In our new cooking series Workaholics, we invite chefs, bartenders, and other personalities in the world of food and drink who are serious hustlers to share their tips and tricks for preparing quick, creative after-work meals. Every dish featured in Workaholics takes under 30 minutes to make, but without sacrificing any deliciousness—this is tried-and-true, go-to goodness for the super-busy who also happen to have impeccable taste.
Julia Sherman may just have the most unique career in the food world. She's a chef, an artist, a gardener, a photographer, and an author—and her popular Instagram-slash-blog and publishing project, intriguingly called "Salad for President," is billed as "a daily practice of making and eating salads with creative people." She's edging up to 14,000 followers on Instagram and has a book of the same name coming out in 2017. Sherman is also the talent behind the MoMA PS1 Salad Garden, the first use of the museum's rooftop as a public space where the visitors, artists, and performers interact in a working garden. That gig led to a second Salad Garden, this one atop the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
But for her Workaholics dish, Sherman would be keeping it simple. Think a dip that you can whip up in five minutes and bring anywhere from your aunt's potluck to an überfancy dinner party.
What does a person who spends her days making and photographing endless salads with artist friends eat in her downtime? Salad, of course. But not just any salad. Sherman shared with us her kimchi-miso dip, perfect for dipping all kinds of healthy things in, like cucumbers or lettuce leaves.
Sherman says she likes to make this after a long day at work, because it's so easy, but also because it somehow tastes pretty much exactly like Doritos. Think a guilty pleasure, but with nothing in it that warrants actually feeling guilty about.
It's a downscale (but actually healthy) funfest for someone who has a pretty high falutin' background.
Sherman is a New York City native and a trained artist, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University, But she says she woke up one day and realized, "I didn't want to spend my life trying to be a famous artist and that was a huge revelation for me, so I was a little bit lost." Sherman came up with the name "Salad for President" for her project because she wanted to show that you can elevate something that has hobby status in your life to another level: "The idea was that if I put all the energy I was putting into my art into salad, as arbitrary as it may seem, it can be the most important thing."
So think of this dishas elevating the notion of a quick chip dip—by making it from tasty, wholesome fermented foods: kimchi, white miso paste, and brown rice vinegar.
You might think that none of these things sound like they could possibly mimic the decadence of Doritos dust, but consider this: You can find out in less time than it takes to grab a bag of Cool Ranch from the corner store. All you have to do is combine the kimchi, vinegar, and miso paste with a neutral oil and a little bit of water, and blend the mixture until smooth.
Put your bright-orange dip in a bowl (it's the color of Doritos, too), slice up some cucumbers, and you're ready to snack.
RECIPE: Kimchi-Miso Dip
The MUNCHIES team couldn't get enough of her spicy, super-umami dip. "I can't stop eating this," our culinary director Farideh Sadeghin muttered, while Sherman laughed, "It's, like, stupidly easy to make."
Late-night stoner food that's a cinch to make, but is also good for you? We're in.
Julia Sherman is currently working on her first book, Salad For President: The Cookbook, which will be published by Abrams Books in spring 2017.