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Meet the Spice Blend - The Citrus Salts

Updated: Jul 3

Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. In this post I'll actually be introducing four blends because they are so closely linked in so many ways. So, let's meet the Citrus Salts - Chile-Lime Salt, Grapefruit Salt, Lemon-Herb Salt, and Orange Salt!!

The Inspiration -

Living in Southern California, I am incredibly lucky to have easy access to beautiful produce year-round, and this is especially true of citrus. While I don't have any citrus trees on my own property, I have numerous friends, neighbors, and family nearby who at regular intervals call me up offering some of the bountiful fruit literally falling from their trees. And while it is always a good idea to have some fresh citrus on hand, when you're dealing with bags and bags of it (I once received nearly 80 pounds of lemons from a neighbor with an especially large bumper crop), you have to find creative ways to use up that fruit before it turns moldy. To that end, I've made Limoncello, Preserved Lemons (find my recipe here), Lemon Pesto, and more, but much of the citrus I receive or buy ends up as ingredients in one of my products - in this case, the Citrus Salts.

How, you ask, does all that juicy fresh citrus end up as ingredients in dry spice blends? All hail the dehydrator, my friends! After getting soaked in a vinegar bath and scrubbed clean, that citrus gets sliced up and arranged in a giant dehydrator, where it spends sometimes 24 hours getting completely dried out at a temperature high enough to prevent bacteria growth and low enough not to cook all the flavor out. The dried fruit then gets ground up and mixed with other freshly ground ingredients where, because I dehydrate the whole fruit (rather than just the zest), you get that bright pop of flavor from both the flesh and the peel of the fruit.

The Flavor Profile - The Citrus Salts

It should come as no surprise that the flavor profiles of my Citrus Salts are primarily salty and citrusy, as those are the two primary ingredients in each one. Because each of the four Citrus Salts utilizes a different kind of citrus, however, they are each totally unique and amazing in their own way.

  • Chile-Lime Salt - Made using only lime, dried New Mexico chiles, and Diamond kosher salt, this blend offers a delightful fusion of earthy, zesty, and subtly tangy flavors. The New Mexico chiles bring a warm, smoky undertone, complemented by the vibrant citrus notes from the dehydrated lime, while the salt enhances the overall balance and adds a touch of savory richness.

  • Grapefruit Salt - Made using only ruby grapefruit and Diamond kosher salt, this blend captivates the senses with its vibrant yet slightly sweet tang and delicate sparkle. The essence of ruby grapefruit harmoniously fuses with the subtle crunch of diamond kosher salt, infusing your culinary creations with a burst of citrusy sophistication and a touch of luxurious elegance.

  • Lemon-Herb Salt - This unique spice blend combines the vibrant flavors of dehydrated lemon, fragrant rosemary, earthy thyme, aromatic basil, herbaceous parsley, and kosher salt. The result is a versatile seasoning that adds a delightful burst of citrusy brightness and herbal complexity to any dish, making it a must-have for enhancing your culinary creations.

  • Orange Salt - This simple blend of oranges and kosher salt tantalizes the taste buds with its simplicity and elegance. It is simple yet surprising all at once, with the bright sweetness of ripe oranges elevated by the savory salty notes.

Versatility in the Kitchen - How to Use the Citrus Salts

The Citrus Salt are versatile and flavorful ingredients that can enhance your home cooking in various ways.

  1. Sprinkle them on freshly cooked vegetables to add a bright and tangy zest, particularly for roasted or grilled veggies.

  2. Use them as a seasoning for seafood dishes, such as grilled fish or shrimp, to complement their delicate flavors, like in this recipe for Pan-Seared Lemon-Herb Fish with Crispy Lemon Slices or this one for Lemon-Herb Shrimp Skewers with Zesty Yogurt Dip.

  3. Incorporate them into homemade salad dressings and marinades like this Marinated Feta & Olives with Grilled Flatbread.

  4. Try making desserts with them! How about citrus-infused cookies or cakes for a refreshing twist? Or some Chocolate-Covered Candied Grapefruit! Or some Orange Salted Chocolate Mousse!

  5. Use them to give a salty, citrusy boost to a citrus spin on salsa, like in my recipes for Grilled Chicken Skewers with Grapefruit Salsa or Pan-Seared Halloumi Salad with Grapefruit & Avocado Salsa.

  6. Sprinkle them on fresh vegetables like ripe tomatoes, cucumbers or radishes for a perfect Summer snack.

  7. Just a pinch of one will elevate your Bagel & Lox or Avocado Toast and make you the star of your next potluck brunch.

  8. Rim the edge of your glass with one to create a lip-smacking garnish for cocktails, particularly for margaritas or other citrus-based libations. Chile-Lime Salt is incredible on the rim of a glass filled with my Spicy Cali Margarita Cocktail Kit, while Orange Salt brings out the flavor of the triple sec-infused sugar in my Hibiscus Margarita Cocktail Kit, and you certainly can't go wrong pairing Grapefruit Salt with my Salty Dog Cocktail Kit.

In conclusion, there is no shortage of ways to use my Citrus Salts to brighten up your favorite dishes. The only limit is your own imagination!!

Ready to get your own? Get them here.

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