If you, like me, grew up thinking that salt was somehow bad for you, you may have gotten used to eating some pretty bland food—and not just because it doesn’t taste salty. Salt brings out the natural flavors in food, making everything taste more “brilliant.” And when you add the salt actually matters. Adding salt during cooking draws out the flavor of each ingredient. Salting at the end will finish it up with just enough actual saltiness (here’s where you don’t want to overdo it), but if you haven’t salted during the process, your dish will still be lacking in flavor.
So, salt your onions when you sauté them to sweat out their bitterness and bring out the sweet. Salt your sautéed mushrooms to keep them from being rubbery and, well, gross. Use the side of the knife to smash your minced garlic with salt before adding it to the pot. (Ok, sorry, Chef, but who has time for that last one?!) And always taste your creation before serving to see if it needs one last dash of flavor.
Still worried about salt’s effect on your health? Well, if you don’t have high blood pressure (or even have low blood pressure, as I do), it’s probably actually good for you. And after a sweaty workout, it can help replace those electrolytes you lost. So go ahead and enjoy that salt!