5 Ingredients or Fewer

Vanilla Salt

August 30, 2023
1 Ratings
Photo by Food52
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • makes 1/4 cup seasoned salt
Author Notes

Welcome to Plus One, a column by Food Editor Emily Ziemski where small-but-mighty additions—ingredients, sauces, toppings—that instantly upgrade whatever’s on the table are the star of the show. Today, a way to combat Late Summer Erasure™.

Arguably the most important ingredient in your pantry (no really, I *will* argue with you), salt is one of the first things we reach for when cooking—or maybe even the last, if finishing salt is your thing. Salt and its many different functions—adding flavor, removing moisture, curing, pickling, etc.—comes in an already pretty-perfect form.

Adding a spiced element to salt is an easy way to create an extra-special moment among a myriad of different cooking techniques. And why not pull a traditionally sweet ingredient and transition it to savory, in tandem with the transition of the seasons? For a simple and straightforward swap in baking, it creates an aromatic waft that only amplifies the other sweet spices. To get a little more experimental for grilling, the hint of sweet-tinged vanilla clings to the savory char of the protein that’s highlighted by the salt. For cocktails that call for a salted rim, why not try swapping in vanilla salt on a spicy margarita's glass to help cool the heat?

For more of my recipe ideas and to dig into the science behind why this works, check out my article here. —Emily Ziemski

What You'll Need
  • 2 vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  1. Blend vanilla bean meat and salt together using a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder until just combined.
  2. Store in an airtight container at room temperature to avoid moisture. For additional security, add a silica pack.

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Emily Ziemski

Recipe by: Emily Ziemski

Food Editor @ Food52

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