Butter and salt

I bought 25 pounds of a sea salt the color of a cloudy day and walked it home from the open market in Bourgueil, thrown over my shoulder like a baby. The woman who sold me the salt then dug a little scoop into about six different bags of spices and shook them together in a little plastic bag and said, “if you love it, or if you hate it, come back and tell me. “If you don’t like it,” she said, “no problem. I never make it again, because I won’t remember. I don’t mix with a recipe, ah? I mix by how how I feel in the moment, and I never feel exactly the same.”
When I got back to my kitchen I toasted walnuts with a little butter, and sprinkled the mix of lavender, ginger, chile, rosemary, tarragon and grey salt aover the lot. It was exquisite.
With half of the salt I bought, we made a thick bed, packed two bass and two trout on there that had been stuffed with fresh fennel, parsley, garlic, lemon and, shallot and tomato, covered them with another thick blanket of salt and then a slurry of flour and water.
to serve with–a concasse of blanched tomato sautéed with butter, shallot, thyme and coriander seed. In butter. You can’t teach cooking in France without butter. Or salt. It would be like teaching someone how to swim without the water.

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