(Part of The Cookbook)
Some things last for a recipe, like meats and produce. And some things last for several recipes, like these:
salt (kosher is best)
pepper (nice, freshly ground pepper makes a big difference in flavor)
high-heat cooking oil, like canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or peanut oil
vinegar or extra lemons
I would say that if you're just getting started cooking from scratch, you need at least these things. You may think that it's a short list and if you think that, you're right. You use mostly fresh ingredients when you cook from scratch.