Verdurette + Herbal Salts
I used to be a massive fan of batch cooking. I would tear apart the kitchen and make ALL THE THINGS ALL AT ONCE. These days, I rarely have the time to make all that food/mess then also clean it up. And actually, thats not always practical. Food doesn't all come ripe at the same time, even from the same plant (thank goodness!!) and who has time to pick, make and clean everything all at once?!?
Smaller batches of things tend to be my go to as autumn ramps up and nothing is quicker or easier than herbal salts. My love of these started with the discovery of verdurette - a replacement for stock. A volunteer introduced us to this, and since then we always have a big jar in our fridge, ready for soups and things like bolognese.
1 part by weight finely chopped greens: kale, spinach, nettles, cress, etc.I’ve used beet greens from my beet root which was nice, but a bit more earthy than other flavours.
1 part by weight finely chopped onion or shallots
1 part by weight finely chopped root vegetable: carrots, celeriac, or parsnips work well, but don't use potatoes
1 part by weight finely chopped herbs: parsley, thyme, oregano, or carrot tops
1 part kosher or sea salt
Chop the ingredients, either by hand or in a food processor.
Mix them together well.
Pack into a clean glass jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
To use: add to your dish in place of salt (ie, don't add additional salt to your dish
However, don't stop there. You can use this basic method to preserve fresh herbs as well. Salt is a natural preserver, stopping the decomposition of plants and enhancing their flavour.
You can easily make fresh herbal salts out of most green herbs in your garden, but our favourites are:
Woody herbs, like rosemary and bay don't work as well in this, but then I find they hold up quite well when dried.
The basic ratio of salt to herb is 1:4 - so one part by weight of salt to 4 parts herbs.
The method here is easy - finely chop your herbs with a knife or a food processor. Add your salt and mix thoroughly. spoon into a clean jar and store in the fridge. The herbs keep almost like fresh. I do this throughout the year with those grocery store herb pots, as I never get them used before they start to wilt.
This recipe features in our Handmade Christmas online course, which is available to purchase here