Nigella Lawson Calls These 3 Ingredients Her 'Basic Essentials'

Nigella Lawson has been helping home cooks navigate their way through the kitchen since she wrote her very first cookbook "How to Eat" back in 1998. Loyal fans have been going to Nigella's website and her Instagram page for meal inspiration ever since.

Considering the culinary goddess that Nigella is, coming up with recipes for dishes like calvados syllabub and roquamole that few of us can even dream of pronouncing right, she has reliable cooking tips and tricks for commoners like us.

So when it comes to pantry essentials that Nigella can't fathom cooking without, it's pretty solid advice that everyone should be taking notes on. Speaking to Good Housekeeping, Nigella revealed three basic ingredients that are essential for her (and the rest of the world) to have in her kitchen — lemon, olive oil, and sea salt flakes. She often uses sea salt flakes and lemon juice and zest in both sweet and savory dishes.

This isn't the only time Nigella has spoken of the importance of having olive oil, lemons, and sea salt flakes as essentials that she absolutely needs. In 2018, she took to Twitter to share with followers pantry staples she swears by, which included "very good" olive oil and lemons amongst garlic, ginger, unsalted butter, and the like.

Nigella carries sea salt flakes in her purse

Lemons, a tip on Nigella's website adds, can be put into pretty much any dish for a boost of fresh and bright flavor. Bon Appétit agrees, claiming that "once you start cooking with citrus, you'll find yourself constantly reaching for it." Along with unrefined coconut oil, coconut butter, and cold-pressed rapeseed oil, Nigella absolutely can't go without olive oil either — Cretan Gold organic extra virgin olive oil to be precise. "I panic if I don't have a good supply of Cretan Gold organic extra virgin olive oil," Nigella admitted in an interview with Good Food.

As for sea salt flakes, Nigella's obsession with the tabletop seasoning is an entirely different story. In 2018, the chef told Epicurious that if you emptied her purse, you'd find a bottle of Maldon sea salt in it, along with Colman's mustard. She told the site that of all the basics, it's sea salt flakes that happens to be on top of her list of staples that she can't do without, and of all the British sea salt brands on the market, it's Maldon in particular that she loves. "I couldn't cook without Maldon. I love its mellow saltiness and the softness of its flakes," she confessed.

So the next time you're out on a grocery run and can't for the life of you remember what exactly it was that you came for, remember Nigella's advice. As long as you have sea salt flakes, lemon, and "very good" olive oil, you should be on your way to turning boring plates of food into Michelin star-worthy stunners!