9 pantry items that make cooking a lot easier

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1. Olive Oil

Getting food on the table is a whole lot easier if you have a well-stocked pantry. When it comes to shopping for pantry ingredients, I’ve learned that variety does not matter as much as making sure you’ve got those ‘secret weapon’ ingredients, the can’t-live-without-out-them basics that usually don’t cost much but can make a meal appear out of nowhere.

This is my own list, based on how I cook for my family of omnivores, and it does extend beyond the physical boundaries of the pantry shelf into the fridge (which I think it's safe to assume most of us have). Please share any of your personal pantry staples in the comments below.

Olive oil gets used for everything -- sautéing aromatics, making salad dressings, drizzling over pizzas and flatbreads, dipping toast, frying eggs, marinating fish or meat, even baked goods. I recently purchased a 20-litre jug of olive oil straight from my Greek friend's father's olive farm in northern Greece. It's unbelievably delicious and flavourful.

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