Keeping it simple when it comes to whipping up meals, Gwyneth offered a tip by saying, "Maldon sea salt, olive oil, and lemon can make anything taste great."
Salt - The very best kind of salt for all cooking is, in my opinion, English sea salt from Maldon, in Essex. It's not a powdery pouring salt that contains chemicals to stop it getting damp and make it pour freely, but an absolutely pure salt that tastes of the sea. If you do a side-by-side tasting you'll find it is less sharp but somehow saltier (so you need to use less).
Maldon salt consists of very pretty, small white crystalline flakes that crush very easily between your fingers for cooking with. For the table, use it either in a good-quality salt mill or a small salt cellar. Crushed sea salt gives jacket potatoes a really crispy crust, and it's wonderful coarsely crushed over chips (or anything fried). I once discovered by accident, sitting at a restaurant table, that a fat, chunky chip wrapped in a rocket leaf, then dipped first in mayonnaise, then in sea salt, is a quite wickedly brilliant combination!
When I say butter, I mean unsalted; when I say salt, I mean Maldon sea salt; and, when I say sugar, I mean the golden unrefined stuff from Mauritius.
Salt - I have cooked with every imaginable type and brand. Several have been so bitter that I have finished the packet off by using it to melt the ice on the garden path, or for murdering the slugs that munch their way through my lupins. Others have been too expensive to use in quantities large enough to season the pasta water. The one I use by choice is Maldon sea salt, a mild salt without any bitter aftertaste. What I especially like about it is the ease with which you can crumble the icy, pyramid-shaped flakes over your food. A rather pleasing feeling between the fingers, and something that only adds to the anticipation of what is to come.
Seasoning - A wee word on seasoning. In the following recipies, you'll see that Maldon salt is almost ubiquitous. It's not as coarse as sea salt and better by far than regular salt. (The Men from Maldon haven't given me a bung for this, by the way, it has quite simply become an essential ingredient of my cooking.)
Real sea salt is the answer, and a really good one is Maldon Salt from England. It has a mild, briny, almost sweet flavour, and its crumbly flakes of salt melt onto food in a delicious way. It's the only sea salt you can just crumble in your hands; it doesn't require a salt mill. If you have good salt, you actually use less of it, and although this salt isn't cheap, it isn't expensive either.
Seasoning and preparing the meat - In the quest for perfection, a very modest seasoning of salt over the roast will generally do more good than harm. I like to use flaky Maldon salt, which has a pleasing 'less is more' quality about it. A couple of good pinches, ground fairly find between finger and thumb, will usually do the trick for a roast chicken or leg of lamb.
Salt - " Wouldn't let anything other than Maldon Sea Salt, Fleur de sel or sel de Camargue salt anywhere near my cooking. Table salt? It's evil stuff - fit only for boiling pasta."
Salt - I nearly always cook with fresh ingredients. I use salt as a natural flavour enhancer for my food, and prefer Maldon sea salt. Its texture is flaky and crystallised so you can add it by hand, sprinkled into food to taste. It's clean and flavoursome with no metallic or brassy aftertaste. Maldon sea salt is entirely natural and contains no added chemicals or preservatives.
Pizzoccheri Soup - Season the soup lightly during cooking, then serve sprinkled with Maldon salt.
In these salt conscious days, it makes sense to choose the best salt to enhance the natural flavour of your food. I love the purity of Maldon salt and the hint of sweetness when it melts on the tongue. But most of all I love crushing the pure flaky crystals into dishes as I cook.