Salt-Preserved Herbs

by Marisa McClellan

As the author of foodinjars.com, one of the Internet’s most popular and enduring canning blogs and one of Saveur magazine’s “Sites We Love” in 2011, McClellan has established herself as an expert and a pioneer of urban canning and preserving, and her second book includes 100 recipes for jams, pickles, preserves and other small-batch edibles, all thoughtfully sorted by season. McClellan stopped by The Seasoned Farmhouse during her national tour, allowing first-time canners and long-time enthusiasts alike a rare opportunity to meet the author and chat with her about their experiences with Food in Jars.

Marisa McClellan at The Seasoned Farmhouse 

Marisa McClellan at The Seasoned Farmhouse 

Salt-Preserved Herbs

from Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan 

This technique for salt-preserved herbs requires just herbs, salt and a jar. It doesn't initially seem like it should work because all you've done is toss chopped herbs with salt and pack it all in a jar. But it becomes a magic, savory, flavor-giving thing that can last in your fridge indefinitely. I use this mix in soups, stews, braises, pots of beans and anywhere that could stand extra oomph.

Makes 1 (1-Pint/500 ML) Jar

8 Ounces/230 g mixed fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil, chervil, sorrel and leafy celery tops are all good choices)
6 ounces/180 g coarse sea salt

Wash and dry the herbs well. Pluck the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them by hand (a food processor often turns them to paste). Scrape the herbs into a bowl and add the salt. Using clean hands, toss the herbs and salt together until well combined. 

Funnel the herb mixture into a 1-quart/1-liter jar, apply a lid, and place it in the fridge. Every day for a week, give it a good shake. At the end of the week, it should have reduced in volume by about half. transfer the herb salt to a 1-pint jar and fit with an airtight lid. It will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely. 

Note: When dipping into your jar of herb salt, make sure to only use meticulously clean spoons. This practice extends the life span of your herb salt because there is less risk of introducing any bacteria into the jar. 

pg. 86 of Preserving by the Pint

pg. 86 of Preserving by the Pint