I was trying to figure out what to do with the plethora of basil I have from my new plant and found a recipe for basil salt. I thought that would be a good way to preserve some of the basil and an excellent opportunity to use my cute lime green mortar and pestle from World Market!
It was pretty easy. I started with a few dry basil leaves, rolled them up like a cigar and cut little ribbons (it’s called a chiffonade – that’s French). Then I cut those strips into smaller pieces. Next I put about a tablespoon of kosher salt into the mortar and added the basil bits. Next I took the pestle and mashed everything together, using the sides to help crush everything. The salt also creates some abrasion to help the whole process. Add in about four tablespoons more of salt and mix all together. Then pour all of it out onto a plate or tray and let it dry out for a few hours. It’s important that you don’t have the dishwasher on or anything else that will create humidity as you’re trying to dry the out the oils that the basil released into the salt.
Then you just pour the dried salt and basil into a little jar or an old screw cap spice dispenser (cleaned out so it doesn’t smell like the previous occupant). This is great to have on hand for making pasta, meatballs, steak, fish, chicken – just about anything. You can also add in chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano to make it a standby Italian seasoned salt. I can’t wait to put it on my grilled chicken this weekend!