7 amazing recipes that bring sea salt to the forefront

by Great British Chefs15 December 2022

It may be used in the majority of recipes simply for seasoning, but sea salt can also play more of a starring role. Change the way you think about sea salt by trying one of these seven amazing recipes that put salt front and centre.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

There aren’t many ingredients more ubiquitous than sea salt. A true flavour enhancer and one of the easiest ways of balancing out sweetness, there are few things that can instantly change and elevate a dish as much as a pinch of salt. What people may not realise is that the actual flavour of sea salt can differ hugely depending on how it’s produced, which is why buying high-quality salt is key to getting the maximum amount of flavour into a dish and making the most of your ingredients. 

Blackthorn are a sea salt producer based on the west coast of Scotland, and the only producer in the world using the ancient graduation tower method to extract their salt from seawater. This involves trickling salt water down through fifty-four wooden taps and allowing it to seep down through a wall of blackthorn bushes. When enough water has evaporated naturally, the remaining salty brine is then heated gently in order to manage the crystal structure and unique mineral inclusion, before the resulting sea salt is harvested by hand. Not only is this more sustainable than other methods due to the lack of machinery and use of wind, it also results in a final product that’s noticeably more complex in flavour than the average sea salt.

Blackthorn's salters, Gregorie and Malky at the bottom of the graduation tower.

The exposure to the blackthorn bushes gives Blackthorn’s sea salt an added umami kick due to the tannins in the bark, while it’s also more mellow in flavour than most table salt as it contains around five times more minerals than is normal. A balanced combination of magnesium, potassium (for the sour and bitter notes) and calcium (for the sweet) as well as sodium chloride (salty) and a myriad of other natural minerals make up the crystals, which provide the impressive flavour effects this sea salt has. This leads to a product that has layers of complexity and can therefore hugely enhance the flavour of all kinds of different dishes. It’s therefore no surprise that chefs up and down the country are using Blackthorn Salt.

The ubiquity of sea salt means that most people use a sprinkle of it here or there to season something, rather than thinking of it as an ingredient in its own right. However, sea salt can actually play a starring role in all kinds of different dishes, both sweet and savoury, acting as the primary flavour. If you’re wanting to use sea salt in new and interesting ways as well as the usual, check out these seven amazing recipes, which bring sea salt to the forefront.

Roast pork loin with crackling

There are a lot of reasons to love roast pork but crackling has to come very high up on the list. It can be tricky achieving the ideal level of crispness without overcooking the joint, but when done right, there’s nothing better. In her pork loin recipe, Sally Abé liberally seasons the skin with sea salt before boiling it and transferring to the oven for that perfect finish.

Salted plums

Known as umeboshi in Japan, salted plums are incredibly easy to prepare and can be used in a range of different recipes, from salads to rice dishes. Richard Bainbridge’s recipe calls for a large amount of salt, which means that the type of sea salt you choose will be reflected the final flavour of the preserved plums.

Goose fat roast potatoes

No roast is complete without some beautiful roasties on the side and these goose fat roast potatoes from Charlie Hibbert are just the ticket. Wonderfully simple yet beautifully crisp and golden, they're finished with a generous helping of sea salt to take them to the next level.

Rosemary and sea salt bread with truffle rarebit and Parma ham

Any great loaf of bread should have a good amount of salt in it but the flaky sea salt on top is what makes Dominic Chapman's rosemary and sea salt bread really stand out. The addition of truffled cheese and Parma ham only ensures that you won't be forgetting this bread in a hurry!

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut

If you're a ferment novice, making your own sauerkraut may seem daunting but it's actually incredibly simple, as proved by Kuba Winkowski's recipe. Shredded cabbage and carrots are covered in water, sea salt and spices and left to ferment for a week to produce a tangy and brilliantly versatile ingredient.

Sea salt ice cream with lemon curd, chocolate and almonds

Sea salt has increasingly started to be used in desserts to balance out sweetness, most notably in salted caramel. This pudding from James Cochran takes things to the next level by making an unusual yet surprisingly delicious sea salt ice cream to contrast with the sharp lemon curd and rich chocolate foam. If you’re looking for something a bit different, this one’s sure to impress.

Salted caramel and lemon thyme éclairs

Salted caramel has fast gone from being a bit of a novelty to something you see everywhere, and for good reason: it’s irresistibly delicious. These stunning eclairs make use of salted caramel both in the cream filling and the glaze to give them a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.

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