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Look Back, Turning to a Block of Salt is a Good Thing

When a brick of pink Himalayan sea salt arrived on my desk, there were a lot of questions in our office. Namely, how do you use it? The simple answer is, you can cook with it. But not in traditional “add-a-pinch-of-salt” ways.

First, you need to know two things.

You can get it wet: The block won’t melt the way a cube of sugar does on contact with liquids. After washing it, dry it thoroughly and leave it in fresh air to lose any residual moisture.

You can heat it: It can handle temperatures as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the brick on a hot grill or in an oven, and after a half hour, it should be ready for searing seafood, meat, or vegetables.

This means you can actually cook with it! The salt brick is a great kitchen tool for either heating or presenting food. Here are a few of my ideas for culinary inspiration, and let us know how you choose to use it!

Scallops

We seared a few sweet scallops on the sizzling block. Add a few drops of oil to prevent sticking, or prepare them in a pan with brown butter and serve on the block. Either way, the sweet meat picks up a sea-evoking saltiness. Thinly sliced beef also sears well on the hot brick.

Fruit

A fairy dusting of salt on many fruits helps bring out its sweetness. We tried it with summer’s last peaches on a hot grill, and encourage you to try other ideas – bananas, nectarines, and even pineapple are good places to start.

Sorbet

Ice down the salt brick and its surface will bear frozen desserts well. We tested lemon sorbet, which carried a faint hint of salt and opened up its flavor. Insider tip: Eating sorbet on a lukewarm block is a race against time, so leave it in the freezer a few hours before serving.