Some of the best culinary inventions have come out of using a few basic pantry items. I had three in mind when I started on this rustic-style tart— celery, raisins, and peanut butter. They form the children’s snack known as ants on a log, and sometimes carrot sticks stand in for the celery “logs.” I worked the seeds responsible for those fibrous green stalks into the crust, which is made with complementary, grassy buckwheat flour. I lined the pastry base with peanut butter and put the orange root veg in the filling with currants; they’re smaller and more tart than raisins, and I prefer them in savory dishes. I liked everything about this crostata, except for the peanut butter. It overpowered the rest. I could have stuck with it, stubbornly clinging to the cleverness of the original reference. But that’s another rule of cooking: flavor trumps. I removed the offending ingredient, and I had a real winner.
From Stir, Sizzle, Bake by Charlotte Druckman. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Copyright © 2016 Charlotte Druckman, Photographs Copyright © 2016 Aubrie Pick.