Sometimes it seems like cooking is really all about BEING READY to cook. To me, that means having stuff around — not only the basics like yogurt, pasta, eggs, oils, rice, etc., but also stuff that’s just ready to eat. I put cooked edamame in this category — I try to have a tupperware full of edamame in the fridge at all times so that I don’t have to bother with the five-minute task of actually boiling them (an arduous task, I know) when I’m feeling superlazy or just don’t have time to do even that.
When they’re in season, as they are now, fresh pomegranates fill this bill as well. When I’m in cooking mode I’ll split open a few and gently pluck the seeds out, put them in a bowl and into the fridge, where they’ll live, waiting for my inspiration. Roasted chicken and salmon, too, are favorites in a well-stocked fridge, and I always have a supply of avocados.
Cooking sessions at my house often involve cooking that’s not directly related to the dishes I’m preparing. Meaning: once I’ve got the dishes I’m making on any given evening underway, I’ll often use the “passive” time involved in cooking (waiting for something to roast, bake, braise, whatever) to restock the fridge for those days when I know it’s unlikely I’ll be cooking much. So I’ll boil some edamame, prep some poms, shred some cabbage, make some quick pickles, make some syrups for bubbly water, make some garlic confit, salad dressing, stock, or flavored salts. Or refill my spice jars. Or make some food for Daphne. There’s always something that can be done to make cooking a little easier FOR THE NEXT TIME.
So this simple salad is presented in that spirit. It’s just pieces of salmon, combined with cooked edamame, pomegranate arils, and avocado, lightly dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, pom vinegar, and citrus salt. It was made in well under three minutes, simply by reaching in and grabbing stuff that I had previously taken the trouble to prep and have on hand. So much good, wholesome food can be made this way, in far less time than it takes to get take-out, or, for that matter, to order in.
So is this wonderful meal considered “cooking?” Who knows/cares? It’s a fantastic supper, bursting with flavor and health. AND I had the whole evening to read a book and watch a movie!