By Adina Steiman
Maybe it was all of that turkey salting we did over Thanksgiving, but right now, all we can think of is how to use more salt in our cooking. Nope, not just to season our food and bring out the flavor of other ingredients (we do plenty of that already). We mean using salt as a flavoring all by itself.
Fact is, though salt excels at bringing out the flavor in other ingredients (and even increases your perception of their aroma before you take a bite), it’s also delicious all on its own. Just make sure you have the right NaCl on hand: Maldon, kosher, or Celtic varieties have the large-size crystals and briny taste that make them especially good when you want to shine a spotlight on this tasty mineral.
See more: 25 Amazing Turkeys for Your Family Feast
Here are five ways to use salt as a flavoring:
Pair salt with vinegar. No surprise to potato-chip fans out there, but salt and vinegar are as perfectly suited to each other as peanut butter and jelly. The combination makes an amazing topping for any crispy roasted or fried vegetable.
Get the recipe: Crispy Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes
The perfect way to cook seafood. Seafood is naturally salty, so it makes sense to intensify that elemental flavor by roasting shellfish or whole fish in salt. Bonus: The salt crust traps moisture in the seafood as it conducts heat, which means juicy results every time.
Get the recipe: Salt-Roasted Shrimp with Scampi Dip
Combine two iconic seasonings. Practically every savory recipe calls for seasoning with salt and pepper, but how often do you actually taste the salt and pepper? Finishing savory baked foods like biscuits or potpies with cracked pepper and coarse salt helps their flavor shine through.
Get the recipe: Salt-and-Pepper Biscuits
The easiest way to turn yogurt into a sauce. Yogurt by itself is breakfast. Add some salt, and suddenly, it’s a tart, savory, creamy sauce, just perfect to serve with crispy carrot pancakes (or roast chicken, or seared mushrooms…)
Get the recipe: Carrot Pancakes with Salted Yogurt
Make your holiday candies look pro-worthy. Coarse salt doesn’t just taste great—it looks cool. Unlike fine-grained salt, coarse salt like Maldon doesn’t dissolve on the surface of these caramels, helping you not only see, but taste, the delicious salt.
Get the recipe: Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels
More from Epicurious:
photos: Christina Holmes; Antonis Achilleos; Gentl & Hyers; Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott; Marcus Nilsson