Homemade Heirloom Tomato Salt

This small batch recipe can easily be scaled up or down. Use an equal amount of coarse salt as tomato skins, by weight. For this recipe, 4 ounces of cherry tomatoes yields about a 1/2 ounce of tomato skins; use a 1/2 ounce of salt. I use 1 medium basil leaf for each ounce of cherry tomatoes. Note that because you're grinding up the salt with the tomato skins, you'll want to use this as a finishing salt, rather than a salt you measure out. Because it's finely ground, one teaspoon would be salt-overload!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Karen Gibson


  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes preferably organic
  • 1/2 ounce coarse salt such as Kosher or a coarse grind of pink Himalayan or French grey salt
  • 4 medium fresh basil leaves rinsed and patted dry


  • Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make a shallow slice across the top of each tomato. This will make the tomatoes easier to peel.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil and drop in the tomatoes. Blanch for 2 minutes. While the tomatoes boil, fill a medium bowl with icy water.
  • After two minutes, remove the tomatoes to the ice water and let cool.
  • Peel the tomatoes, separating the skins from the tomato flesh (use the tomato flesh for another purpose). Press the skins between two paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Transfer the skins to the prepared baking sheet, insides up when possible, leaving room on one end for the basil leaves.
  • Thoroughly coat the tomato skins with the salt.
  • Remove the main stem from each basil leaf and discard. Place the leaves on the parchment paper.
  • Place baking sheet on the top rack of a preheated oven.
  • Check the basil leaves at 30 to 45 minutes. The leaves are ready when they're completely brittle. Remove from the sheet and set aside, returning the tomato skins to the oven.
  • The tomato skins will take about 2 hours or so, total. Check periodically for brittleness. The salt will be recrystalized on the skins. When brittle, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Add the tomato skins and basil leaves to a spice grinder and buzz until pulverized. You can also use a mortar and pestle. Store in an air-tight jar.