Roasted Garlic Rosemary Salt

Photo 23-08-15 13 28 54We are moving!
Whereas I am mentally already living at our new place, fact is that physically almost all of our stuff is still acting like it is belonging to our old home. The place is not boxed up, but still things start to get missing and move around.
This also implies, very contra-intuitive, that there is a need to empty the cupboards and fridge.

In ways I feel blessed (for a good laugh, please do look at this Instagram Account #blessed) with such a stocked freezer as we are still having proper meals. For two weeks straight, I know, I am ridiculous.
Also, it turns out, I have a thing for spices and salts. Instead of packing boxes I have decided to make things to empty our cupboards and to fill up the jars and bottles we would move empty otherwise.

Starting off with this Tomato-Chili Salt, moving on to make more Limoncello (I don’t have any excuse for that, sorry), making even more Vanilla Essence, I decided to take a turn and make this Roasted Garlic Rosemary Salt.
It completely surprised me and I think it might be one of the best things I’ve made in a long time. The salt is super aromatic, the roasted garlic cloves dry up to become a little leathery, rather than hard, but still blend in perfectly with the salt.

The project does take a little patience and will take up a bit of space on your kitchen counter but you will be super happy to have done so. Also, and I know this is coming a little early, but I can imagine this to be beautiful gifts in holiday season, divided in little pots or small pouches.
Photo 23-08-15 13 19 52Roasted Garlic Rosemary Salt
This makes two large pots of salt and around 500 grams of end-product.

  • 400 grams of coarse sea salt (nothing special is needed, I took the simple cheap kind)
  • needles of 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • tiniest sprinkle of olive oil

Halve the garlic bulbs and place them in a piece of silver foil that is large enough to close up over the bulbs. Sprinkle a little olive oil on the surface of the garlic bulbs, it is not necessary, but I have found that it makes it much easier to handle the garlic afterwards, as it seems to make it easier to slip the cloves out of their skins.

You can chose to place the rosemary in the pouch, but you could also do it during the next step. I really like the smell of rosemary and was therefore happy to put it in the oven together with the garlic, but don’t see any other reason to do so.

Close the silver foil so there is a little bag for the garlic. This will help the air circulate inside the pouch and ‘steam-roast’ the garlic cloves. I usually place this inside the oven while something else is baking, to use the oven and energy as efficient as possible, in a moderately hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius. The roasting time lies somewhere between an hour and 75 minutes (or simply until you like the color and the cloves feel soft and have shrunk a little, giving space to the skins). Photo 06-08-15 17 55 25
Let the package cool down (only to prevent your hands burning) and prepare a little ‘drying area’ by for example using a large place or oven form where you spread the salt in.

Put the rosemary on top of it, and squeeze or plop the cloves of garlic out of their skins on top of the salt. Mix the garlic together with the salt to make sure it is not vulnerable to go bad.

Let the mixture dry on your counter top for a couple of days (with the amazing smell filling your kitchen as a bonus), or help the mixture a bit by putting it into the oven for two hours on low heat (around 100 degrees Celsius).

When all is thoroughly dried, the garlic cloves will feel leathery and have become much darker but not hard and the salt is not clumpy. The rosemary needles will have become very hard. When you decide that all is ready, place all in a kitchen machine and blitz until you like the consistency. It took my very small kitchen machine around three minutes to make the mixture look right.

Whereas I ambitiously started off with my pestle and mortar, I threw in the towel and decided this is just too much of good. However, I do not think it is impossible, but I just don’t have the right amount of patience I’m afraid.  Enjoy!Photo 06-08-15 17 59 32

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