From the beautiful Isle of Lewis
‘Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.’ (Nelson Mandela)
It is a fact that the sea offers a boundless supply of salt, so there is no secret to this artisanal Hebridean treasure. It is as it says ‘on the tin’ or rather the packet, a pure, unadulterated product harvested from the crystal clear, unpolluted waters which lap the shores of the charming Isle of Lewis.
Founded as a family business in 2011, Hebridean Sea Salt has been driven by former marine biologist and mother of three bairns, Natalie Crayton. At its core is a strong ethos for ‘creating a sustainable product’. The process for extracting the crystals in their natural state is one of simple, slow evaporation.
These award winning salt flakes are far removed from the fine powdery table salt used in many kitchens. Mass produced and over refined, it often contains anti-caking agents to ensure it can be poured from the container easily.
Alongside their traditional ‘Pure Original Salt’, they offer a ‘Seaweed Infused’ version made with locally harvested Hebridean Seaweed and ‘Peat Smoked’ using a special mix of peat and oak made at a local smokery on the island’s capital of Stornoway.
I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and have a ‘dabble’ with the ‘Peat Smoked’ and ‘Seaweed Infused’. I was quite ‘blown away’ by the depth of flavour each had to offer.
DELICIOUS WAYS WITH HEBRIDEAN SALT
Golden Peat Smoked Salted Roasties
Your taste buds will dance with these roasted potatoes sprinkled with Peat Smoked Salt! Put a twist on your Christmas roasties and serve with sliced turkey or goose.
Simply add peeled and quartered potatoes to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. As soon as they come to boil, turn off heat immediately and drain.
Allow to sit for a couple of minutes with the lid off. Preheat oven to 200C. Coat potatoes with a little olive oil and place in a pre-heated roasting tin. Place in middle shelf of oven until evenly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from the oven and serve with a sprinkling of Peat Smoked Salt.
Poached Egg Hollandaise with Seaweed Infused Salt Flakes
Makes a delightful weekend breakfast treat or a delectable brunch over the festive season. (for a bit of added flair, try serving along with roasted asparagus or wilted spinach.)
Hollandaise sauce is easily made by placing a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and adding a couple of egg yolks. To this add 145g of diced, unsalted cold butter, adding it slowly whilst mixing continuously with a balloon whisk. When the sauce has thickened, add a squeeze of lemon juice, mix through and remove from heat but keep bowl over pan of water to keep warm. ( this will make plenty to serve 4 people)
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add a little vinegar, swirl the water with a spoon and then carefully crack an egg into the middle of the pan. Simmer the egg for no more than 3-4 minutes and remove from pan with a slotted spoon.
Serve the egg on wholemeal toast or a toasted muffin with a serving of your homemade Hollandaise. Finally, sprinkle with Seaweed Infused Salt Flakes, adding a burst of flavour to the fresh Hollandaise.
Sea Bass Fillet with Seaweed and Lemon Infused Crust
So easy to prepare, but so elegant for a dinner party, the nutrient rich seaweed will enhance the ‘taste of the sea' in this prized fresh fish. Serve with crushed new potatoes and samphire. Will make a refreshing change over the festive period when you have tired of turkey and trimmings!
Preheat your oven to 180C. Lightly grease an ovenable tray with olive oil. Lay a couple of skin on filleted Sea Bass onto the tray, skin side down. Add a couple of tablespoons of wholemeal breadcrumbs to a small bowl and add about half a teaspoon of fresh lemon zest and a sprinkling of ‘seaweed infused’ salt. Mix thoroughly and add just enough olive oil to bind the ingredients together. Spoon the breadcrumb mixture onto the top of the fish, pressing down as you go, ensuring an even covering. Place the tray in the heated oven for about 8 minutes or until golden and crispy on top.
In my opinion, Hebridean Sea Salt has earned its place amongst the finest flakes and crystals such as English Maldon and the French ‘Fleur de Sel’. It truly deserves to be revered as a ‘Gourmet Salt’. Let me know what you think?
The Pure Original Salt is a 150g packet and retails for £2.50
The Peat Smoked Salt is a 65g packet and retails for £2.65
The Seaweed Infused Salt is a 65g packet and retails for £2.65
All salt is packaged in easy re-sealable pouches.
Salt is essential for our well-being but it is very important that we monitor our intake.
In my opinion, we should use our common sense. Do not add salt to food as you are cooking if it does not need it. Think about the salt content which already exists in the ingredients you are cooking with such as bacon or soy sauce. Many processed foods have a high salt content and are best avoided. Cook fresh food and you will know exactly how much salt you are adding. When following a recipe you need not add the salt specified as it may well be too much and not suited to your own taste buds.
Ref; The Oxford Companion Of Food, Alan Davidson