Have you ever wondered how some cooks can conjure a great tasting meal seemingly out of thin air without even using a recipe? Their secret is using the correct balance of salt, fat, acid and heat in every preparation. In this unusual cookbook, Samin Nosrat explains each of these elements essential to good food in extensive detail.  Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced cook who wants to better understand why a particular dish works, this book encourages you to “taste, taste and then taste again” to gain confidence and make better decisions in the kitchen. 

How to season food “from within” by carefully considering the use of salt in every step of cooking is a fundamental part of the process. Wendy McNaughton’s beautiful illustrations encourage experimentation while using the recipes in the second half of the book as starting points. Fold-out “Flavor Maps” help the cook to choose which fat, acid, herbs and spices to use to navigate the world’s cuisines. Heat, in all its forms, is the element that transforms all of your careful balancing into something you can’t wait to eat. 

The goal is an instinctive feel for what your ingredients need to shine on your palate. Freed from rote dependence on recipes, you’ll be ready to improvise with what’s in season at the farmer’s market or what you have on hand on that snowy day when you just can’t face a trek to the grocery store. Summer’s just beginning and there are fresh and flavorful foods waiting to be savored. Go online to reserve a copy of Salt Fat Acid Heat or stop by the library. Happy cooking!