Salad For President is probably my favorite book of 2017, and I don't mean in just a cookbook kind of way. It's so much more than that! Personally, I'd even call it verging on the spiritual. The relationship to what we eat, the actual ingredients, and the culture it defines, is precious and truly brings sunshine-like joy, and what I'd call a path of a beautiful life.
Here's to mangos, tarragon, and Julia! See our fun Q & A below...
Angelina: Favorite nut?
Julia: Oh man, starting out with tough questions! I guess I would have to say cashew. I dream about these curry spiced cashews I had on a train in India. They made me forever crave their particular brand of fatty decadence.
A: Climate aside, if you could only plant 10 trees in your yard what would they be?
J: Great timing! I am planting a fruit orchard in my garden in Los Angeles. I wanted to choose fruit that I could use in cooking, and eat raw. And of course, I needed to have my citrus bases covered. I chose 15 trees, but my top picks were meyer lemon, a hybrid eureka lemon/key lime (is it cheating to combine those two into one?), satsuma mandarin, dottoto fig, seedless kumquats, Blenheim apricot, Panamint Nectarine, white peach, pineapple guava, yuzu, makrut lime, and Pakastani mulberry. I am also planting caper plants, passion fruit vines, and white currants.
A: Whenever I call my grandmother I always ask, “What did you eat today.” Our conversations end up being about food. Do you have any regular food centric conversation starters?
J: That's so funny, I have the same regular food related check in with my grandmother. She always tells me, "food is my romance." Aside from that, I wake up every morning and ask my husband if he wants to eat home, crossing my fingers and toes that he will say yes. Then I start planning...
A: What salad are you currently looking forward to?
J: I just returned from Modena where I filled my suitcase with DOP baslamic vinegar. It's the most amazing, syrupy, tart and sweet thing, and experiencing the real deal brought me back around to balsamic after having turned my back on it in the early 2000's. So, I am looking forward to any simple salad with this stuff drizzled over top.
A: When you were a child did you have a favorite meal?
J: Yes! I was actually obsessed with salad from a young age. I ate a lot of arugula with lemon and parmesan. I also loved pasta carbonara, but my mom would make it with these super long corkscrew noodles, that I loved because they reminded me of her curly ringlets.
A: Any salad pet-peeves?
J: Wet lettuce, cheap vinegar, rancid olive oil (more common than you would imagine), mesclun greens, "craisins," berries in salad, under-dressed salad, over-dressed salad...Need I go on?
A: Beklina picks...
J: These earrings, these shoes and this rug.
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