EEveryone has it in their kitchen and it is used in almost every meal. Yet for something so ubiquitous, it can drastically make or break any dish, from breakfast to dessert.
Yes, I’m talking about salt. It is important! And you’re probably not getting the most out of it. Here are five inspiring recipes to change that.
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
The combination of blood oranges and olive oil results in a wonderfully flavorful and not too sweet cake. It’s topped with slices of blood orange for a real must-have dessert.
5 blood oranges
250 g golden caster sugar
150g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of Maldon salt
1 orange, zested and squeezed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
250 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
Fresh cream, for serving
1. Grease a 20cm round cake tin with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 190C.
2. Take the blood oranges and carefully cut them into thin slices (as thin as possible!). Start by sprinkling 30 g of golden caster sugar at the bottom of the cake tin, on the paper. Then arrange the slices on top in a nice circular pattern. Use the ends of the blood oranges to squeeze out the remaining juice, then set them aside while you prepare the cake batter.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine plain flour, semolina, baking powder and Maldon salt. Adding salt to your cooking helps balance and enhance flavors, balancing sweetness and tartness.
4. Next, in a smaller bowl, combine the orange juice and zest, vanilla extract and olive oil.
5. Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer – or you can use an electric whisk – and beat together until pale and frothy. Add the dry ingredients, followed by the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.
6. Pour the cake batter into the pan over the orange slices and smooth the top. Place the cake pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then gently unmold the cake before turning it over on a plate and peeling off the baking paper. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving with crème fraîche.
Butternut squash spaghetti with fried zucchini, mint, burrata and lemon zest
This recipe shows you how easy it is to make butternut squash spaghetti by spiralizing the squash, which is a great healthy alternative to pasta. You can make different sauces for your squash spaghetti; however, it is a lighter alternative that uses burrata, zucchini, mint, and lemon.
½ butternut squash, spiralized
1 green zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow zucchini, thinly sliced
15 g fresh mint, leaves picked
Half red pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cracked black pepper
1. Begin by peeling and deseeding the butternut squash. Then cut into sections and using a spiralizer, create long ribbons that look like spaghetti. Place a large skillet on the heat and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the butternut squash spaghetti and sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened and golden brown. Remove from fire.
2. While the butternut squash cooks, place a second small skillet on the heat and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini slices and sauté for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and toasted – you must have done this in batches. Remove them from the heat.
3. Now you can plate – pile a golden heap of butternut squash spaghetti on two plates. Garnish with burrata, fried zucchini slices, diced chilli, fresh mint leaves and lemon zest. Finish each plate with a final pinch of Maldon salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Baked eggs with greens with spinach and feta
This recipe is packed with hearty greens and baked eggs. It’s full of flavor from the spices, feta, herbs and lemon and makes a great brunch or lunch dish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 spring onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
100g cavolo nero, grated
100g baby spinach
½ lemon, zested and squeezed
40g frozen peas
25 g fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
15g dill, fronds picked (plus extra for garnish)
A small handful of fresh mint, picked leaves
20g feta cheese
Pinch of chilli flakes
1. Take a large frying pan – a cast iron skillet works well for this, as it should also be oven safe – and place it over medium heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and when hot, add the sliced spring onions and sauté gently until softened.
2. Once softened, add the crushed garlic, cumin seeds and ground coriander and continue to fry for another 2 minutes until they start to smell nice.
3. Then add the cavolo nero, spinach and lemon juice and zest. Cook gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes until the cavolo nero and spinach are softened and wilted. Once cooked, add the frozen peas, chopped cilantro and dill leaves and cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Now you want to create 4 shallow wells in the vegetable mixture and carefully crack the eggs into each hole. Turn the heat down and gently cook the whites so they’re just set but the yolks so they’re still runny, so it’s worth keeping an eye on them.
5. Remove the pan from the oven as soon as the eggs are cooked. Garnish the dish with the crumbled feta cheese on top, the picked mint leaves and a few extra dill leaves. Finally finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a little Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Serve the eggs immediately at the table for everyone to serve with toasted sourdough.
Radicchio salad with apple slices, arugula, pecorino and pine nuts
This recipe shows you how to make radicchio for salad and combines apples, arugula, pecorino and pine nuts with a nice dressing.
1 red radicchio
1 apple, cut into matchsticks
50g wild arugula
25 g pecorino cheese, grated
20g toasted pine nuts
½ lemon, juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Cracked black pepper
1. Start by preparing the dressing for the salad. In a small bowl or pitcher, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, walnut oil and cider vinegar. Whisk together then season with Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Put aside.
2. To prepare the radicchio, carefully tear off the leaves, working your way to the central core. Once you have reached the white core inside, discard it as it can be bitter and harsh.
3. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large serving platter and mix with the apple matchsticks, wild arugula and dill.
4. Drizzle the dressing over the leaves and apple before garnishing with pecorino shavings and toasted pine nuts, and a final garnish of dill leaves.
Roasted parsnips with giant couscous salad, roasted red onions, feta and parsley
Parsnips are a very healthy ingredient, providing lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are also low in fat and packed with flavor. As a root vegetable, they serve well when roasted and this delicious salad is a great way to add them to your diet.
200g giant couscous
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 red onions, thinly sliced
25g golden raisins
25g finely chopped parsley
50 g crumbled feta
20g pomegranate seeds, to garnish
Pomegranate molasses, for garnish
Cracked black pepper
1. Start my oven preheating to 180C. Prepare the parsnips by simply cutting the larger ones in half lengthwise but keeping the smaller one whole. Place them in a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, a little Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Mix them to coat them well then bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning them halfway through cooking. They should be golden and crispy around the edges.
2. While the parsnips cook, prepare the couscous. In a saucepan, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and remove from heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plenty of Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Let the couscous cool.
3. Once the couscous has cooled and the parsnips have been taken out of the oven (and also cooled). Stir the finely chopped red onion, chopped parsley, raisins and crumbled feta into the couscous. Check the season and adjust if necessary.
4. Pile couscous on serving platter and top with roasted parsnips. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, a little extra parsley and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
For more salt recipes, articles and cooking tips, visit the Maldon Salt website, here.