Every once in a while I read something that sticks with me--something I reference for years. When it comes to food, this includes pretty much anything by Michael Pollan (check out the article that launched an obsession and changed the way I eat forever here) and, recently, I've found myself returning again and again to Mark Bittman (a.k.a. The Minimalist) and his list of pantry staples.
A couple of his rules required no conversion from me--fresh lemons, homemade salad dressing, real Parmigiano-Reggiano--but there are a few others that I have readily adopted. I now stock sherry vinegar and almost always keep fresh parsley in the fridge. But the biggest change has been a small one--pine nuts (or pignoli). I always loved 'em and since I've made it a point to keep them around I've tossed them (always toasted) into every salad, augmented various pastas and made my first homemade pesto.
What about you? Any pantry staples to recommend? What are your food bibles?
(Also, I'll beat Jack to the punch--the pignoli cookies at Savarino's are killer.)