[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] A[/dropcap]s someone who runs an online cooking school, I often get asked for tips to help people improve their cooking.
And you know what I always tell them?
No, it’s not to spend hours chopping onions to perfect their knife skills.
I always tell them to focus on getting the seasoning right.
It’s easily the biggest game changing skill when it comes to cooking.
If you’re new to seasoning, best to check out this earlier post to get you up to speed with the basics on How to Season to Taste.
And then come back here to find out what the 2 most common seasoning mistakes are and how you can avoid them :)
2 Most Common Seasoning Mistakes
AND How to Avoid Them…
Mistake Number 1. Thinking All Salt is Bad
While too much salt isn’t good for anyone, it’s important not to be afraid of salt.
Using the right amount of salt in your cooking is the easiest way to make the flavours sing. Far from being evil, salt has an almost magical ability to make food taste amazing.
And the good news is, unless most of the food you eat comes from a packet or a ‘restaurant’ that has a drive through option, then you’re probably not eating too much salt.
So there’s no need to worry about the salt you add in the kitchen or at the table.
Mistake Number 2. Forgetting to Season
Whenever I have a seasoning ‘fail’ it’s usually because I haven’t used enough (or any) salt.
Luckily, this is easy to avoid.
I now keep a pot of sea salt flakes and a pepper grinder on the dining table so we can add salt as needed.
The added benefit of this approach is that everyone gets to season to suit their own taste buds.
More Seasoning Resources
+ How to ‘Season to Taste’
+ The Absolute Beginners Guide to the Art of Seasoning
+ Seasoning: The Importance of Sweet & Sour
+ The 2 Most Common Seasoning Mistakes
+ The Art of Seasoning from Within
Quick Halloumi & Rocket Salad
Whenever I post a recipe with ‘rocket’ in it, I always get funny comments and questions. So in case you’re wondering, ‘rocket’ from the French ‘rocquette’ is the same as ‘arugula’ which is the Italian name. Nothing to do with space craft I’m afraid.
While I love the sharp pepperiness of wild rocket with the cheesy halloumi, any salad greens will work here.
enough for 2
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-3 fresh chillies, finely sliced, optional
1 packet halloumi (300g / 10oz)
4 large handfuls rocket leaves
1. Combine lemon, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and chilli, if using, in a large bowl.
2. Heat a little more olive oil in a frying pan on a medium high heat.
3. Slice halloumi into slices about 5mm (1/4in) thick and pan fry on both sides until deeply golden, about 2 minutes each side.
4. Toss leaves in the dressing and divide between two plates. Top with the hot halloumi and serve ASAP.
carnivore / dairy-free – replace halloumi with chicken breasts or steak and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
different cheese – halloumi is a wonderful cheese that grills superbly, going lovely and golden without melting all over the place. If you can’t get your hands on halloumi, feta can be used but be careful of the saltiness!
no ‘rocket’? – use whatever salad greens you prefer.
vegan – replace halloumi with 4 field or portabello mushrooms. Slice and pan fry in oil until lovely and golden. Serve scattered with roasted pine nuts or drizzled with tahini to make it a bit more substantial.
Undersalting is definitely my crime. Ex-wife was paranoid about any level of salt so it was a habit I lost. New wife is trying to fix this.
Such great advice! I couldn’t agree more!
Beautiful looking salad – if my husband doesn’t use the mushrooms in our fridge for dinner, we will definitely be eating this for breakfast tomorrow!
I like the emphasis on ‘not all salt is bad’. We went through a phase of not adding any to any meal just to ‘reset’ our tastebuds. After 2 weeks we were adding salt again – definitley not as much as before – and it really brought out the flavour of our food.
Jules Dear, you and your ideas have always been as wonderful as greens. :) loved your Halloumi salad. thanks for sharing with us :)