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.