Sunday, August 26, 2012

Basil Salt

It's that time of year again when we have a surplus of garden harvests.  I planted my herbs in a new place this year and they really took to it.  Here is a great way to use up extra basil.

This recipe is courtesy of the Food Network Magazine.  

I made a double batch and gave one as a gift. 
 For one batch:  One half cup of kosher salt.
 One half cup of basil.
 I love my Alton Brown Measuring Cup! Unfortunately I don't think he sells it anymore.  They came in a set of two (1 cup and 2 cup).  They are perfect for measuring things like honey, mayo, oil.  The bottom pushes up like a plunger and it all comes out so you don't have to keep scraping the sides.  Anyway, you should have about 1/2 cup of packed basil leaves.  (More or less to taste.)
 Add the salt and basil to the food processor.
 Pulse until the basil is completely pulverized into the salt.
 Until nice and crumbly.  There shouldn't be any recognizable leaf segments.
Spread the mixture on a backing sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper so that it would be easier to remove the salt when it was done.
 Bake the salt at 225 degrees (F) for about 30 to 40 minutes (mixing once halfway through.)
 Let cool completely.
 Place the salt crumbles back into the process.
 Process until finely ground and powdery.
 I funneled the salt into glass bottles, labeled and sealed.
I assume the salt will store like any other salt.  The article didn't mention how long it would keep.  Considering it's salt, I assume it will be good for a long time since sodium is a preserver.  The cooking should have dried up the basil enough that I don't think mold should be an issue.  

I cooked chicken yesterday and used it in place of plain salt.  I'm thinking it will be really good on fresh sliced tomatoes.  Maybe popcorn that has been popped in olive oil.  Put it on fresh steamed veggies.  It smells like pesto, but the taste is really subtle.  


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