Citrus salts are a simple way to add an extra burst of flavor to vegetables, seafood, pasta and so much more (and making them couldn’t be easier)!
Once you have one of these bright, flavorful salts on hand you’ll find yourself using them all the time to add a little extra something to your recipes. Their flavor is most noticeable when you use them towards the end of cooking or as a finishing salt. They’re so simple to put together and they keep for several months in an airtight jar.
What kind salt should you use?
You can use any coarse or flakey salt you like. I’ve used Diamond kosher as well as Maldon flakes. I do NOT suggest using regular table salt, however, because it’s too fine and it’s flavor is so strong that it will overpower the citrus notes.
What fruits will work?
You can use oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit…get creative! Do buy organic if possible and wash them well before zesting.
Do you have a microplane?
If not, it’s an inexpensive tool that you need in your life! You can get one for around $15 on Amazon (you can probably find one at the grocery store, too!) and it’s handy not only for zesting citrus but I also use it for grating parmesan, garlic, ginger and whole nutmeg as well. Honestly, I think I use mine pretty much every day!
How to zest citrus
The key to zesting anything is to only zest the top, colorful layer. You don’t want to get the white part underneath (the pith) because it has an unpleasant, bitter flavor. Hold the microplane, handle up, in one hand with the other end resting on your cutting board. Run your fruit in one stroke down the surface of the zester pressing just hard enough to take the top layer off in one stroke. Turn slightly for the next stroke and keep going around like that until the entire thing is zested. Don’t go back and forth over and over because you’ll get the pith. Once you’re done look at your fruit and get any spots you may have missed.
Don’t waste the rest of the fruit! Squeeze the juice and keep it in the fridge (for up to 3 days) or freeze in ice cube trays to use in another recipe.
This is so easy. Literally 1-2-3
Making citrus salt is super easy and takes about 5 minutes of hands on time. Ready?
- Zest your clean fruit
- Mix zest and salt, rubbing well with your fingers to release all of the flavor
- Spread on parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven for about an hour to dry out (alternatively, you can let it sit out overnight)
- 1/2 cup kosher or flaky salt
- 1-3 Tbsp fresh citrus zest
- Zest clean citrus fruit and combine it with the salt, rubbing well with your fingers to release all of the flavor & disperse evenly throughout the salt
- Spread flavored salt on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 200 degree oven for an hour
- cool and store in a clean jar at room temperature for up to 3 months
- Use a coarse or flaky salt like Diamond Kosher or Maldon for best results
- DO NOT use table salt
- 1 Tbsp is the minimum amount of zest to use, use more for a stronger flavor
That’s it, seriously
This recipe is flexible and you can play with the ratio of zest to salt and even combine different flavors to make a salt that reflects your preferences. Don’t you love it when something is so simple?