Spruce Salt - Good as a Meat Rub or a Bath Scrub

Here's the thing about spruce (Picea spp.) tips - they are invigorating.  They have all of the lovely home cozy pine-y scent that we associate with winter.  But their taste is zingy and refreshing and full of life.  And all of this makes them seem like the perfect featured ingredient for the Wild Things Round Up in March, a period when winter and spring are in a constant tug-of-war with time.

If you're new to the idea of eating evergreen trees, here's a simple way to get acquainted with the flavor - spruce (or pine or fir) salt.  All you have to do is collect the most tender tips you can find, chop them finely with a sharp knife, then grind them up with nice sea salt in a mortar and pestle (alternately, whiz the two up in a food pro).

Spruce salt can be used in a lot of ways, in and out of the kitchen.  Use it as a rub with your favorite meats, or include it in a brine.  Use it sparingly to finish a long-cooked dish like osso bucco or a slow roast.  Try is on veggies - it pairs particularly well with mushrooms and roasted potatoes.  And if you are very daring, put the slightest sprinkling of spruce salt atop fruit desserts.

And spruce salt is a multitasker - it can be used as a part of your self-care routine as well.  Combine spruce salt with a little honey and/or olive oil, and use it as a refreshing shower scrub.  The brisk aroma and tingly sensation of this scrub are quite exhilarating.

Store your extra spruce salt in a sealed glass container (preferably vacuum-sealed) to help preserve all of it's fragrant oils.

Wild Things Round Up is a foraging recipe challenge, and you are invited to play along.  For more great recipe ideas, as well as information about medicinal uses of spruce/fir/pine tips, visit my co-host Bek, of Cauldrons and Crockpots.

I'm sharing this recipe with Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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