The Do’s and Don’ts of Cooking with Salt
We all use salt – some of us more liberally than others. I grew up in a household that was a little salt crazy and my palate has taken some adjustment in trying to reduce the salt I use with my own family now. But, with that being said, it is also important to note that salt is not the enemy. If used correctly, it can boost the flavour of food, balance sweetness and acidity and can actually work to reduce the amount of animal fat we consume. Following a few do’s and don’ts will keep your salt intake in check while still enhancing your finished dishes.
DO use kosher salt instead of table salt. Its coarser texture makes it easier to work with (less likely to over salt) and it generally has a purer taste than other salts.
DO add a generous amount of salt to your pasta water. It adds flavour and helps to keep your pasta firm.
DO encase meat in a crust of salt. It will draw out the fat but lock in the juices.
DO add a pinch of brown sugar or a splash of vinegar if you have accidently over-salted a sauce, soup or liquid dish.
DON’T over salt shellfish or certain veggies (beets, kale, chard, celery, spinach, dandelion greens, carrots, endive, corn, and artichokes) as they are already high in sodium.
DON’T taste for saltiness when a dish is too hot. The heat will dull your taste buds.
DON’T salt your pasta water until after it has come to a boil. Salted water takes longer to boil.
DON’T add salt during cooking or grilling if you are watching your salt intake. Instead, add a pinch of kosher or coarse salt at the end of your cooking process or on resting meat.