Samin Nosrat has been called “the next Julia Child” by NRP’s “All Things Considered” and “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Now, her cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” is helping cooks make amazing meals (no matter their level of experience in the kitchen) by mastering just four elements (you guessed it — salt, fat, acid and heat).
This theory of cooking comes from Nosrat’s own experience of learning how to cook, which really began after having dinner at Chez Panisse one night. After, Nosrat wrote a letter to Waters asking to bus tables. Her four years there were followed by multiple apprenticeships in Italy and a chef job back in Berkeley.
“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” has garnered rave reviews from prominent chefs and food writers, including the following:
- “This beautiful, approachable book not only teaches you how to cook, but captures how it should feel to cook: full of exploration, spontaneity and joy. Samin is one of the great teachers I know, and wins people over to cooking with real food — organic, seasonal and alive — with her irrepressible enthusiasm and curiosity.” —Alice Waters, author of “The Art of Simple Food“
- “Everyone was impressed when Michael Pollan managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of what we should be eating in just seven words: ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’ Samin Nosrat has managed to summarize the huge and complex subject of how we should be cooking in just four words: ‘Salt, fat, acid, heat.’ Everyone will be hugely impressed.” —Yotam Ottolenghi, author of “Jerusalem”
- “’Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ is a must for anyone wanting to be a better cook. Samin Nosrat, along with Wendy MacNaughton’s fun illustrations, teaches the fundamentals of cooking and dives into the four elements that make food taste great. So do yourself a favor and buy this book. I promise you won’t regret it.” —April Bloomfield, James Beard Award winner and author of “A Girl and Her Pig“
- “’Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ is a wildly informative, new-generation, culinary resource. Samin Nosrat’s wealth of experience comes together here in a pitch perfect combination of charm, narrative, straight-talk, illustration, and inspiration.” —Heidi Swanson, author of “Super Natural Cooking“
Now it’s your turn to master these four elements of cooking with Nosrat’s grilled artichokes recipe.
Recall the miraculous way Heat transforms the flavors of wood into the extraordinary flavors of smoke and you’ll intuit why any vegetable will be improved by time spent on the grill. But only a handful of them can be properly grilled from a raw state. Think of grilling as a finishing touch for most starchy or dense vegetables, such as these artichokes, fennel wedges, or baby potatoes. Treat them right, by parcooking them on the stove or in the oven until they are tender, then skewer and grill them for a dose of smoky aroma.
- 6 artichokes (or 18 baby artichokes)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Set a large pot of water on to boil over high heat. Build a charcoal fire, or preheat a gas grill. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the tough, dark outer leaves from the artichokes until the remaining leaves are half yellow, half light green. Cut away the woodiest part of the stem end and the top 1 1/2 inches of every artichoke. If there are any purple inner leaves, cut them out, too. You may need to remove more in order to cut away everything fibrous. It might seem like you’re trimming a lot, but remove more than you think you should, because the last thing you want is to bite into a fibrous or bitter bite at the table. Use a sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer peel on the stem and at the base of the heart, until you reach the pale yellow inner layers. As you clean them, place the artichokes in a bowl of water with the vinegar, which will help keep them from oxidizing, which makes them turn brown.
Cut the artichokes in half. Use a teaspoon to carefully scoop out the choke, or fuzzy center, then return the artichokes to the acidulated water.
Once the water has come to a boil, season it generously until it’s as salty as the sea. Place the artichokes in the water and reduce the heat so the water stays at a rapid simmer. Cook the artichokes until they are just tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 5 minutes for baby artichokes and 14 minutes for large artichokes. Use a spider or strainer to carefully remove them from the water, and place them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Drizzle the artichokes lightly with olive oil and season with salt. Place the artichokes cut-side down on the grill over medium-high heat. Don’t move them until they begin to brown, then rotate the skewers until the cut side is evenly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Flip, browning the other side in the same way.
Remove from the grill and drizzle with Mint Salsa Verde (page 361), if desired, or serve with Aïoli (page 376) or Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette (page 240). Serve hot, or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.”