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Tuscany in a jar: salt with sage and rosemary

Scents of home. I’m not the first and certainly I won’t be the last to tell something about herself through the scents of her life. I think there is no better time to do that than the first days of summer, when scents are highlighted by hot air and when you can call it a day only after a slow walk intro your favourite country road, in between sweet-smelling hedges and fireflies.

Without any doubt one of the scents that I love the most is the scent of blooming linden trees of early summer, when these so familiar trees explode into a chirping of cicadas and gift us with their cool shade. Their sweet scent reminds me of the beginning of summer, never ending table tennis matches with Chiara in her garden, all in one breath readings of the books I loved as a girl, romances and mystery books, my bicycle leaning against the gate to run and play with my friends, tumbledown huts made of towels and umbrellas under their protective gaze. Every year during this period, when I feel the fragrance of the lindens, I’m back to my childhood and I’m captured again by the desire to play, to make bizarre plans and race my bike in the last hours of the day to enjoy till the end all that summer gives us.

Besides the scent of lime trees, the jasmine – even now it’s creeping from the garden through the open window and wants to draw you out, to live and enjoy the summer night, the shooting stars and the gentle breeze – freshly cut grass, wet ground under the plants of tomatoes and mum’s aromatic salt.

When I had to decide what to bring as little present from Tuscany to London for the Food Bloggers Connect I’ve considered anything from finocchiona (a kind of Tuscan cured meat) to cantuccini (cookies with almonds), from wine to olive oil. But every time I hit the restrictions of hand baggage with RyanAir or obvious difficulties of transport and storage. One evening I felt a familiar smell, the smell of mum’s aromatic salt, which closes Tuscan tastes and smells into a jar. Garlic, rosemary and sage. That’s it. The recipe is just this, in its crystal clear simplicity: nothing more than these three ingredients to represent my country abroad.

It’s just impossible to give exact quantities: roughly I can say use the same amount of sage and rosemary. For the rest, follow your taste whether you like it with more or less garlic, more or less pepper, whether you want to put more salt or more herbs, everything is done following the inspiration of the moment.

Ingredients:

  • salt
  • rosemary (we call it ramerino in Tuscany)
  • sage
  • garlic
  • black pepper

Wash sage and dry it well. Do the same with rosemary. Finely chop sage leaves, rosemary and garlic cloves. Combine the mix of sage, rosemary and garlic with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Close in a jar and keep it in the fridge.

Whenever you want to smell a bit of Tuscany, just open the jar and use this salt as a dressing or for cooking. Essential seasoning for roasted pork (porchetta), this salt, flavoured with sage and rosemary, is perfect for seasoning a simple grilled meat – beef, chicken, turkey or pork – for roast beef, for baked fish or even for roasted potatoes.

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This Post Has 37 Comments
  1. That is the most beautiful jar of spaice/herbs that I have seen ever!!! I am so glad I found this site…awesome stuff. Mind if I saty a while?

  2. Almost a year ago, I had the most wonderful trip to Italy. As soon as I have sufficient Sage and Rosemary in my garden I shall be trying this recipe.

  3. Hello Giulia! I’ve been meaning to tell you that I used some Tuscany in a jar last week. I mixed it in with turkey mince and made turkey burgers, served on rosemary foccacia. The turkey burgers were so aromatic and flavourful.

    I have the world’s biggest rosemary plant (I’m not joking, it’s really really really big) in my garden, as well as a lot of sage, so I shall be making some of this myself!

  4. Wowh, this sounds (and looks) perfect! Gonna try it, for sure! Just wondering how long you can keep it in the fridge, do you have any idea? Thanks a lot & bisous from Versailles, Chantal

  5. I make a mixture similar to this and it is perfect to keep in the fridge for seasoning all types of dishes! It doesn’t keep too well, so I use mine very quickly, but it smells so wonderful while I have it! I love your pot!

