Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Salt Is Your Friend

I love to twit Michael Ruhlman. He's written (or co-written) some pretty good books. I've had great success using recipes from his and Brian Polcyn's "Charcuterie."
I hated his most recent one, though.
But I still read his blog.
The other day, Ruhlman wrote about his preference for presalting tomatoes. Salt them a little while before you intend to eat them raw. Can't find it on his blog now, though. Did he pull it?
(UPDATE: I think I found it.)
(UPDATE 2: Anna Banana found a more recent post.)
What the hey. I gave it a try.
And it was great! Especially if the tomatoes are on the sweet side. The salt penetrates the tomato flesh (cut up, yes?) and does its little chemical dance in there.
I'm used to salting tomatoes at the table. It's perfectly good, especially if you love the crunch of Maldon crystals.
But this is good; a new flavor approach.
We have used the presalting technique on two separate lunches of cherry tomatoes, although not on the tomatoes in the picture; godIlovespaghetti; I'm trying it next time.
So, yeah. I recommend it.
Thanks, Ruhlman.


Anna Banana said...

His Sept. 5 post talks about salting the tomatoes ahead. Lucky find on my part. I will try it!

Greg said...

I really have mixed feelings about Ruhlman. I like most of his books but when he was a judge on the next Iron Chef he made more ugly faces than a seventies porn star. Oh and get a haircut! ;)

dancingmorganmouse said...

he may be an odd fellow but he's right on the button about tomatoes and salt. Yum.

kudzu said...

Greg -- Surely you're thinking of the dreadful Knowlton, who was often on the same panel. The one who loves to snipe and nitpick and glower. Ruhlman seems almost sunny by comparison.

His salting method makes sense. I'm just about to try it on a very ripe Brandwine.

Dagny said...

First I need to get truly excited about tomatoes. (No, my coworker has not brought more in yet. Grrrr.) Yeah, I eat them on a near daily basis but I usually eat them first to get over the whole experience.

Of course, I will pass this tip onto my mom who absolutely loves tomatoes. Too many times to count during my childhood she would serve freshly sliced tomatoes with a side of mayo. And then there would be loads of Oooo's and Ahhh's on her part.

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The Spiteful Chef said...

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Roasting tomatoes, salting tomatoes...Lord. I really need to find a reliable local grower. I'd grow my own, but I have the same effect on plants that bubonic plague had on historic Europeans.

Zoomie said...

I have two wonderful ripe tomatoes to try this on - a big yellow orb and a red one with green top. I love tomato season!

el said...

Now you know why I have salt in the greenhouse. (Of course it's not Maldon, though; that stuff's over the stove.)

cookiecrumb said...

Anna Banana: Thanks! I thought I was going nutz. :D

Greg: I think Ruhlman is a bit too in love with himself.

Morgan: He is. I wish I'd known sooner.

Kudzu: Nah, Greg's right. Ruhlman was really wanky, opining that tomato "consomme" could not be true consomme because yadda yadda yadda.
How'd you like the Brandywine?

Dagny: Presalting is great for Sungolds! If you can get your hand on any more.
And I say keep the mayo off the 'maters, unless it's a BLT.

Spitey: If you really don't want to grow your own, you should track down a farmers market. Here, I'll do the work --

Zoomie: I've had a disappointing harvest, but it might be finally taking off. Good snacking, dearie.

El: I can just see you in there, a faraway look on your face, chomping into one of your babies.

Jennifer Maiser said...

I know I'm like a month late on this, but I rarely read Ruhlman. As soon as I read that post though, I did exactly as he said with salting the tomatoes and loved it!

I miss you cookie ... Sorry I'm over here so sporadically. xx

cookiecrumb said...

Wow, Jen! How did you even find this post?

I miss you too, a lot. I was thinking about you this morning, so maybe we are fated for a get-together soon. If it wasn't so far to the City, we'd be drinking with the Book Club... :(