By Vanessa from Garibaldi Goods
Whether you’ve just signed the lease on your very first apartment, or you’re determined to make time to feed yourself well this year, having a well-stocked and streamlined pantry can make all the difference.
Start from the bottom up by clearing out old products, grouping like items, and ditching those stale spices. Think about what you like to cook and what inspires you in the kitchen: light pasta salad, breakfast for dinner, late-night sandwiches. The right pantry ingredients can bring depth of flavor and texture to sauces or stand out as a main dish.
Pantry basics should include the following: oils and vinegars, dried pastas in varying shapes and sizes, a selection of whole grains and dried beans, mustard, honey, jam or marmalade, nut butters and above all, great salt and seasoning spices.
Every pantry should build on a handful of basics. Why spend half a day’s wages ordering pizza for an impromptu movie night when you can wow them with something whipped up from your sophisticated pantry? Here are our five favorite essentials and how to use them:
Omnivore Salt: Though it may seem obvious, having a great-tasting salt means your food has a head-start on success. This San Francisco Bay sea salt from Angelo Garro is blended with locally foraged herbs and organic spices that give dishes an overall savory flavor profile and just a hint of heat. Use it on avocado toast, fried eggs, or seared pork chops.
Olive Oil: High-quality olive oil is far more practical than the generic grocery store stuff you try not to taste. This Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the San Francisco- based Other Brother Company has a refined yet grassy-green, buttery flavor. Mix in a jar with equal parts lemon juice and red wine vinegar for a quick vinaigrette, or toss with fresh tomatoes, basil and burrata for the ultimate summer Caprese salad.
Pasta: Adding just one or two fresh ingredients can make a last-minute pasta meal something truly great. This line of hearty, semolina pastas from Los Angeles producer Semolina Artisan Pasta is made using traditional bronze die extraction and comes in long, short, and medium shapes. Spaghetti works for saucey pasta dishes, rigatoni pairs well with chunky, roasted vegetables and conchiglie will bulk out even the most basic soups.
Red Wine & Rosemary Mustard: Short-cuts are a life saver in the kitchen. This savory-herb whole grain mustard, made in San Francisco by McVicker Pickles, is a sauce, marinade, and condiment all in one. Mix into quinoa or couscous, brush over grilled fish, lamb chops, or liven up your weekly turkey sandwich.
Satsuma Sea Salt Marmalade: Jams and marmalades are great for toast, but they have the potential to be so much more! Made from organic, Central California-grown citrus, this Satsuma tangerine marmalade from Sweet Lady Cook is just as impressive stirred into an Old Fashioned as it is in a garlic-soy marinade.
Garibaldi Goods is an online store selling high-quality, handcrafted goods-- all from California producers. Click here to learn more and shop their curated selection of food items and kitchen accessories, and look out for an upcoming giveaway of a basket of their best goods!