Flavored salts are simple to make and add easy pizazz to any dish. Last fall, when the Midwestern Gentleman and I harvested our herb garden, I put up several jars of herb salts: lemon balm salt; thyme salt; and a blend of rosemary, sage, and thyme. My latest foray into flavored salt, lime salt, adds a hint of tang when seasoning fish or chicken, and if it happens to find its way onto the rim of a margarita glass, I won’t judge you. I like my flavored salt a bit chunky, with visible bits of herb or zest. If you prefer a more finely textured, uniform blend, then just blitz the salt in a food processor after all the ingredients have dried out.
I love lime and hot pepper together, so my favorite way to use this salt is to mix it with a little cayenne pepper and sprinkle it on popcorn. If cayenne has too much bite for your taste, try it with cumin or smoked paprika — yum!
Back when I still lived in New England, my friend Eric turned me into a popcorn snob. I wasn’t that into popcorn — it was something I would occasionally eat at the movie theater, but not one of my go-to snacks. Then Eric gave me a bag of Crown Jewel popcorn. The mass-produced popcorn on the shelf of every convenience store in America has been hybridized to produce large kernels, but along with the large kernels come poor taste and razor-sharp hulls that slice up my gums. Crown Jewel grows small-scale, artisanal popcorn in a range of brilliant kernel colors. It pops up small but tender, and tastes like actual corn. I pop Crown Jewel on the stove or over a campfire, and I’m addicted to the toasty corn flavor. Topped with a bit of lime salt? Mmm, healthful, gluten-free snacking bliss!
1/2 cup sea salt
1 large (or 2 small) organic lime
A microplane zester works well here, but any fine grater will do. Wash and dry the lime. Grate just the colored part of the zest. Combine the lime zest and sea salt in an 8-oz mason jar and stir well to combine. Tear open a coffee filter and cover the jar top with it. Secure the filter with the mason jar’s metal ring, or a rubber band. (This will keep dust out while preventing too much humidity inside the jar from the wet zest, which can make your salt sticky.) Store in a cool, dark place and shake the jar daily for 2-3 days. When the zest has dried out, replace the coffee filter with a regular airtight lid. The lime salt is ready to use!