Kristina’s Bookshelf

Market Cooking:
Recipes and Revelations Ingredient by Ingredient

by David Tanis
(Artisan, 2017)

David Tanis built his reputation during 25 years at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, but this highly regarded chef is perhaps most passionate about cooking at home. Fans of his New York Times column or his cookbooks, A Platter of Figs, Heart of the Artichoke, and One Good Dish, know that he likes fresh, high-quality ingredients simply prepared. His latest book, which takes its name from the French expression la cuisine du marché, is about cooking with what looks best at the market and, “letting the natural flavors of the ingredients shine.”

Tanis likes his garlic, onions, and scallion and features them both in dishes of their own and as flavorings for more complex combinations. The book is organized by vegetable types and includes a mix of recipes easily prepared on a weeknight. In his Broccoli Rabe Lasagne, Tanis pairs the broccoli’s tasty bitterness with a pungent garlic pesto. A Turkish Spoon Salad is spicy, flavored with lemon juice, sumac, pistachio, and juicy pomegranate seeds and molasses. Improved Creamed Corn is made better than the traditional cream-intense dish with the addition of cumin, jalapeño, and crème fraîche. When I made the Celery Salad with Pistachios and a lemony dressing as well as the Hubbard Squash with Parmesan and Brown Butter, our family enjoyed two very tasty side dishes, and if there had been any of that squash dish left over, I would have followed Tanis’s tip and used it in baked pasta. A section called “Lingering at the Table” describes the simplest of desserts that celebrate seasonal produce. Photos are both beautiful and helpful, many demonstrating how to cut or prepare a particular vegetable.

Market Cooking is a lovely book that brings to mind the beloved works of Nigel Slater and Deborah Madison. It will be a pleasure for cooks looking to make the most of the ripe, flavorful, and varied produce and other ingredients at local markets.

Wednesday, November 15, by reservation
Chez Panisse celebrates the publication of David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient with a special menu in the downstairs restaurant. Call 510.548.5525 for reservations. Cost: $140 per person includes a signed copy of the book.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.