A pinch of salt, a few turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Seasoning may seem like the final small step in a recipe, but it's also the most important. Salt is one of a cook's best tools and the growing variety on the market—pink Himalayan or grey French sea salt, to name a few—proves that it's being taken seriously as its own unique ingredient. Of course salt is only one way to season a dish. Do you want to learn a back-pocket spice rub that you can use on anything or the secret to seasoning to juicy meat? Check out Food & Wine's guide to seasonings. We've also included recipes that make use of your spice rack and dishes that highlight fresh herbs.

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Spicy Yeast Salt
Brewer's yeast is beloved by bakers for Italian recipes such as grissini and focaccia; it's also the secret ingredient in this umami-rich multipurpose seasoning salt from chef Dave Beran of Pasjoli in Santa Monica. The additions of salt, gochugaru, and citric acid lend the yeast a brightness and acidity, and the Korean chile flakes add a nice kick. The seasoning takes just a few minutes to put together and has nearly endless seasoning possibilities. Start by trying it sprinkled on freshly roasted vegetables or meats, pasta, or popcorn. You'll want to use an inactive brewer's yeast for this recipe, such as the version from Twinlab, which has a delicious, funky, umami flavor.
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Sumac Onions
Ground sumac adds a lemony flavor to these quick-pickled onions from Maydān restaurant. Versatile and bright, use them to top Maydān's Slow-Grilled Cauliflower with Tahina and Zhough.
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Herb Simple Syrup
Blanching tender herbs before blending them in this versatile syrup preserves their delicate, fresh flavors. Use this refreshing syrup in cocktails or mocktails, or drizzle it over fruity desserts.

More Seasonings

If You've Got Greens, You've Got Green Sauce

Wilting herbs? Random greens? Throw them in the blender with acid and fat, and you’ll have a sauce that will make everything tasty.