Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had wonderful holidays!
We just recently got back from spending the holidays with my parents. We had a really good time, including – as expected – LOTS of food. Way too much, to be honest with you. For whatever reason we never manage to buy the right amount of groceries.
We spent most of the time in the kitchen. Starting off with cooking for hours. Followed by a long lunch sitting at the table. By the time we finished cleaning the kitchen, it was time to prepare dinner.. CRAZY.
My poor brother didn’t get a break during those days. Each time we get together, there is certain things on the ‘menu list’ that my mom makes. Like lasagne, cod fish, artichokes etc.
Then they go shop for all those things that only my brother knows how to cook. Let’s say that they get carried away easily, when it comes to buying fish and similar. The result is that my brother is stuck in the kitchen for hours.. no wait! For days! While we assist him in cleaning after him making sure that he has all his equipment available. That can be a tough task, trust me. My brother tends to easily forget that he’s at home, and not at work in a restaurant. Keeping up with his speed can be tough! But, at the end, no matter how often I tell my parents that we need to u-r-g-e-n-t-l-y work on our “quantities” and the time we spend in the kitchen, by the time we sit at the table, I forget about everything I said before. Simply because it is so so worth it!
And it shows us how blessed we really are to have all that available, which is not a given.
When it’s time to leave, and head home, it’s always the same scene. Especially my mom starts packing for us all kind of food, vegetables, and so on. No matter how often I remind her that we do have grocery stores over here too, she just totally ignores that. Ok, granted.. With no exception, when we get home and unpack everything, we are always so happy and thankful that mamma did insist.. :)
I must also admit, that this time it was me taking something home. Voluntarily. For a change. I found a huge package of the most beautiful coarse sea salt I had seen in a while. That was exactly what I was looking for! And here it is. I took some rosemary, lemon zest and red peppercorn to season the sea salt. This is the kind of salt you always want to have ready in your kitchen. It will wonderfully flavor your dishes. In particular fish, meat and potato dishes. Feel free to use other herbs as you desire, such as basil, parsley, or thyme work fine as well. It can be stored for several weeks or even months. The more dry the mix is, the longer it will last.
- 200 g / 7 oz coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- zest of one lemon
- 1 full tsp red peppercorn (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 150°C / 302°F.
- Clean the rosemary and discard the stems.
- Chop with a knife. (Make sure that the rosemary is completely dry before chopping it! Otherwise it will turn black.)
- Place the lemon zest with the chopped rosemary on a parchment paper layered baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Check once in a while, and take out of the oven as soon as they are dry. You don't want them to get brown.
- Add the rosemary and lemon zest to the salt. Stir in the crashed peppercorn.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Alternatively, if you prefer a finer salt, you can pulse all ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds and then bake for about 10 minutes until dry. Add more herbs for a more intense flavor, as desired.