Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
“Salt Flowers” from the Sicilian Seaside
When summer salad season kicks in, it’s easy for me to get excited about all the amazing produce fresh in season. Beautiful lettuces, red and white radishes, arugula adding a bit of great vinegar and a fine olive oil are—almost—all you need to turn them into a wonderful salad.
Why “almost?” Those who know me well will already have guessed. Two things for me: you need a top-notch black pepper and a really fine sea salt. So much so that I sometimes travel with small packs secretly stowed in my satchel. I agree with the fine 1950s food-writer, Iles Brody, who wrote, “The majority of people put too little salt in the salad, and thus fail to bring out all the flavors of the greens.”
The Deli’s shelves are stocked full of great salt and pepper offerings. If you’re ready to put some very special salt on your salad, buy yourself a bottle of the exceptional Fiore del Sale from the Deli. The salt harvesting is done the old-fashioned way (modern sea salt is machine dried and bleached).
Fiore del Sale is a “finishing salt.” You add it to your food at the table, or maybe right before serving, so the crystals are laying on top when you eat. Its lovely, light, snowflake-shaped particles are naturally rich in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium, with a much lower percentage of sodium chloride than regular table salt.
The salt crystals have a wonderful aroma, often said to be reminiscent of just-picked violets. Terrific on tomatoes, lovely on lightly dressed lettuces from the farmers’ market. I personally love putting Fiore del Sale on eggs (scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, or deviled!) and on avocado. When the new potatoes show up at the market, you don’t want to be without it. Freshly cooked, drained, then dressed with a bit of olive oil (I like the delicacy of the Onsa’s oil from Tunisia) and a sprinkle of some of this salt…superb! –