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‘Remix’ cookbook starts with potent trios

Chris Ross
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Here’s a new cookbook that seems to have been written just for the unusual time we are living in, though I’m sure it was conceived long before we were dealing with a pandemic. For “Kitchen Remix,” New York City food writer Charlotte Druckman had the idea to take three ingredients and find several interesting ways to use them. So the book’s 75 recipes are variations using these trios of ingredients, such as chicken leg, apple and shallot, or eggs, olives and labneh.

She came up with the three-ingredient idea when she was teaching her brother to cook.

“By focusing on a few compatible, lovable ingredients at a time and offering a bunch of alternative ways to put them together — or remix them — I could optimize for manageability and still offer variation, with a little choose-your-own-adventure thrown in,” she writes in the book’s introduction.

One of her ideas for using the three ingredients of goat cheese, strawberries and balsamic is this salad, which would be a delightful way to use local strawberries before they disappear. Druckman says she based the salad on one she discovered at chef Daniel Rose’s Le Coucou restaurant in Manhattan.

Strawberry Tomato Salad

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 21/4 cups)

12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (about 21/4 cups)

1 medium cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon flake salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound Bucheron or other semi-aged goat cheese, cubed

3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon honey

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large serving bowl, toss together the strawberries, tomatoes, cucumber, salt and pepper. Add the goat cheese and gently toss again, just to incorporate.

Add the herbs and toss quickly to distribute.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey using a fork. Continuing to whisk, slowly stream in the olive oil to form a vinaigrette.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add salt as needed. It’s ready to go. Serves 4.

Reprinted with permission from “Kitchen Remix” by Charlotte Druckman. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.