Citrus Salt


Citrus Salt

Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

Lemons and Limes

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way. And that was the long Salinas Valley. “

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


After all the dark and stormy weather plus two power outages in one week this is just the project I needed. Easy and rewarding, the bright color and intensity of pure citrus chased all my gray thoughts away. Salt preserving is the second Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. Making citrus salt was nothing like making marmalade, the first Mastery Challenge. There wasn’t anything sweet to temper the boldness. It was intense in its presentation. I zested the fruit into separate piles, Lisbon lemon, Persian lime and Meyer lemon. Rubbing the zest into the salt was a sensory pleasure. As even more citrus oil perfumed my fingertips my mind wandered. I wanted to be more like my lemons and limes, bold and bright in winter, but not crisp and brittle. To bring joy and only overwhelm with goodness. To know that adding a little sweetness doesn’t diminish a personality, it just softens the intensity.

Citrus Salt


I am looking forward to using my citrus salt on roasted vegetables, sheet pan dinners with chicken thighs, simmering grain pilafs and even sweets. Think of lemon cake, sweet rolls and shortbread cookies. Oh, the rim of a margarita glass! Salt and citrus go with just about everything. I made six batches, two each of: Lisbon lemon, Meyer Lemon and Persian lime. A total of three cups of salt and three cups of citrus zest. No fruit was wasted with my project, after zesting, I juiced all the citrus and made lemon-lime aid. I was inspired to make a trio of citrus salt by this gorgeous post.

Citrus Salt

Citrus Salt

Citrus Salt
1/2C fine grain sea salt
1/2C citrus zest, Lisbon lemon, Meyer lemon or Persian lime
  1. Heat the oven to warm. I used the lowest temperature on my oven, 170°, just enough warmth to dry out the citrus. Cover a sheet pan with parchment.
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry the citrus. Finely zest the fruit. In a large bowl add the salt and zest. Use your hands to massage the zest into the salt. Work them together until no clumps of zest remain. Spread the salt and citrus mixture across the surface of the sheet pan. I made three batches, with three types of citrus. Placing them in three separate rows, on one sheet pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Leave the oven on while testing to see if the moisture has evaporated from the citrus by breaking up any clumps of salt. When ready the zest and salt will all be dry. As the moisture leaves the zest, the intense color will soften. My three batches (on one sheet pan) took an additional 30 minutes of oven time. Time will depend on oven temperature, moistness of the zest and depth of the salt layer on the sheet pan.
  4. Let the citrus salt cool before storing. The citrus salt can be used as is, or broken up in a mortar and pestle, or whirred together in a food processor or high speed blender. I pulsed mine in my food processor before storing.

Lemons and Limes

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31 Responses to Citrus Salt

  1. Ala says:

    ohh, I hope you guys are hanging in there all right with all the outages! The folks I know up north have been getting plenty of those, coupled with all of the flooding. It looks like you’re putting your time to amazing use these days, though–love these vibrant colors! Stay safe, Deb!

  2. Just gorgeous, what a perfect way to add a hit of sunshine to any dish!

  3. They would make great presents to give away to friends and family.

  4. Cathy says:

    What a gorgeous post Deb! It sounds like a lovely therapeutic way to get through storms and bad weather, and it looks so pretty too. 🙂 I have never heard of aromatic salt before, so have learnt something new! 🙂

  5. Mary says:

    Deb, what a zesty way to brighten up our California winter weather. I have made flavored sugars before, but never salts. I love the idea of sprinkling citrus salt on veggies. The sun is out in So Cal today, but I think any day is the perfect day to sprinkle about some salted sunshine.

  6. Yi says:

    I’ve bought flavored salt before but never thought of making it myself. The citrus flavored salt sounds like a wonderful idea. I can totally imaging using it to finish up some nice pan-seared fish filet. Thanks for the inspiration and hopefully the spring is just right around the corner.

  7. cheri says:

    Hi Deb, oh I am loving this preserving challenge. Looks like you are too, what a fabulous way to add flavor to a dish. Gorgeous pics!

  8. I buy salts like this when I am in Europe. Now I can make them myself. Thank you Deb!

  9. Now these salts are something I could see myself using. Your fingers must have been soft and smelled great after making the citrus salts.

  10. What a neat idea! I sometimes make a form of citrus sugar for drinks, but never salt. I gotta try this! I can think of tons of uses for it. 🙂 Thanks!

  11. Pingback: Mastery Challenge February Round-up: Salt Preserving - Food in Jars

  12. Betsy says:

    These look gorgeous! Don’t you sometimes wish blogs could have an aroma button? I made herb salts, but you’ve inspired me to try a batch (or three) of citrus salt.

  13. Your weather has even made the news here in the UK, quite a feat as we have a lot of our own crazy weather! I hope it has all passed now and the weather system has settled back to the normal dry. As for the salts, this is something I have been meaning to do. I have made homemade togarashi, the spicy Japanese condiment that uses dried lemon peel – but not salts themselves. I have a dehydrator so it should be even easier. I just need to get some interesting citrus! I am coming over to see family in Florida on Monday and it is not uncommon for me to smuggle back key limes 🙂 I see citrus salts in my near future…

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Kellie! Real Key limes sound so amazing! I’ve seen them on display at the grocery store, but always wonder if they are the real thing!

  14. oh my goodness, Deb, these are so beautiful! And what a great time to whip these out, too: a nice burst of color in late winter (or early spring, or a mix, as we have going on here in the midwest.) Now you’ve got me thinking about making Easter favors for everyone…tiny jars of citrus salt would be lovely.

  15. LOVE these!! I have made flavoured sugar and have been meaning to try salt versions. I’ll have to give these a try – these cold dark days could use a a little colour/flavour infusion!

  16. mjskit says:

    I’ve always wanted to make a citrus salt. They cost a fortune so I figure they would be much cheaper to make at home. You prove that. Yours turned out just gorgeous. Can’t wait to make one. I think I’ll start with orange since I have a large bag of Cara Cara oranges. Thanks!

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