Italian Herb Rub Salt
In spite of the appearance of these herbs, above, I assure you they’re perfectly legit. No, I didn’t open up my Pink Floyd double-album to remove any seeds. And no, I wasn’t listening to The Moody Blues at full-volume on my headphones hoping my mom wouldn’t smell anything funny coming from my bedroom, like when I was a teenager and took precautions by rolling up a towel and pushing it against the bottom of the door.
I’ve left all that behind, and now that I’m a law-abiding adult, I get my rush cooking, and this is my ‘stash.’ My friend Judy in Tuscany showed me how to make this easy herb mixture and it’s so good, and versatile, that I now make it frequently. It’s a vibrant mixture of fresh rosemary and sage, chopped up with fragrant garlic and coarse salt, then dried.
To make this Tuscan herbed salt, take a very large bunch of fresh sage and pick the leaves off. Then take a large bunch of rosemary and strip off the oily leaves of those. A good proportion is about 2 to 3 parts sage leaves to 1 part rosemary. Then take about 8 small peeled garlic cloves and a heaping tablespoon of coarse salt (I use grey salt from Brittany) then chop it all up until the herbs are very fine, as shown. Discard any sticks or seeds. Spread the chopped mixture on a baking sheet and let it dry for about three days. (Hint: Don’t keep it near an open window where there might be a breeze. It would be a total bummer if you wasted your stash.) Once dry, store your Tuscan herbed salt in a tightly-sealed in a jar.
I use it as an instant rub over poultry, tuna filets, and meat; since I always have some on hand, it’s simple to mix with some good olive oil and rub in well before roasting. You can also mix some in a bowl of olive oil to use as a dipping sauce, too.