Most often, it simply involves giggling over archaic concepts of 1950s Convenience Cooking like Tomato Soup Cake or Coca-Cola Ham, or the “daring” of 1970s Hippie Ethnic Cuisine like a Spicy Curry Chicken that calls for a whopping “pinch of curry powder” lest the palate be over-stimulated by flavour. Over the years, I’ve amassed a rather impressive collection of old cookbooks that allows me to indulge my obsession on a regular basis – I now know more uses for canned condensed soups that you could possibly imagine, some of which even seem surprisingly edible.
But given that music from the ’90s now qualifies as retro, I suppose that we have to accept that food from the 90s is probably edging into the same category. Hard to think of chocolate lava cakes and gussied-up mac n’ cheese landing in the same category as the kitchen kitsch I find so amusing.. only by virtue of having been cool and cutting edge within my lifetime. With the big 3-0 looming ever closer now, I suppose I’m fast approaching retro status myself. Yikes.
For now, though, I might as well enjoy what’s left of my 20’s by kicking back, putting on some 90s vintage lounge music on the stereo and indulging a craving for a nostalgic nosh.
That 90s Salad
4 cups baby spinach
1 sweet apple, diced (pref Royal Gala or Delicious)
1 ripe pear, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Handful of toasted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together ingredients for tahini dressing until smooth.
In a large bowl, toss together spinach, apples, pears, and dried cranberries. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide into four bowls and garnish each with an equal amount of goat cheese and sunflower seeds.
Note: If you’re feeling particularly fruity (or if you have a hot date later in the evening and can’t risk that much garlic), you could also swap out the tahini dressing for an equally 1990s-esque raspberry vinaigrette.