Renowned chef Thomas Keller explains how to season your food properly so the salt is evenly dispersed. In an interview with Lynne Rossetto Kasper on The Splendid Table, Keller offers a few tips that deal with properly dispersing salt.
Photo by Joanna Bourne.
Season your food properly — not by seasoning a piece of meat with salt when you're really close to it, but by actually holding your hand up rather high, having the salt between your fingers and letting it fall. As it falls through the air, it's dispersed out evenly over the piece of meat, the vegetables or whatever you're using. Sometimes we tend to salt really, really close to our products. We therefore concentrate that salt in a specific area and don't get a uniform seasoning across the surface of it.
Kasper mentions salting the onion, carrot and celery mix that usually starts a sauté before adding in other ingredients and Keller, agreeing, says:
Exactly. Spinach, for example, is something you have to salt while it's still fresh before it starts to wilt. Because once it wilts, it compresses. If you're trying to season it then, you're more or less getting salt in a very specific location rather than an even dispersion of salt over the leaves. There are all those different kinds of things that you learn as you become a better cook.
TLDR: Think about uniform salt dispersion when you're seasoning your food.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
My social media feeds are currently flooded with photos of loaves, boules, and sourdough starters. This is fine, and makes sense, but my stress is rarely relieved by baking. I do, however, love an immersive kitchen project, and building out a collection of fancy salts is just the kind of fun, low-stakes, deceptively easy task we all need right now.