Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kitchen Project: DIY Celery Salt

I am trying to lessen my family’s salt intake, and yet I wouldn’t want to
sacrifice the flavor of the dish that I am cooking.  I have read from culinary magazines that the
only way to intensify the taste is to add lots of herbs to the dish.   Hence, I possess an extensive assortment of
dried herbs in my pantry.  In addition, I
also have a few potted ones in my herb garden.  

Just a few days ago, my mother-in-law thoughtfully sent over a fine-looking
bunch of celery  – thick, green stalks
with substantial leaves.  I usually just
throw away the leaves, but they possess so much flavor so I thought of finding
good use for them.  I used the leaves to
make Celery Salt.  

Celery leaves have a strong aroma, and is a wonderful addition when making
soups.  I thought that making some Celery
Salt would be a nice way to always have celery on hand.  Here’s how you can make one for your own
kitchen pantry:

1.  Pick the leaves from each celery
stalk and rinse with cold water.  Shake
off excess water, pat with kitchen towels and lay out the leaves to dry

2.  Once completely dry, heat up a
skillet big enough to hold all the leaves in a single layer.  Toast the leaves over medium heat, careful
not to brown the leaves.

3.  Remove from heat and let
cool.  When cool, crumble the leaves to
form small pieces and dispense with leaves that did not crisp up.

4.  Combine equal parts celery and
salt.  I used fine-grain Himalayan pink
as I have them in my kitchen.  I
also added a few teaspoons of garlic powder and a big pinch of freshly ground black, green, white and pink peppercorns
Mix to distribute the celery leaves evenly.  Store in a sealed container.

I immediately put the home-made celery salt to good use by making my kids favorite, Minestrone.

I got a profusion of thanks, coupled with "Mom, you're the best!"  Of course, I got a little help... The celery salt, the freshly picked basil leaves, and a generous sprinkle of Pecorino Romano! 

I hope this post encourages you to make your own Celery Salt! 

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