It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
What can be used to counteract too much salt used in a recipe?
There are a lot of old wives' tales about this, but truthfully not much can be done. The myth that I grew up with was that putting a raw potato in the soup would work. This is the most common remedy one finds when searching the web, although there are others, including adding sugar or vinegar.
For the best answer to this question I will direct you to the amazing Robert L. Wolke. He writes a wonderful column in the Washington Post called Food 101. His book What Einstein Told His Cook is a must read for anyone interested in food.
Here's his column on the subject: Can You Save A Salty Soup?
Thanks for writing.
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.