A paradigm-shifting book that helps cooks think on their feet, create brilliant dishes from ingredients on hand, and avoid wasting food
For more than two decades, Ronna Welsh has been empowering home cooks and chefs with radically simple strategies for cooking creatively and efficiently. In this sweeping masterwork with 400 recipes, she shows how to make varied, impromptu, economical, and delicious meals by coaxing the most flavor from common ingredients.
The Nimble Cook teaches optimal prep methods, like the perfect way to dry and store greens—forget the salad spinner—for a salad made in seconds to pair with a vinaigrette composed of refrigerator door condiments. It provides hundreds of “starting point” recipes to transform basic dishes into luxurious ones, like an onion jam for burgers; a cheese stock for decadent risotto; or a mix of salt and whirred bay leaves that takes roasted shrimp or fish from ordinary to extraordinary. Welsh teaches nimble cooks irresistible uses for parts that otherwise go to waste, whether cucumber peels in kimchi or apple cores in a sweet-and-sour syrup for a bourbon cocktail. Graceful illustrations throughout provide further inspiration, making this book an essential addition to any creative cook's kitchen.
“Ronna Welsh cooks the way I do: efficiently, vigilantly, skillfully, and frugally. This is foremost a teaching book that makes you think about ingredients rather than recipes. Understanding how versatile ingredients are so you can incorporate them in any recipe is the proper, intelligent way to cook.”
— Jacques Pépin
“Ronna Welsh gives us our North Star in the kitchen — deftly showing us how to eat well, cook economically, and revel in the comforts of a well-stocked fridge. Welsh's book will make you want to change the way you grocery shop, plan meals, and run your kitchen. This is more than a kitchen manual — it’s a guide to a way of living.
— Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO of Food52
“Chockful of advice, techniques and recipes, Ronna Welsh’s book will make you a more practical and confident cook. It’s a daily guide to better meals.”
— Dorie Greenspan, author of Everyday Dorie
“The Nimble Cook is a fantastic book that breaks the mold of the traditional collection of structured recipes. I love the way Ronna leads us through a chef’s brain and shows us how to think outside the box about ingredients. The gorgeous, whimsical illustrations help make this book an instant time-honored classic.”
— Amanda Freitag, chef, judge of Chopped, and author of The Chef Next Door
“Welsh liberates and inspires, shifting the focus from merely following recipes to a process-oriented approach. This book will make you a more flexible cook, and the results will create excitement for everyone around your dinner table.”
— Peter Hoffman, chef of New York’s former Back Forty West and Savoy
“A terrific cookbook, brimming with innovative kitchen advice and engaging illustrations and packed with recipes any home cook would be thrilled to learn and add to their repertoire. Ronna Welsh’s smart, practical point of view will inspire you to cook with even the most familiar ingredients in new ways.”
— Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, The Canal House
“A cookbook that ushers you on a culinary quarter turn, with your very capable dance partner, Ronna, leading.”
— Fergus Henderson, chef, St. John, and author of The Complete Nose to Tail
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