Garten’s other two favorite salts are both finishing salts. The first is French sea salt, or fleur de sel, specifically by the brand Le Saunier de Camargue. Garten calls it “lightly briny” in The New York Times video and said she sprinkles it on dishes just before serving for extra flavor; similarly, the brand’s website recommends it for finishing grilled meat, fish, or salads. Her third favorite? Maldon flaked sea salt, which she appreciates primarily for its large, crunchy flakes. When baking chicken pot pie or anything with a pastry crust, Garten said she often brushes the dough with egg wash and sprinkles it with pepper and Maldon salt. “That flaked salt just looks gorgeous, and the crunchiness tastes great,” she said in the video.
If you’re not convinced that investing in three different salts is worthwhile, Kitchn writer Emily Shwake cooked like Garten for a week and found that the Barefoot Contessa is onto something. “I loved that it gave a crunchy edge and an extra burst of flavor,” Shwake said about Garten’s instructions to sprinkle Maldon salt on crispy pesto zucchini. But whether or not you order sea salt directly from France, avoid seasoning with iodized table salt, which Garten says contains chemicals “to keep it free-flowing” and tastes “really harsh” (via Food Network).