I don't know if it's the atmospheric climate or the economic climate, but I have noticed a shift in food.
Food presentation. Food combination.
Food is nowadays a bowl or a plate of foodlets, mingled together. Not tethered with sauces. Not roasted stand-alone meats.
You got your farro salad. Your chunky, random pasta. Your beans and veg.
All just strewn across a plate or huddled in a bowl.
Gone, it seems for now, are the sculpted confections, the engineered arrangements, the precious, tedious plating.
What a way to eat. Pressure's off. Cook your nice ingredients, and then eat them. Together.
This was a "potato salad," inspired by Heidi's new book (the picture showed there were peas; we didn't follow the recipe but peas sounded good).
There's a Japanese deli in the San Francisco Ferry Building. I've cruised the cases there a couple of times, but always ended up feeling urpy when I came upon the mashed potatoes with vegetables punctuating it. All the rest of the food looks good; random minglings of foodlets. The reason my potato salad doesn't look urpy is because it's not mashed.
Ideas: Just throw in chopped pickled eggs, cooked peas, chopped celery, sliced leeks (raw), olives... Whoa, I didn't even add all that. Vinaigrette, then toss and serve.
I really like easy, messy, aggregate food! Recipe completely optional.