Basic everyday stuff
I love a kitchen gadget. Leave me alone for five minutes in a hardware store, and I´ll have bought something silly I´ll never use, like a mezzaluna, or a garlic grating credit card, or an odd looking boiled-egg-top slicer.
There are worse habits, I guess. And some of the things are a lot of fun, even if I´ll never ever use them.I´ve never actually sifted any flour with the flour sifter, but it makes a clickety clack noise that guarantees instant annoyance for anyone within earshot.
Then there´s the kind of thing that has no glamour, costs practically nothing, and you´ll use every day, all your life. Like this grater.
It´s in constant use ever since I saw José Andrés grating tomatoes for sofrito on his show. What a brainwave! Never again the blanching or peeling of tomatoes. Or , more likely, the sifting pieces of tomato skin out of sauces. Good ´un.
In summer it comes into play a lot to grate carrots for my favourite salad.Not very exciting, like the grater, but very useful when the thought of lighting a match seems like too much effort. Or when I need something refreshing to lighten up a slice of pizza.
Quantities are for a bowl for one, or a side salad for two.
1 big ripe beautiful summer tomato
2 smallish carrots
oil, vinegar, salt, lots of pepper, pinch of cumin
That says it all, more or less, but I like to do this in this order:
First, the cucumber, peeled and either cubed in small pieces, or sliced very thin goes into the bowl with the salt. Then the tomato, cut into wedges directly over the bowl so not one drop is lost. Then the carrots are peeled and grated.
It doesn´t need a lot of oil, a mere splash will do, because the tomato and the cucumber will make a lot of juice. Be generous with the vinegar, and go crazy with the black pepper. Cumin is optional.
By far the best thing of all is to drink all the peppery juice that collects at the bottom of the bowl. I know, bad bad manners, but try it.