These savory crystals are spicing up meals at in-the-know restaurants.
At a recent dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the upstate New York restaurant that’s basically the dictionary definition of farm-to-table, a bread plate is accompanied by a curious bowl of tiny green crystals. “Arugula salt,” the waiter explains—a combo of dehydrated, ground arugula and traditional salt.
Adding herbs or veggies to salt not only amps up the flavor; it also slashes the amount of sodium per serving. (Easy math: If you fill your shaker with a 50/50 mixture of salt and dehydrated veggies, that’s 50% less sodium per shake.) The home cook's version of veggie salt is also super easy to make. Jennifer Burns Bright of food blog Culinaria Eugenius,who makes salts out of carrots, beets, celeriac, mushrooms and more, explains how:
1. Grate your root vegetables. Weigh and combine with the same weight of kosher salt (e.g., 400g grated carrots, 400g salt) in a plastic sealable bag. Refrigerate for two days.
2. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, or as close to 125 degrees as possible. Spread salt/veggie mixture on tray lined with parchment paper and dry in oven for several hours, until brittle.
3.Whirl in food processor until powdered.
*Note: If using mushrooms, skip the pre-salting and refrigeration step, and simply whirl dried mushrooms with salt.
Sub your veggie salt for regular salt in savory recipes, or sprinkle it over kale chips or sweet potato fries. Burns Bright’s best tip? “I use mushroom salt to add umami to soup,” she says.