These days, Eater editors are eating out less and less, due to widespread restrictions on dining in and mandates nationwide to stay at home. That means we’re cooking a whole lot more, in addition to ordering delivery and takeout from places we love — and we’re also talking about cooking more than ever before.
We’ve covered the Eater staff’s favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman and from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. And now we turn to Samin Nosrat, who made the world fall in love with the basics of cooking — and with her own calm and joyful personality — through the bestselling Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat book and the fan-favorite Netflix series by the same name. Read on for Eater editors’ top picks for what to cook from Nosrat’s extensive repertoire.
Like everyone else on Instagram, I am baking right now to help cope with the constant grind of chaos and bad news. I find Samin Nosrat’s presence to be incredibly calming, and watching her prepare this recipe for Ligurian focaccia, featured in the “Fat” episode of Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix, feels like visual Xanax. Making this gorgeously brown and perfectly crisp bread is also pretty damn relaxing — you just stir together a few ingredients, let it sit overnight, then shape and bake until golden. The salt brining step will seem weird at first, but it’s absolutely essential. — Amy McCarthy, Eater Houston and Eater Dallas editor
Given the brief here is Samin Nosrat recipes, picking something which isn’t a Samin Nosrat recipe and is barely a recipe at all might seem obtuse. Hear me out: not a single recipe in the already seminal book better encapsulates how she so generously, gently, makes you a better cook than her recipe for Caesar salad. It provides a fun cue to learn how to make mayonnaise; it starts by elucidating — with the help of Wendy MacNaughton’s tautly cartoonish illustrations — how each ingredient adds its particular note of salt and savory, but ends up as an object lesson in guiding something to be more than the sum of its parts. Did you really taste your dressing on a test salad leaf before Samin told you to? It makes cooking intuitively feel like something to share rather than a whispered secret; it makes a classic dish overwhelmed by lore new again. And it makes the best damn Caesar dressing I’ve ever tasted. — James Hansen, Eater London reporter
Buttermilk-marinated roast chicken
This buttermilk-brined roasted chicken is one of the tastiest, juiciest roast chicken recipes out there. All you need is chicken, salt, and buttermilk: that’s it! Tangy buttermilk makes the chicken incredibly tender and juicy. Because the recipe is simple, you can customize it to your preferences. Do you want to add lemon zest? Red pepper flakes for some heat? Go ahead. This forgiving recipe is more of a technique than a recipe, and once you master this method, you will never be scared of making roasted chicken. — James Park, social media manager
Farro e pepe
I can never get cacio e pepe right. Go ahead and laugh at me, but it’s a deceptively difficult pasta to master. From “you need the right Pecorino” to “no, that’s not enough pasta water,” there are so many factors to consider when you’re trying to make this glorious dish. That’s why I’m so glad Samin Nosrat developed a recipe that bucks tradition in favor of simplicity. This recipe yields the same creamy, tangy flavor of cacio e pepe without the constant self-doubt. Bravo! — Esra Erol, senior social media manager
Not sure about you, but I’m struggling to get the right balance of groceries now that our household has moved to delivery-only, which means that what actually arrives at our doorstep is almost always at least a little out of our control. Most weeks, we somehow end up with at least a couple clamshells of spinach, which I have been wilting down and adding into... basically everything. One of my favorites is making a version of Nosrat’s borani esfenaj, a spinachy yogurt found in her book (the link here is a good approximate; the herbed cucumber yogurt from her 10 essential Persian dishes also looks intriguing). It’s meant to be a dip, but I eat it with chili crisp and toasted walnuts as an anytime snack. — Sonia Chopra
Two things to know about me: 1) I love pies, both the baking of and the consumption of, and 2) I love fruits, which includes mangoes. Naturally, it makes sense that I am obsessed with Nosrat’s mango pie recipe. It’s so easy to make (assuming you have a stockpile of mango puree cans like I now do). And you can make it work for one giant pie (instead of two pies like the recipe calls for). It’s tangy and chilled (perfect for the warmer Texas weather right now) and fun to cut into. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor