Salt: The Most Versatile Seasoning

What is the most important seasoning in your pantry? Salt. Nothing else rivals what salt will do for meat or vegetables.

I don’t understand how it does it but salt develops the flavor of whatever food it contacts. (My father even sprinkled it on watermelon. Try it sometimes.) If you’re using it to enhance meats, sprinkle it on heavy well in advance of cooking, up to 24 hours but anything starting at one hour and up will make everything better. Here’s the rule: Any salt that remains on the outside of the meat should be removed before cooking because it will make the meat taste salty. But any salt that is absorbed by the meat will not, and will enhance the flavor. Trust me on this: you cannot put it on too thick so long as you follow this rule. And an extra that salt gives you is that it retards bacterial growth if you happen to have any.

We have it in every form. Kosher, sea and iodized. Coarse, medium and fine. I keep my coarse Kosher salt in my “salt pig” which keeps it dry, fresh and easily accessible. How it does that, I do not know. A gift from my gourmand sister in deep south Louisiana. Ann is the Julia Childs of our family, so if she likes a salt pig, I like a salt pig.

Salt. It’s what’s for dinner.

JVF