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One of our favorite books of the summer (along with these other 7) is Mark Bitterman’s Salt Block Cooking. We’ve never been so excited to see a big pink slab of salt! First up, a barely-cured sashimi served on a natural salt brick.

A cut of fish glistening from the sea asks that we honor it. Simple slices of pristine hamachi can’t bear the insult of ornamentation, but they are exalted by salt. Resting fresh fish flesh on a chilled block of salt returns it momentarily to its birthplace, impregnating it with salinity, firming its muscularity.

You will need very high-quality fish for this dish. If you have access to an Asian market, the fishmonger there can usually get you sushi grade hamachi. Plan ahead, because it might have to be special-ordered. Yes, I know it is pricey, but ecstasy isn’t cheap.