Food In Jars Mastery Challenge - Salt Preserved Dill
When I heard that Marisa at Food in Jars was running this challenge I was so excited, but for some reason the first month slipped by and I didn't end up making any marmalade! This is not altogether bad since marmalade moves very slowly in our house as Mr. Forager can't stand the stuff. Not to mention that I still have some in the pantry from last winter!
This month there were so many options that were exciting to me that I didn't have time to try them all, but I wanted to make sure I tried out salt preserved herbs so that I have a good handle on it when my gigantic herb garden starts producing in a few months! I will still be trying a few of the others I think since I love the idea of salt cured egg yolks, salt preserved soup base, gravlax, and many other things (salt preserved grapefruit!). I will also need to replenish the kimchi in my fridge soon. Salt is such a useful tool! It is amazing the kind of things we can create just by adding salt to something.
I began by stripping a bunch of dill I got from the local store (alas, being February, local fresh herbs are hard to come by!), but I soon got tired of it and wondered if I could just whiz it all through my Vitamix blender. I figured this way I could make use of the stems as well and have less waste. After that I added the zest of one lemon and 1/2 cup of coarse salt. I think if you were chopping by hand you might want to use fine salt, but I figured sine I was using my blender this might be a better way.
I am happy to say that it mostly worked, but - as you can see below - the mixture overall is quite wet! I am hoping it will dry out nicely and then I can crumble it back into a salt-like consistency. Some of the very strong dill scent has given way to more of a general "green" aroma since blending, but I am sure it will come back to normal as it dries. I can't wait to have this on hand since I don't have any dill related seasoning in my pantry at the moment and every time I make potatoes I seriously feel the absence.