Herbal Infusions Are Your New Secret Culinary Weapon

Elevate your cooking with this one easy trick.

herb infused salt sugar honey recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Sometimes, updating the basics is the easiest way to add excitement, especially in the kitchen. Private chef Lauren Gerrie's preferred way to do this? Add super fresh herbs to larder staples.

"Infusing salt, sugar, honey, and oils is the coolest way to make flavors from seasons past linger into the changing months," says Gerrie. "I always get excited and buy way too many herbs in the summer because there are so many amazing options, and they are all colorful and gorgeous. Infusing them in to larder items is such a great way to eliminate food waste."
 

Gerrie recommends using infusions as finishing touches to dishes, and in rubs, marinades, and dressings. Stored at room temperature in a shaded place, they'll keep for awhile (however, oils can go rancid, so you could keep them in the refrigerator or other cold place), though Gerrie resists putting an exact timeline on them. "Only time will tell with shelf life," she says, "just keep tasting and smelling. Always date your infusions to keep a record of their creation."

 domino kitchen
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She also notes that infusions make great body products. "They work great as scrubs, and sometimes I infuse my coconut oil and use that for everything from homemade deodorant, to face cleanser, to hair shine, to toothpaste." Sounds like the perfect DIY present to always have on hand.
 
Gerrie recently stopped by the Domino kitchen to show us how to make our own infusions (she also whipped up a plum salad using one of her infusions). Here she shares three recipes that will transform your cooking game.

herb infused honey recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

 

lauren gerrie herb infused honey recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

ANISE HYSSOP HONEY
  • 1 cup local honey
  • 2 tbsp. Anise Hyssop buds (bright purple & packed with flavor). Look for it at your local farmers market.

herb infused honey how to
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Combine honey and buds in a small jar with lid. The infusion will become stronger and stronger as it sits.

lauren gerrie recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Be sure to occasionally stir the honey or turn the jar upside down. The flowers will rise to the top so it is important to mix them occasionally. 

herb infused salt recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

TARRAGON SALT
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. tarragon (stems removed & finely chopped)
 

TARRAGON SALT recipe
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
TARRAGON SALT how to
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

 
 

lauren gerrie herb salt recipes
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Combine the salt and chopped tarragon in a small bowl and work with fingers to release the natural oils and infuse the salt. Store in an airtight container.

This can be used as a finishing salt, in spice rubs, curing, pastries, or COCKTAILS!

LEMON THYME SUGAR
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

LEMON THYME SUGAR
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon thyme leaves (stems removed)

LEMON THYME SUGAR recipe
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
herb infused sugar how to
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Combine the sugar and thyme leaves in a small bowl and work with fingers to release the natural oils and infuse the salt. Store in an airtight container, and use in spice rubs, curing, pastries, and cocktails!

Published on August 24, 2017 - 5:00am EDT

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