• Maggie Battista's pantry •

 
 
All photos by  Jessica Maranda

All photos by Jessica Maranda

When Maggie Battista stocks the pantry of her 1905 farmhouse outside of Boston, she takes the Kondo approach — if it doesn’t spark joy, then it doesn’t earn a spot in her otherwise minimalist kitchen. Things that do spark joy for the cookbook author include: Sazón GOYA, farmers markets in Vermont and the seven pounds of tomatillos currently stowed in her freezer. When she’s not dreaming up inventive recipes (see the smoked paprika fruit salad in A New Way To Food, her latest book), Maggie’s hustling at Eat Boutique, her (soon-to-be IRL) online shop and recipe site dedicated to small-batch chocolate, hot sauce, ceramics, and everything in between. Read on for more on Maggie’s favorite mushroom forager, her Honduran-immigrant upbringing, and an ever-expanding cookbook collection we actually dream about.

Shop the Maggie Pantry

Her style

  • I like a blank canvas in which to work so my base kitchen is fairly neutral in color and style. But that blank canvas allows me to  layer in flavors, mementos, memories, and loads of fresh ingredients without it all becoming too messy. I’m a writer and a business lady but I’m super visual so everything has its place. Still, I’m fairly sentimental and that’s reflected in my kitchen. I have pictures of my Honduran mother in my go-to cooking spots; images from a long ago trip to Venice, Italy that changed me; loads of spices and preserved ingredients from travels and friends (food is the best memento); and a gigantic sink set in antiqued, honed granite (made to mimic Vermont soapstone because no one has money for that) in which I wash all my fresh veg. It’s a commercial-style kitchen mixed with a bit of nostalgia and it sort of suits me. 

  • I get my inspiration from cookbooks, favorite recipe developers, wherever I’m traveling to (or want to travel to), and everyday moments. Like when I wanted fruit salad that wasn’t too sweet — I tossed in smoked paprika and my life was changed. Or when I woke up from a boozy night and most foods didn’t appeal, but the simplest ingredients — like corn, tomato, radish, and tortilla chips — sure did, especially when mixed into a salad. (Both of those recipes went into my latest cookbook.) 

  • I also gather mucho inspiration from conversations with my Made Fresh podcast co-host, Leigh Belanger (she’s also a cookbook author). We recently recorded an episode where we talked through our favorite fall dishes and I sprinted home to defrost tomatillos for salsa verde and pumpkin puree for enchiladas. In July! My kitchen is way inspired by my travels and my Honduran-immigrant upbringing (I have three drawers of spicy spices), but sometimes the random inspiration is the most fun.  

Markets & shopping

  • I like to shop from lists that I make on the weekends. I prefer to shop between a great farmers market, a CSA (mainly: Farmers To You), a Whole Foods or a health food store, and a great shop with Spanish ingredients (like New England’s family-owned supermarket chain, Market Basket — the market in Chelsea, Massachusetts has the largest assortment). On special summer Saturdays, when we need to get out of our routine, we drive 2 hours north to a favorite spot: the Norwich Farmers Market in Norwich, Vermont. They’ve got everything you need: veg, eggs, meat, flowers, spices, jams, bread, bagels, cheese, pickles, and my favorite mushroom forager. 

Fridge must-haves

  • Chicken eggs from a nearby farmer

  • Cashew crème fraiche (homemade)

  • Golosini artichokes in oil – from L’epicerie Moderne in Montreal, Canada 

  • Fermented hot sauce (homemade)

  • Fermented hot sauce brine (homemade)

  • Fresh herbs, usually cilantro

  • Café Mogador homemade harissa 

  • Lady Jayne’s Alchemy barrel fermented chili liquid

  • Greens – chard, kale, lettuce, all of them, all the time

  • Kite Hill almond milk Greek-style yogurt

  • Moutarde de dijon – any brand from France

  • PurifyYou produce bags

  • Fever-Tree tonic or ginger ale

  • Bubble water (homemade) plus Topo Chico and grapefruit La Croix (sue me for loving those cans!)

  • Tomatillos – there are 7 pounds in my freezer, because salsa verde is required year-round

Pantry staples

Tools

To Sum it Up: 


Shop the Maggie Pantry here:

Did you know we have a womxn-powered Boston collection on Caviar? It’s our roundup of the best womxn-powered restaurants in Boston available for pick up or delivery on the Caviar platform.