THE QUEST FOR SALT: The Grove Cafe and Market

The Grove, Albuquerque

The Grove, Albuquerque

My quest for finding salt in all kinds of form is ON and we’re off on our summer cross-country “road trip.”

I love Santa Fe but Old Town Alburquerque has my favorite breakfast/lunch cafe...The Grove Cafe & Market and so, of course, food wins out.


The Grove  is very creative with their menu and they feature organic and local seasonal products. They also make the best English muffins (I know because I’m a connoisseur of Engish muffins).

Here are some of my favorite breakfast items from their menu:

POACHED EGGS with toast and fresh fruit
with roasted turkey or black forest ham
with La Quercia prosciutto, roasted asparagus, parmesan

ORGANIC EGG WHITE FRITTATA with toast seasonal vegetables, arugula salad, pecorino cheese

ENGLISH MUFFIN housemade served with butter and local honey or Heidi’s Organic jam

CROQUE MADAME with fresh fruit
black forest ham, tomato, whole grain mustard, gruyere cheese,
topped with sunny side up egg, open faced and warm on rustic farm loaf

scrambled egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo on housemade english muffin add avocado, add turkey, ham or bacon

scrambled egg, Tully’s sausage, goat cheese, housemade green chile in tortilla, with our roasted tomato jalapeno salsa

Their pantry is irresistable.  It is filled with with local goods and other selections for the Foodie including salts....but alas no Sal del Mar.  (I couldn’t help visualizing it there!)

Before leaving, I had to buy for the road The Grove’s English Muffins that they sell by the half-dozen. And there before me was “My Albuquerque Salt Find”...... Salted Chocolate Brownies. 

Later in Chicago.....

Salted brownie and milk....yum!

Salted brownie and milk....yum!

Our Salted Recipe for Chocolate Brownies from Vivian Bennett:

Salted Fudge Brownies

(adapted from Food & Wine/Kate Krader)

1  ½ sticks unsalted butter

2 ounces bitter chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

3 large eggs

1  ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Sal Del Mar sea salt or more to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges.  Lightly butter the foil.

2.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the bitter chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugars, eggs, vanilla and flour.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter.  Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.

3.  Bake the fudge brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter.  Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan.  Cut into hearts if desired or refrigerate until firm, about one hour then lift the brownies and cut into 16 squares.  Serve at room temperature.

Make ahead  The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to one month.