Stocking — and cooking from — a pantry the Alice Waters way
When it comes to aspirational cooking, it's tough to top Martha Stewart and Alice Waters.
But while you may never master Stewart's frustratingly perfect souffles and multi-tiered cakes, most of Waters' recipes fall on a more manageable spectrum (though you may falter at replicating the aspirationally high earnestness with which she presents them).
And therein lies the difference: Stewart's bar is based on perfection, Waters' is keyed to finding simple comforts in each season.
And that is a pleasant notion to pursue.
Waters, the driving force behind Berkeley, California's iconic Chez Panisse restaurant and author of numerous cookbooks, deftly imbues her often basic and nearly always seasonal recipes with feelings you want to evoke.
And you can come away feeling better for having chased the comfort found in her recipes.
All of this comes to play in her latest cookbook, a diminutive volume titled simply, "My Pantry."
In it, Waters walks you through not the basics you should buy, but those you should consider making.
Things like tahini and chocolate nut bark, zucchini pickles and gravlax, fresh ricotta and vanilla extract. You won't make them all. Even Waters acknowledges this isn't a to-do list of must-have items.
They are basic, comforting foods you may want depending on your time and place and mood.
And she's happy to show you how.
“My Pantry” by Alice Waters Recipe below adapted from Alice Water’s “My Pantry,” Crown Publishing Group, 2015.