If you shake salt on your food, one of the easiest ways to add more flavor is to use a seasoned salt. Why not add other seasonings at the same time?
Perhaps that’s why Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, created in 1938 to season the prime rib served at Lawry’s restaurant in Beverly Hills, has remained a prominent fixture on the spice rack in many households.
The blend of salt, herbs and spices (garlic, onion, paprika and turmeric, plus sugar—here’s the copycat Lawry’s Seasoned Salt Recipe) adds more flavor than salt alone.
Home cooks found that it worked on everything, from breakfast eggs to any grain, protein, starch or vegetable.
BUYING FLAVORED SALTS
Over the last decade, numerous specialty food artisans—Urban Accents, Saltworks and quite a few other—have created collections of seasoned salts, with a base of sea salt. Even McCormick has joined in, with 11 McCormick sea salt grinders from Chipotle to Sweet Onion.
Casina Rossa seasoned sea salts from
Italy—Porcini, Saffron, Edible Flowers,
and others, are available from Seasoned
Sea Salts. Photo by Naheed Choudhry |
The Urban Accents blends tend to mirror popular cuisines: Caribbean, Indian (curry and mango), Mediterranean, Provençal (herbes de Provence), Spanish (smoked paprika).
The Fusion line of sea salts from Saltworks goes farther, with gourmet salts such as Black Truffle, Espresso, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Maple, Matcha, Merlot, Sriracha, Sundried Tomato, Vanilla and White Truffle.
But at $15 or so per 3.5-ounce jar (more for pricier items like porcini and truffle), you might want to try blending your own with what you have on hand.
We’re addicted to truffle salts, and to Casa Rossa’s saffron salt. A pinch of salt lets us enjoy these two favorite flavors in everything from scrambled eggs to mashed potatoes and vinaigrette.
Unfortunately for us, it’s so costly to purchase dried saffron or truffles—two of the priciest ingredients in the world—that there’s no money to be saved by blending our own.
But there’s much more to blend than saffron and truffles.
Coarse sea salt as a base for your seasoned
salts. Photo by Dhanraj Emanuel | THE NIBBLE.
It takes just five minutes to blend salt, herbs and spices in a spice grinder. You can make them on an ad hoc basis, or make larger batches to store and use as needed.
Pick A Salt
If you don’t have sea salt on hand, start with kosher salt or table salt. After you get the hang of blending, you can try more exotic salts, such as:
Fleur de sel or sel gris from France
Black lava or red alaea salts from Hawaii
Pink Himalayan or kala namak salts from India
See our Salt Glossary for the different types of salts).
Pick Your Seasonings
Start with flavors you use in daily cooking: basil, chipotle, oregano, paprika, parsely, whatever. Pick as many as you like, although when starting out, limit your blends to salt plus four or five herbs/spices.
You can also add ground pepper, although if you’re making enough to store, you may want to add it freshly ground. You can also add a pinch of white or brown sugar.
Some basic blends to try:
Basic Seasoned Salt: salt plus garlic powder, onion powder and paprika
Lemon Pepper Salt: salt plus dried lemon peel and ground pepper
Rosemary Salt: salt plus garlic and rosemary
Celery Salt: salt plus dried celery leaves and celery Seeds (so much better than off-the-shelf celery salt!)
Hot & Smoky Salt: smoked sea salt plus ancho chiles and smoked paprika
Wild Mushroom Salt: salt plus dried chanterelles, dried porcinis, tarragon and white pepper
Then, decide on ratios: which flavors do you want to be dominant, which flavors should be background hints.
Start with twice as much salt as other flavors, and even less of hot flavors. You may find, after making different blends, that you’re using less salt and more herbs/spices.
RECIPE: SAMPLE FLAVORED SALT BLEND
½ cup salt
¼ cup each garlic and onion powders
¼ cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder, chipotle, red pepper flakes, etc.
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1. COMBINE the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well-combined. Working in batches, add the blend to a spice grinder and process into a fine powder. If you don’t have a spice blender, you can try a regular blender.
2. STORE the salt in an airtight container. Store away from heat and light (as all herbs and spices should be stored!).
If you want to make other blends but already have too much of homemade seasoned salt on hand, give it as gifts!