The blog Ideas in Food is really extraordinary in its scientific approach to the culinary arts. There was an entire week where I read nothing but musings on watermelon rind manipulation. Last week, I was ogling at parsnip tootsie rolls. Most of the ideas are actually not feasible for most domestic kitchens, but make an interesting read nonetheless. I am trying to convince some friends to make the liquid nitrogen popcorn gelato for movie night. I’m sure it will take at least eight hours.
Their self-titled book, Ideas in Food, was where I found this “recipe” for infusing sea salt with fresh vanilla. I love how it brings a delicate sweet tone to foods without actually adding sugar. Honestly, I tend to under-salt most of my food, so this is a godsend for the dining table. After having this aromatic condiment around for a week, we’ve managed to rim margaritas, top lavender shortbreads, and sprinkle a bit on salads. The salt-rimmed margaritas were my favorite thus far because the vanilla coats your tongue and nose in velvet before the sweet citrus coolness of the margarita becomes engulfed in the ambrosial undertones of vanilla. It’s so genius and simple, I can’t wait to try a truffle infusion.
To Infuse Salt:
2 c. Fleur de Sel (I bought a beautiful coral speckled sea salt)
1 vanilla bean
+ Remove beans from vanilla pod and mix thoroughly with sea salt. Place in an airtight container for two days. At this point, you can separate them into gift containers…They will continue to infuse the salt.
I made gift bottles out of old spice jars and used old yarn and a stamp kit to label them.