It has been a busy couple of weeks here at home.
Larry retired at the end of August, and though you might think that would mean we have more time, we actually seem to have less than ever. A lot of things got put off all summer, because we kept saying “We’ll have more time in September.” Well September is here, and we have to get it all done now.
Then the influx of family began, as it does every two years or so, when we try to get as many people together as possible for a nice long visit. That will continue for another week as so, though the crowd is beginning to thin out a bit.
But garlic is harvested in July, so that means it is all cleaned and dried and hanging at one end of the garage, to be used through the winter months. Next year’s crop will be planted in October sometime, and then it will sit all snug under the soil for the winter. I think we ended up with something over 200 bulbs this year, so, as always we have plenty of it to play with.
This lemon garlic salt is easy to prepare, and then it just needs to sit in a dry spot for a week or so before getting jarred up. It keeps nearly indefinitely after that, though the flavor is best in the first 2 months or so. It’s a great way to preserve both lemon and garlic, as the salt draws out the excess moisture, while keeping all of the fresh flavor.
I had used up a couple lemons in a marinade, and I hate to waste anything, so I zested them first, and used the zest in this amazing salt. Even if you use organic lemons, it is a good idea to thoroughly wash them before using the zest. Dry them off completely before removing the outer layer of skin with a Microplane or fine grater. Try not to get any of the white pith that is just under the skin, as that can be quite bitter, which is only accentuated by drying.Our homegrown garlic is pretty strong, as well as having nice big cloves, so I only needed to use 3 cloves in this recipe – you can always use more than that if you have smaller, milder garlic. The salt is just regular old Morton’s Kosher Salt, which is the perfect texture, once everything is all chopped up together.
- 3 very large cloves of garlic, peeled
- Zest from 2 large lemons [3 or 4 smaller ones]
- ⅔ cup coarse kosher salt
- Roughly chop the cloves of garlic - doesn't have to be uniform or very small.
- Pile the salt and lemon zest onto the garlic.
- Use a large chef's knife, or santuko and chop over the ingredients until the garlic is chopped very finely - the other ingredients will be of the proper consistency by then as well. You will have to scrape everything back into a pile and chop it over again, until you get to where you want to be.
- The garlic has to be quite fine, or it will not dry out enough, so keep working at it - it should about 5 minutes of steady chopping.
- Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper, and spread the sale mixture in an even layer, and set in a dry place - a turned off oven will work well.
- Stir it each day, until it becomes very dry - it will take 3 or 4 days.
- Once it's dry, put in covered jars and store in a cool, dry place.
- Use the salt to season meats and vegetables, scrambled eggs, dips, spreads - where ever you thing the flavor combo will work well.