Food & Home

Pamela Salzman In The Kitchen

Photo credit: Erica Hampton

10 Essentials of a Busy Home Cook

In partnership with our friends at

On any given day, Pamela Salzman is testing recipes, teaching cooking classes, and getting dinner on the table for her family of five. Put another way: A messy kitchen isn’t really an option. As a home cook, Salzman relies heavily on her instinct—and her tools. You’re not going to find a junk drawer full of unused gadgets: Everything in her Manhattan Beach kitchen is functional, well-used, and, most importantly, thoroughly eco-conscious. There are the well-made investment pieces—a hefty cast-iron pot, a multiuse (slicing, dicing, mincing) knife—as well as the pantry staples, many of which she gets through Grove Collaborative (a site stocked with eco-friendly products that can be automatically reordered every thirty days). We asked Salzman to open up her pantry and give us a look at what’s in heavy rotation lately.

Dot and Army Cotton Bowl Covers Dot and Army Cotton Bowl Covers goop, $62


“In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives, I use these cotton bowl covers for leftovers in the fridge or on my countertop. I love that they are machine-washable.”

Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponge Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponge Grove Collaborative, $4


“These sponges are a new favorite: They’re durable, and they clean well without scratching or falling apart. They’re also pretty large, which I prefer when cleaning pots and pans—something I do A LOT. The price is right, and they last longer than other sponges I have used.”

Wean Green Meal bowl Wean Green Meal bowl Grove Collaborative, $9


“Leftovers play a big role in our lunches, and these glass containers are perfect for taking lunch or breakfast to go. Glass is my preferred material for storage containers since it cleans up easily and doesn’t leach like plastic. I like the big containers for salads and soups, and the smaller ones for dressings or sauces. They are airtight, which keeps food from spoiling too quickly, and leakproof, which is essential.”

Grove Collaborative Cleaning Concentrate Kit Grove Collaborative Cleaning Concentrate Kit Grove Collaborative, $24


“Kitchens are messy, and it’s important to have an arsenal of good, toxin-free cleaning products around. I’m crazy for this concentrate because the ingredients are clean and safe to use on my marble countertops but can still get rid of grease and scrub out sticky messes. The formula also smells amazing, and I love that I can use the pretty glass bottle over and over.”

Staub x goop 5.5QT Round Cocotte Staub x goop 5.5QT Round Cocotte goop, $325


“Staub is my favorite cast-iron enameled cookware brand hands down. I’ve had Staub pieces for many, many years and will be using them for many more. They are durable, hold their heat beautifully, and are gorgeous in their own right. This five-and-a-half-quart pot is versatile and gets regular use in my kitchen. I also love that it’s white, which allows the food to pop and goes with any kitchen décor.”

Linum Hedvig Apron Linum Hedvig Apron goop, $83


“I cook a lot for special occasions and holidays, and I’m often dressed for the occasion. No one likes oil stains on their dry-clean-only blouse, so an apron is essential. I love this one because it’s lightweight, easy to wash and dry, and pretty to boot.”

Rosle Salad Spinner with Glass Lid Rosle Salad Spinner with Glass Lid goop, $150


“Dry greens are crucial for the perfect salad, so I rely on a good salad spinner. This one makes quick work of drying everything so it stays fresh. I also like the dual functionality of the stainless bowl.”

Microplane Grater Microplane Grater goop, $20


“This microplane grater gets lots of use in my kitchen. I use it to zest citrus and grate cheese, but my favorite use for it is grating ginger and garlic very fine. The microplane allows me to do this more quickly than I can with a knife, and I skip the step of washing a cutting board.”

If You Care Parchment Baking Paper If You Care Parchment Baking Paper Grove Collaborative, $5


“Unbleached parchment paper is a must. Most commercially available baking sheets are either aluminum or nonstick—two materials that can leach into your food when heated. I line all of my baking sheets with parchment to prevent this and to keep the food from sticking. Also: easy cleanup! It’s just as good for lining cake pans if you want to remove the cake easily after baking, and for making packets to cook fish in.”

Stories + Objectives
Santoku All-Purpose Knife goop, $425


“Good, sharp knives make cooking so enjoyable, and this Santoku knife is beautiful and easy to work with. It’s a good shape for most chopping, slicing and cutting. Just make sure you keep it sharp—dull knives can be dangerous.”