This invaluable seasoning stands next to our stove for tossing into mushrooms, vegetables, soups, and stews. It keeps indefinitely, use a 3-cup glass or ceramic container that is about as tall as it is high for this. A liter French preserving jar—the kind with the rubber gasket around the top—that measures about 3½ inches high and across the neck, is perfect.
Yield: Makes about 3 cups
2 2/3 cups kosher or sea salt, or as needed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh rosemary leaves
20 fresh sage leaves
1. Pour 2/3 cup of the salt in an even layer over the bottom of a very clean and very dry container. Spread the thyme leaves in an even layer over the salt. Spread another 2/3 cup salt over the thyme and top it with the rosemary leaves. Spread 2/3 cup salt over the rosemary and top it with the sage leaves. Top with the remaining salt.
2. Place the container in a cool dry spot. Let stand until the herbs are completely dry, 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the humidity. Check the herbs by brushing aside the top layer of salt and pulling out a sage leaf. If it crumbles easily the herbs ate ready. If not, return the sage leaf and cover the herbs completely with salt.
3. When the herbs are dry, the salt may be a little moist, to dry out the salt for storage and to intensify the herb flavor, transfer the contents of the jar to a large, clean skillet, preferably stainless steel or nonstick. (Cast-iron may turn the salt dark.) Place the skillet over low heat and stir the salt until is dry and very warm to the touch. Cool the salt completely. Rub the dried salt between your palms to crumble the herbs before storing in an airtight container. For a finer consistency, pulse the salt in a food processor until the herbs are fine.
You’ll need to start the salt one to three weeks before using.