This dessert is a bit on the savory side, thanks to the basil, the rhubarb, and the gin. The strawberries and cream add sweetness, and a cool freshness, to the proceedings. I’m tickled by how the meringues turned out: taffy-soft on the inside and crisp on the edges, redolent of basil and lemon in equal measure. You can serve this dessert in a variety of ways: Stack the ingredients in a jelly jar, and bring them along for a picnic, or pretend you're a fancy pâtissier, and make large macaroons–cream, strawberries, and rhubarb jam sandwiched between two meringue coins. Or, layer the ingredients in a short fat glass, like a trifle. (You can prepare these in advance for a dinner party, or allow guests to build-their-own.) Regardless of how you serve it, this dessert reminds sweetly that it’s spring at last. —Cristina Sciarra
WHO: Cristinasciarra is a writer, food blogger, and Food52 all-star living in New York.
WHAT: The most delicious mess you'll ever make.
HOW: Whip together a basil-lemon meringue; make a quick rhubarb-gin jam; macerate strawberries; whip some cream; layer it all together. Dig in.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Cristinasciarra puts so much care into each and every component of this dish -- the meringue is lemony and herby; the strawberries are juicy and sweet; the jam is perfectly tart, with the kick of the gin. Each thing could stand easily on its own -- but is best consumed, as directed, in a big mess all together. We can't think of a better way to celebrate all of the fruits coming into season. —The Editors