It can totally make or break a recipe. It helps bring out the natural flavor of food, making it tasty and delicious. OR it can completely ruin a dish, where all you can taste is the salt overpowering all the flavors. Please don’t do that.
So how do you use salt to your benefit? What’s the secret?
Salt your food in layers, and taste along the way.
While this method works for many recipes, there of course will be times when you will need to measure the exact amount of salt, such as in baking. But most of the time you will be able to add a pinch of salt here and a pinch of salt there as you move through each step of a recipe.
Zach bought me this salt pig six years ago as a Hannukah present. I use it every single day. I keep it handy next to the stove where it’s easy for me to grab as I cook. My Orecchiette Pasta Bake recipe is a great example of salting your food in layers.
While making the veggie sauce for this dish I add a little bit of salt to the pan each time I add a vegetable. A lot of people ask how much is a pinch, or how much is enough? My rule of thumb is to sprinkle a little bit of salt on each part of the food. So if you add 2 cups of diced bell peppers and onions to a pan, make sure you sprinkle a little bit of salt over all of those vegetables. Once those cook down and you’re ready to add another ingredient, add another sprinkle of salt.
Salting in layers will flavor your food properly. In most recipes, if you wait until the end to dump in all the salt at one time your food will just taste salty. Ick.
You will often see the term “salt and pepper to taste” in my recipes. And that’s exactly what I mean. Salt in layers, and taste a long the way.
It’s the best part. Except I normally do way too much “tasting”.
Be brave. Have fun. Salt is your friend in the kitchen.