Basic Be Gone: Elevate Your Meals with Gourmet Cooking Salts
Since going back to school last summer, I’ve adjusted to living on a tighter budget by cooking more. It's easy to forget to "treat yourself" when you are shopping on a budget. However, I have found that by investing in high quality basic ingredients, like cooking salt, you can really elevate your meals!
When I was growing up, my mom would send me to Russia to spend the summer with my grandmother on her farm. I loved spending the evenings walking through her vegetable garden- cabbage, onions, carrots, dill, and parsley grew abundance in the shadow of the fertile forest soil. Food that tasted bland in the states suddenly had a completely different flavor. Potatoes were on longer mushy and bland, but rather meaty, buttery, sweet.
Thanks to this experience, I gained an appreciation for quality, fresh ingredients.However as this trend took over has taken over, I find myself frustrated with the high prices at "organic" grocery stores. Growing on my grandmother’s simple farm, I saw first hand that freshly-farmed fruits and vegetables did not have to come with a high price tag.
One of my dreams is to have enough land to re-create the vegetable farm that my grandmother has. I know it won’t taste the same - soil, water, and air vary so drastically by geography.
However, until the day that I can realize my dream of fresh farm-to-table produce, I am on the hunt for fresh ingredients that elevate the cooking experience. One of the easiest ways to do this is with salt.
I’ve traded in my Morton’s for Himalayan and Celtic salts. I bought my pink Himalayan sea salt at TJ Maxx, and it comes with a convenient grinder.
Since the Celtic sea salt has grains that are a bit larger, I tend to add this to pasta water, or in recipes that call for generous salt servings. I also add a touch to my milk in the morning as it boils for oatmeal. I eat my oatmeal with honey, and just a touch of salt (like in baking!) brings out a rich depth when preparing foods that are sweet.
Share your gourmet salt and seasoning recommendations in the comments below!