A Salad Lunch for When the Ingredients in the Fridge Rebel

August 27, 2015

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.

This week, Amanda's lunch ingredients have other plans, but she—and a vegetable-crammed grain salad—come out on the other side.


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For this week's lunches, I devised a plan to swap out pasta for spring wheat berries in my recipe for Summer Weekend Pasta. My ingredients had other plans. The bacon in our fridge was past its expiration date (truth: it was fuzzy with mold and I didn't even know bacon could get moldy. Mystery: How could anyone ever neglect bacon long enough to let it get moldy? I feel shame!). And I had a bit more squash and corn than the recipe calls for. So it became more squash and corn salad with wheat berries than the other way around.

I boiled the wheat berries until tender (about 40 minutes) and prepped the squash and corn in the same way as the original recipe. Having skipped the bacon, I dressed the salad with olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a dollop of aioli that I had lying around the fridge. While I made this for salad lunches, it could easily work as a side for grilled chicken or steak, or you could add some slices of avocado and call it dinner. When it came time to pack lunches, I planted a cluster of goat milk ricotta in the center of the salad, and added a bar of chocolate without considering that it would travel in 85-degree heat to camp. No complaints were heard, so I'm guessing the chocolate met its proper end. 

Photo by Amanda Hesser

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

1 Comment

Bella B. August 27, 2015
Oh yum!