The beauty of salt is that it’s full of bounty. Every salt offers food … and affords your eyes, nose and mouth an experience all its own. The right salt at the right time diminishes bitter and sour tastes and accents sweet and umami sensations. Whenever you’re salting your food, it works best to think of salt as a strategic ingredient – what do I want to accomplish with this dish, and what salt can help accomplish that best? When you salt strategically, you unravel the majesty, unlock the flavor, and enhance the vibrancy of your food.
Flake salt with salad is a revelation. Salt flakes are typically wide and thin, giving them a much larger surface area than fleur de sel, sel gris, or traditional salts to disperse their seasoning. As a result, flake salts release a bright, quick, snap of salt without overwhelming delicate greens. When you take a bite, the flakes explode and vanish, like all-natural Pop rocks.
Did you know that salt was actually the original salad dressing? The word “salad” comes from Latin salata, short for herba salsata “salted vegetables,” and salad is still one of the foods that benefit most from salting. Finish your salad with a flake and you hold all the power; you can unlock the create a layered and dynamic experience. The pyramidal crystals pop against delicate greens and chopped vegetables with intense but fleeting flavor – a lacework of flaky salt dancing across the surface.
The best salads are ones that are dressed with a homemade dressing or vinaigrette and united as one with veggies fresh from the garden, and deliberately salted by hand with the best flake salt. A well-balanced vinaigrette, with just enough acidity from the vinegar to counter the velvet luxury of the olive oil, and just the right tang from the mustard to counter the heat from the pepper, is crucial here. Most recipes call for a 3 to 1 ratio of fat to oil. Sometimes I like my vinaigrette a tinge more acidic, and so my proportions often tend toward 2 to 1. Play around with the basic and you’re bound to find what suits you.
Hana Flake is a balanced, icy white Japanese salt that is particularly well suited for salads; a sprinkle of this salt on top will have your vegetables shimmering like glass, beautiful and sparkling, the snappy citrus vinaigrette popping with salt, and the delicate lettuce begging for more. Hana Flake is also beautifully suited to ceviche, foie gras, poached white fish (like halibut or cod) and cold soups like gazpacho, as its flattened pyramidal texture has a light, fresh Arctic air taste, cutting through foods like buttered glass.
Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Hana Flake Sea Salt
For the salad:
1 grapefruit, cut into segments
1 avocado, sliced or cubed
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 head of green leaf or other lettuce
For the vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp grapefruit juice
Crack of Parameswaran’s pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Peel and mince the garlic. Place in small bowl or mason jar. Splash in the vinegar, squeeze in the grapefruit juice, then spoon in the Dijon mustard and stir to combine. Crack in some pepper, then slowly whisk in the olive oil, drizzling little by little until the dressing becomes smooth and thick.
To serve the salad, tear your lettuce and place in large bowl. the onion, avocado, and grapefruit. Drizzle your dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve on individual plates and sprinkle with Hana Flake right before eating.