  6. simply awesome. just a note to everyone who reads this – I vouch that this is an awesome mix. Juls was kind enough to bring me a jar of her Tuscany in a jar. It is aromatic, delicious and full of flavor!

  7. @ Nina: just make yourself at home! fancy a cuppa?
    @ Lynn: isn’t it wonderful when you can recreate your past experiences into something to taste/smell? it brings you back all your good memories!
    @ Mowie: it was exactly the function I thought for it!! 😀
    @ Michele: this is what I call cooking Tuscan style!! It sounds delicious! Now you definitely have to make your own Tuscany in a jar!
    @ Chantal: you can keep it for weeks in the fridge, we make large amount of salt and store it in the fridge!
    @ Bunkycooks: it is! My pot, let’s talk about it!! I just bouht it at Anthropologie in London, isn’t it nice?!?!
    @ Sarah: thank you dear!
    @ Meeta: you’re really toooo kind!! thank you! How did you use it?

  8. your Tuscany in a Jar is perfect…..so many things remind us of who we are or where we have been…..thanks so much for sharing this little wonder!

  9. Your post is so beautifully written and takes me back to a happier and simpler time. I love everything about your post from the pictures to the recipe.

  10. @ Chef Dennis: Thank you for your nice comment! I’m happy you liked it!
    @ The Housewife: 😀 I’m so happy, Trying to express myself is always a challenge, but so satisfying!

  11. Oh Juls, I really love this mix! Thank you so much for the little jar! I just made a Focaccia with it, and it turned out beautifully. Just posted it on the blog!
    xx

  12. Oh Juls it looks beautiful and it probably smells lovely too.
    We are leaving on a three week vacation to Tuscany on Saturday. I am so excited about all the good food we will eat. If you have any favorite restaurants or other food related gems that you would like to share I would be soo grateful!

  13. Ah, I can smell the aromas of tuscany from here! I often make my own dried parsley but this post dawned on me that you can take that and make a blend, so inspirational!

  14. @ Anne: I’ve already told you.. your focaccia looks great!
    @ Magic od Spice. thank you dear!
    @ David: really??? I’m writing to you to give you some tips!!
    @ Jen: I think you’ll love it!
    @ Easy-salad-recipe: thank you!
    @ Rachel: interesting with parsley…

  15. Juls, I have to tell you that I just made some this morning and it is DIVINE! Thank you so much for such a wonderful simple recipe! Baci!

  16. @ Tiina: hun, thank you a lot!! When you’ll come to visit – or when I’ll come to visit – there will be the chance to exchange another HUGE jar!!
    @ Italytutto: WOW!! Thank you!!
    @ Fuji Mama: really?!?! I’m so happy! Now you have your little corner of Tuscany in your kitchen!! 😀 Baci

  17. Hi. I’m just as enchanted with the jar you picture here and the crisp color combination of green and white as I am with the idea of having a condiment with a couple of my favorite ingredients: rosemary and garlic. I am interested to see how it pairs up with sage. Sounds really good.

  18. @ Margo: Ciao margo, welcome in my Tuscan Kitchen! you should give a try to this match of flavours! Thank you for stopping by!

  19. Hi Giulia, was so good to meet you at the FBC this year (albeit very briefly)
    I’ve finally got round to catching up with everyones work. (after completing a massive overhaul to my site!)
    And I have to say how stunned I am at your recipes. They are mouthwatering.
    This recipe with Sage looks divine. I have a huge pot of purple sage, and loads of rosemary in my garden..coupled with the salt we received at the FBC..It’s as though you made this recipe just for me:-)
    I look forward to keeping up with your foodie adventures, and will be linking back to this delicious site!!
    Thank-you

  20. Rachel, I’m really glad to hear from you! This year has been a really short acquaintance at FBC, but I do believe next year we’ll have the chance to get to know each other better!
    Thank you for visiting me, and for your kind words!! Read you soon! 😛

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