i’m reading a book called ‘the tenth muse: my life in food’ by judith jones. she’s the publisher responsible for julia child’s ‘mastering the art of french cooking’ and totally serendipitously, the american publishing of ‘the diary of anne frank’. i’m only halfway through, but she has so far inspired me in several ways. the first is her move to france as a young woman to find work and devote herself wholeheartedly to the understanding and enjoyment of french food. i’m also inspired by her description of french shopping and how she used to go once, sometimes even twice a day to pick up groceries to cook. none of this once-a-month at costco to buy shelves and shelves worth of bulk cheerios. they didn’t have the storage space or the fridge space to buy anything to store, so they would pick up ingredients directly from the butcher or grocer every day for dinner. while they might have come up with something unrealistically complicated, tres francais, and unpronounceable for dinner, i say you can still pick up ingredients on the way home and be eating ten minutes later.
today, for example, a five minute salad. i bought the greens from bi-rite (aka the best grocery store ever created and amazingly located on my block) for $1.02 and some grape tomatoes. who says that mixed salad greens have to be expensive? it’s cheaper than a pre-washed bag (and less likely to be chockful of salmonella) and easier to deal with than a head of lettuce. then i grabbed a blood orange and a winesap apple from our farm fresh to you box that we get in the office (we can’t live up to the mighty full cafeteria and branded itsits of google, but we have a CSA box, damnit!) and put together a seriously delicious salad.
a dollar’s worth of mixed salad greens and baby spinach, one blood orange, half a tiny apple (any kind), some grape tomatoes
splash of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, splash of pomegranate balsamic vinegar (i happened to have these vinegars in the cupboard, i think it’s always good to have a random assortment depending on what flavors you want), salt and pepper.
it’s daunting to stop by the grocery store at 8pm when you need to eat soon, but there are tons of really fast meals you can create. it’d be easy to add some pre-cooked meat from the fridge or bread or whatever you have around to make it heartier. however, when you’ve just eaten half a castle (confused? see below) then a really light salad is an excellent next step.