a week, shaking the jar well every day. After a week, discard the garlic-bay skewer. Salt keeps in a cool place for 3–4 months; the flavor will deepen over time.