Serious Eats: Recipes

The Crisper Whisperer: Shrimp, Spinach, and Swiss Wrap

Note: You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by every Tuesday during prime veggie season to help us cook through seasonal surplus with ease.

[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]

For a few fleeting years a short while back, a quirky little lunch shop graced downtown Hoboken, New Jersey. They called it FOOD 3663, for the numbers you might dial on a phone to spell "food," but only in theory, since they didn't have the phone number to match.

One bite of this oddly addictive sandwich and you'll wholeheartedly agree: if the sandwich lady says the baby needs socks, then the baby needs socks.

The shop itself operated just like the name. At first glance it made you stop and scratch your head in confusion, but ultimately you came to appreciate, even crave, its peculiar internal logic. That tiny establishment, which barely accommodated a large gym bag in its center aisle, packed more weird experiences per square foot than any other place in town. If they'd had a dime for every time I stood in front of the counter quietly wondering, "Did that really just happen?" they'd still be in business for sure.

One day the cashier correctly identified my perfume before my second foot had crossed the threshold (and I'm very light with the spritzer finger, I swear). The next time I went in for lunch, he was wearing my perfume.

Another time, a warm early-fall day, I strolled in with my barefooted baby. Despite my forceful maternal protestations (I'm usually quite mild-mannered, but there's a lioness inside every new mother whose fledgling wisdom meets with challenge), the owner gave my baby a sort of Ambush Makeover: Newborn Addition, whipping out a sealed package of ill-fitting pink socks from below the register and stuffing my baby's feet into them. Because babies need to wear socks. I thanked her, paid for my shrimp wrap and ate it at the park that day.

A mother has a primal urge to protect her baby at all costs, sure. But she also has priorities, and keeping the miso-ginger-kissed shrimp and spinach wraps flowing freely in her direction is one such priority. One bite of this oddly addictive sandwich and you'll wholeheartedly agree: If the sandwich lady says the baby needs socks, then the baby needs socks.

See, ladies and gents? Stick with me and you can have it all. Even the Shrimp, Spinach and Swiss Wrap with Miso-Ginger Dressing, which can be yours in about 10 minutes.

Shrimp, Spinach, and Swiss Wrap with Miso-Ginger Dressing

Inspired by the erstwhile Food 3663 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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