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Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Hana Flake Sea Salt

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

Serves 4


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.


You can find Hana Flake and other finishing salts for salad like Alaska Pure Flake and Halen Mon Silver at The Meadow’s online shop.


Salt-Frozen Parmesan Ice Cream with Tomato Marmalade and Basil Gremolata




















Salt-Frozen Parmesan Ice Cream with Tomato Marmalade and Basil Gremolata

Recipe adapted from the Mark Bitterman’s Salt Block Cooking.

Serves 6
For the Ice Cream

1 8x8x2 salt block or 9x9x2 salt block?

5 cups heavy cream

8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated

For the Marmalade

1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
? cup sugar
1? tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, use high-quality

For the Gremolata

12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
? garlic clove, minced
? cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

To Finish:

2 tablespoons olive oil, use high-quality

Chill the salt block in the freezer for 6 hours before you want to finish the ice cream. To make the ice cream, bring the cream to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add the cheese slowly, stirring all the time, and continue to simmer and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Pass through a strainer to remove any lumps, and let cool to room temperature. Put in a closed container and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

An hour before you want to finish the ice cream, put the container of ice cream mixture in the freezer.

To make the marmalade, cook the tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently until lightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and let cool to room temperature.

To make the gremolata, mix the basil, garlic, hazelnuts, and lemon zest together in a small bowl.

To finish the ice cream, put the frozen salt block on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Spoon half of the chilled ice cream mixture onto the frozen salt block, using a pastry scraper or the side of a spatula to control its flow. Scrape and fold the ice cream across the surface of the salt until it sets up. Scrape into a chilled bowl put in the freezer while repeating the process with the remaining half of the ice cream mixture.

To serve, scoop the ice cream into chilled bowls. Drizzle each serving with the olive oil, and top each with a spoonful of marmalade and a sprinkling of gremolata.


Find more recipes in Mark Bitterman’s Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving!

Salt Crust Scallops with Thai Lime Dipping Sauce




































Salt Crust Scallops with Thai Lime Dipping Sauce

Recipe adapted from the Mark Bitterman’s Salt Block Cooking.

Serves 4

1 9x9x2 salt block
? cup fresh lime juice
? cup Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 hot chile pepper, such as bird chile, habanero, cayenne or Scotch bonnet, stem and seeds removed, minced
? cup finely shredded carrot
1? pounds large, wild-caught sea scallops (about 16)
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the salt block over low heat on a gas grill or stovetop for 10 minutes (see Read Before Heating, in Salt Block Cooking, pg. 25). Turn the heat to medium and heat for 10 more minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and heat the block to about 600 °F, about 20 more minutes (see Getting It Hot, in Salt Block Cooking, pg. 24).

To make the dipping sauce, mix the lime juice, fish sauce, ? cup water, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, chile pepper and carrot; set aside.

Pat the scallops dry and pull off their white gristly tendons if not already removed. Season the scallops with the black pepper and let stand at room temperature until the salt block is hot. When the salt block is very hot (you should only be able to hold your hand above it for just a few seconds), place the scallops on the hot block and sear until browned and springy to the touch but still a little soft in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Work in batches if your salt block cannot comfortably fit all the scallops at once.

Transfer to a platter or plates and serve with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!


Find more recipes in Mark Bitterman’s Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving!

Carrot Cake with Bitterman’s Chocolate Fleur de Sel

Bitterman’s Chocolate Fleur de Sel is an infused fleur de sel that’s been blended with chocolate. This salt, like many infused salts, is made using a fleur de sel (in this case, our house Fleur de Sel from Guatemala). It is then combined with high quality chocolate. This original recipe was concocted in 2008 by The Meadow’s owner Mark Bitterman, our house Selmelier and master infusion-mixer. This chocolate salt has a strong chocolate aroma with hints of cocoa that gives your food a deep richness and full-bodied flavor. The small, irregular crystals dissolve in waves across the palate, lending a delicate chocolate chip-like crunch to any dish. Sprinkle it on sweets, like strawberries and cream, hazelnut scones, cupcakes, fruit parfaits or homemade granola. Or anywhere you might make a mole, such as tender beef or chicken.

Or try using up your lingering winter carrots and spring into summer with this rooty Carrot Cake recipe!


Carrot Cake with Bitterman’s Chocolate Fleur de Sel

Serves 10

4 eggs
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons each baking powder and baking soda
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup each chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
2 two-finger pinches Bitterman’s Chocolate Fleur de Sel

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan.

Crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and sugar and beat together until nice and creamy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, combining gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once incorporated, fold in the carrots, nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes and then top with your favorite frosting (we like cream cheese!) Sprinkle with Bitterman’s Chocolate Fleur de Sel and enjoy!


Curious about our other flavored salts? Take a peek at all of ’em here!

New American Salt: Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt

The first salt produced?in what is now the United States was made, of course, by native people, though in many cases we don’t know?the particular techniques?used.

Spanish explorer Hernando?de?Soto observed people living along the Mississippi?Delta?boiling brine they made from salt dried on the sand. Avery Island, nestled in the Louisiana bayou, is home to the oldest known?saltworks?in North America?–?the people living there used broken pottery, some of which is carbon dated to 2500 BCE,?to make salt.?Along the East Coast, salt and the colonization of the eastern seaboard went hand in hand.?English sailors?made their first regular trips there?not to settle, but to fish.?And?explorers?Lewis?and?Clark?became?the first known men to produce salt?on the West Coast?during their epic expedition?of the early 19thcentury.

