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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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.