Fleur de Sel
- It's the extra-virgin olive oil of the salt world - the first, most fragile salt crystals that form at the top of the sea water as it evaporates.
Salt is the most basic of seasonings, but it can still be a bit of a mystery. What's the difference between a box of Morton's and a $30 jar of fleur de sel? How much is a three-fingered pinch? And what can be done when you add too much of it? We've rounded up our best advice on the subject – spotlights on different types of salt, tips on how to use it and store it, and a few recipes that put it in the spotlight.
TYPES OF SALT
• Sea Salt. Kosher Salt. Crazy Expensive Salt: What's the Deal? – What kind of salt should you choose? And why is there such a difference in price between the various varieties?
• Fleur de Sel – It's the extra-virgin olive oil of the salt world – the first, most fragile salt crystals that form at the top of the sea water as it evaporates.
• Lavender Sea Salt – All the herbal fragrance of lavender infused in big, flaky chunks of salt.
• D.I.Y. Sesame Salt – This particular salt is also known as gomasio, a traditional Japanese condiment. It's easy to make at home. Check out our recipe and more tips from Martha Stewart.
• Pink Japanese Rock Salt – Nora M. picked up this lump of pink rock salt in Tokyo. Our readers had several suggestions on how to use it.
&bull Maldon Crystal Salt – One of our favorite finishing salts, and it's a great value.
TIPS AND TRICKS
• Salt as You Go – Most recipes don't mention adding salt until near the very end, but you'll get better flavor in you finished dish if you salt as you go.
• Salting to Taste – Many recipes include this instruction, but what does it really mean? What exactly are we tasting for?
• Alton Brown and the Power of Salt – The Good Eats host and the makers of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt have team up for a fun, interactive tutorial on the wonders of our favorite seasoning.
• Edible Souvenirs: Salt – One of the foods we like to acquire on our travels (or have others bring home to us!) is salt. It's easy to carry and lasts a long time, reminding us of beloved, faraway places long after we have returned home.
• A Three-Fingered Pinch of Salt – This phrase has popped up in a lot of recipes, and it implies more than a spare pinch, but not so much that we need to break out the measuring spoons.
• Sprinkle Sea Salt on Your Sweets – It started with the New York Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, and now we're all topping our baked goods with salt.
• Salt and Drain Cucumbers and Zucchini – Don't let these veggies water down a dish. Salt and drain them first.
• Do You Salt Your Watermelon? – Maybe you grew up doing this. Or maybe you think it sounds really strange. Go ahead, give it a try.
• Are Your Salt and Pepper Out in the Open? – We find it's handy to keep Kosher salt and pepper in little dishes next to the stovetop.
• Use Salt To Help Clean Up Egg Spills – Salt has many uses, including cleaning up raw egg.
• What To Do If You Oversalt – Can anything be done to save a dish once we've added too much salt?
• How To Clean a Cast Iron Grill Pan – All you need is a nylon scrub brush and Kosher salt.
RECIPES AND SERVING IDEAS
• DIY Salt Caramels – A wonderfully easy candy recipe.
• Salt-Roasted Potatoes On the stove top or in the oven, it's an intriguing way to roast potatoes.
• Bread with Butter and Truffle Salt – It's expensive, yes, but just tiny smidge of truffle salt elevates the humblest of ingredients.
• How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker – One of the main ingredients in this process is Kosher salt.
• Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt – A simple, elegant snack.
• Truffled Asparagus with Parmesan and Eggs – Truffle salt is the star, once again. If you're not already dreaming of spring, you will be now.
• Homemade Popcorn with Olive Oil – Popcorn is a great platform for trying out different oils and salts.
• Chocolate Mousse with Olive Oil and Sea Salt – A sophisticated mousse that's safe for pregnant dinner guests and delicious for everyone.
• Try a Salt Pig – A great storage container for artisanal salts.
• Salt and Pepper Grinders from Teal and Gold – We are smitten with this set of matching salt and pepper mills from the husband and wife duo of Teal and Gold.
• Wooden Salt Box – Decanting salt into this handy box gives precise control over how much salt we add while cooking.
• Stylish Salt Cellars – These aren’t your great aunt’s kitschy collection of shakers – and they’re not filled with Morton’s.
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)