I recently discovered smoked salt, and it’s been even more revelatory than smoked paprika (Seattleites, you know you can get both in bulk at Big John’s PFI, right?). I’m pretty sure that there are few things in life that aren’t improved when you add a little (or a lot) of smoked salt to them.
If you’re looking for an excuse to buy or use some, you could make this salad.
Roasted beet salad with avocado, hazelnuts and smoked salt
On a bed of lettuce or mixed greens (frisee would be pretty with this, if you want to be one of those people who force others to try to eat frisee without making a mess of their faces and clothes. It is a hardy, winter salad green), arrange roasted, peeled beets, cut in 1/4″ slices. If you use cylindrical beets (easy to find at farmers’ markets now) you’ll get lots of consistently sized discs from each beet. Top with a sprinkling of shallot, cut in very thin rings*, and a small mound of perfectly ripe avocado cubes. Drizzle with high-quality olive oil and a light-colored, sweet vinegar (I used an oak-aged, apple-based “Rocksalmic” vinegar I got recently from Rockridge Orchards, but a golden balsamic would be just as good.) Sprinkle with a generous pinch of smoked salt and a few grinds of fresh black or white pepper. Toast and skin some hazelnuts (or use toasted pecans or walnuts), and chop them coarsely. Sprinkle on top. Serve immediately.
* Some people might find the dark grey color of smoked salt on fresh avocado unappealing, since it winds up looking a lot like the spots that show on overripe avocado. If you want to avoid that, you could add the salt to the beet-and-shallot layer, before adding the rest of the ingredients. I didn’t think to do that, so judge for yourself from the photos whether it’s a problem.