You can use this much as you would celery salt, whenever you want a little extra herbal savouriness – traditionally in a Bloody Mary or with hard-boiled quail’s eggs, but also for seasoning chicken or sprinkled over sliced tomatoes for a salad.
Flavoured salts can be made using this method with all kinds of leafy wild herbs. Anything aromatic will work: you could also try ground elder, common hogweed or sweet cicely. Alexanders has a lovely, subtle anise scent (some say it is like myrrh), not unlike celery or fennel, but sweeter and milder.
Use the youngest, tenderest Alexanders leaves you can find. These seem to have the strongest flavour, but they are still quite subtle, so use a high ratio of leaves to salt.
- 2 handfuls picked young Alexanders leaves, rinsed and dried
- 4 tablespoons flaky sea salt crystals, such as Maldon Salt
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (75˚C or lower if possible).
- Lay the washed, dried leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet or sheets. Put them into the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the leaves are completely dried out and crisp to the touch.
- Let the leaves cool, then put them into a mortar with the salt. Grind to a coarse powder, discarding any stringy fibres that refuse to break down.
- Stored in a small airtight jar, this should keep nicely for about a year.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK