If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been getting all breathy and giggly about this season’s markets. Ramps! Asparagus! Radishes! Strawberries! After learning about this week’s spotlight, cristinasciarra, it’s clear that she must be just as excited as we are. After living in Madrid and Paris, cristinasciarra learned of the wonders of the market – of the creativity it begs, about the pleasures it brings. As she says in her Winner’s Q&A for Your Best Canned Fish Recipe, “I challenge even the most devoted fast food fan to sit under the arbor on their terrace in the middle of summer, crack open a langoustine swiped with homemade mayonnaise, and not want to replicate the experience over and over again.” Our only question is: can you challenge us? (Please?)
Cristinasciarra’s recipes show this same devotion to seasonality, of care towards ingredients, of the love to share and to cook for others. To start, take her recipes for spring: Spring Garlic and Chickpea Tartine, Spring Quiche, Almost-Vegetarian Crepe, Spring Soup. We’re holding our breath to see berries at the market, so we can run home and make Cherry-and-Cinnamon Chocolate Ice Cream and Blueberry-Maple Tartelettes. Until then, though, we’ll satisfy ourselves with that Maple Ice Cream with Tipsy Raisins and Maple-Candied Cashews – and we’ll thank cristinasciarra for her creative, seasonal, and honest cooking.
What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
It was a drink--snake liquor on a boat on the Yangtze River
What do you cook when home alone?
A soft boiled egg, salad with mustardy vinaigrette, cheese and crusty bread. (So, not really cooking per se..)
Your most treasured kitchen possession:
Matfer Exoglass spatula, sharpened chef's knife, Le Creuset Dutch oven
The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is: