The Underrated Pantry Item That Valerie Bertinelli Thinks You Should Try - Exclusive

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While you might think that a celebrity chef would only stock up on fancy ingredients like delicious saffron or irresistible truffles, Valerie Bertinelli's choice for her favorite pantry item is emblematic of her low-key, relatable style. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, she discussed her new cookbook, "Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes to Enjoy and Share," and she told us about the most underrated ingredient she uses all of the time. It's a salt blend, but it's not gourmet fleur de sel or Hawaiian black lava salt — it happens to be an item you can pick up for less than five dollars at your local grocery store: Nature's Seasons by Morton.

The Emmy Award-winner said she's been using the seasoned salt for years, which fits with her mission of sharing foods that have been important throughout her life. Bertinelli said this special type of garlic, onion, and herb-flavored salt is perfect for enhancing the flavor of just about everything.

"I'll just slice up some radishes and put a little bit of red wine vinegar, like a tiny bit, just barely, just to add that zing, and then just cover them with some Nature's Seasons," the actress explained. "It's a really great little snack."

What's in Nature's Seasons and what to use it with

The specialty blend features onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and other natural spices. The mix also purportedly contains celery salt and parsley, which impart a more complex and aromatic vegetal taste than just garlic salt alone. "It just fills your mouth with a bunch of flavors," Valerie Bertinelli explained, telling us this means it pairs well with pretty much everything, from different types of protein to salad and beyond.

The Emmy Award-winner said she particularly likes using it to season beef: "Sometimes I'll put it on a ribeye and sear that into the ribeye when I cook on high heat with a cast iron." To prepare this dish, season one side of your steak, put it into a pan with olive oil, and let it cook on each side for around five minutes or until your preferred doneness. The heat and the salt blend perfectly enhance the flavors of the meat.

You can whip up a quick salad dressing by blending Nature's Seasons with oil and vinegar to give your greens an extra pop of flavor. You could even sprinkle some of this seasoning mix on popcorn, plain mashed potatoes, or air fryer french fries to give them an extra boost. Whichever way you decide to use Nature's Seasons, know that Bertinelli will be proud.

Valerie Bertinelli's new cookbook, "Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes to Enjoy and Share," is available for purchase on Amazon.