Today,?we’re seeing a resurgence of new American?saltmakers, making salt much?in?the same way?that?makers did centuries ago.?From Mendocino, California,?to Hawaii, from?rooftops in?New York City?to?the?small island of?Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt,?a fairly new venture from husband and wife team Curtis Friedman and Heidi Feldman,?gets its unique mineral richness from the?waters surrounding the Atlantic Ocean?island.?Vineyard residents?Heidi and Curtis, a tech consultant and carpenter who started Down Island Farm on their Tisbury property,?started researching?sea?salt?a few years ago and formally launched theirs?in the spring of 2013.

Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt?revives a?lost tradition on the?island, which, like many places in New England, has?a long, storied history in salt.?As far back as the late-1600s,?colonial?settlers began to produce sea salt on Martha’s Vineyard, also referred to as?Noepe?by the?Native?American?Wampanoag?tribe.?Residents of the Vineyard used?sea salt?to preserve and season food?and tan animal hides, all extremely critical to?survival. By 1807, salt manufacturing was the island’s second largest industry, but?it?declined after the War of 1812?when?large,?industrial companies?began popping up?along the coast. Since?that time, a few Islanders have produced sea salt for personal and even restaurant use,?but none have attempted to reintroduce 100% natural sea salt.?Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt is the first known?saltworks?on the Vineyard?to produce sea salt commercially?since the?1800s.

Heidi and Curtis?use a?deceptively?simple evaporation process to produce?their?salt.?Every few weeks, they pump?sea?water?from the ocean into a plastic tank,?drive it back to their farm, and funnel it?into?a 76-by-12 evaporator Curtis built on the outskirts of their property.?Once the water is in, it’s just a matter of time?–?and sun.?Slowly (but surely), most of the water evaporates?until?only?residual salt granules?are left.?Heidi and Curtis?then rake the salt crystals by hand?and put them through a short dehydrator in small batches before packaging.

This salt is an honest expression of the island itself: wet and rocky and a tad non-traditional. The couple?seems?intent?to keep it that way. They’ve struck a beautiful balance,?negotiating between climate, process,?and history, letting the island do the work (with a pump or two at the beginning and a shake or two of the rake at the end). The resulting salt is one that’s fresh,?briney,?and abundant with minerals. . I use it on hearty meats, like beef and bison or on roasted vegetables, like potatoes with herbs, much like I would use a Sel Gris de L’Ile de Re or Pangasinan Star. I also like it mixed into hearty bean stews or chilis, or sprinkled on top of springy grain salads, like quinoa with apples, feta, scallions and a lemon vinaigrette. A pinch or two on rich, buttery baked goods like pretzels or crostatas is also wonderful.

The secret of this new American salt is out: locals are going crazy about?it,?chefs can’t seem to sprinkle enough on their dishes, and?media from half way around the world are knocking down the?evaporator?door to get their hands on some. And I happen to be over-the-moon about this American salt as well – the flavor of New England reverberating on the island, and across the country, stronger than ever.


You can find Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt and other new American salts for sale at The Meadow’s online shop.


Island Photos courtesy Heidi Feldman.

Flank Steak with Sel Gris de L’Ile de Noirmoutier & Parsley Pesto

Sel gris is a vehicle for exploring hearty and meaty foods. The name sel gris comes from the French gros sel grisor, which literally translates to “coarse gray salt.” Sel gris is distinguished by its coarse crystals and high moisture content, typically around 13%. This salt is made by raking crystals from the bottom of a crystallizing pan soon after they form, which gives them an irregular yet natural crystal structure. Hefty, moist crystals with a minerally saltiness make this a beautiful finishing salt for steaks, lamb, and root vegetables. It’s also the ultimate salt for pasta water, grilling meats, and can be ground up for baking or used for salt crusts.

A good steak needs sel gris.? A great steak needs to be cooked just to medium-rare and flecked with a beautiful gray salt, like Sel Gris de l’Ile de Noirmoutier. While comparable to Sel Gris de Guerande, this finishing salt has a slightly less moisture content, and is almost imperceptibly paler in color. The flavor differences between the Guerande and Noirmoutier are all but impossible to distinguish, though the Noirmoutier is just barely lighter bodied, striking that perfectly crunch on top of grilled steak. Explore the crunchy minerality this gray salt has to offer at your next meal. The moisture levels in this sel gris prevent it from overly dehydrating other ingredients,? and the crystal size lends a satisfying crunch to every bite, making it an ideal finishing salt for steak.


Flank Steak with Sel Gris de l’Ile de Noirmoutier & Parsley Pesto

Serves 4


For the steak:

1 lb flank or skirt steak

1 tbsp Almazara Luis Herrera Olive Oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Crack of Parameswaran’s pepper

2-finger pinch Sel Gris de l’Ile de Noirmoutier


For the Pesto:

1 bunch of flat leaf Italian parsley

1 clove of garlic

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup of Almazara Luis Herrera Olive Oil

1-finger pinch of Meadow Fleur de Sel


In a large pan or cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter on medium-high heat. Lightly pepper your steak on both sides. Once the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add your steak and let cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes, until cooled slightly. For the pesto, combine parsley, garlic, cheese and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine, then turn to lowest setting and slowly drizzle in olive oil.

To serve, slice the steak against the grain and sprinkle with two-finger pinch of Sel Gris Noirmoutier. Scoop a spoonful of parsley pesto on top or serve on the side, if desired.


Sel Gris de l’Ile de Noirmoutier, Meadow Fleur de Sel, and a selection of other finishing salts can be found at The Meadow’s online shop.

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