Michael Ruhlman’s newest cookbook, How to Roast, is here to bring the magic back to holiday cooking. Slated to be the first in a series of technique-specific cookbooks, How to Roast takes you through the history of and variations on roasting, one of the oldest forms of cooking. The book reads easily, laced with Ruhlman’s signature wit and humor, and his efficient approach to cooking translates nicely here. He gives you all the information you want without making you feel like he’s telling you too much, or taking too much of your time. It’s beautifully concise while remaining descriptive enough to whet your appetite for roasting.
The book starts with an introduction that lays out a quick history of roasting, then jumps right into chapters on The Basics, The Recipes, and Equipment and Tools. The Basics covers the technical side of roasting, from what Ruhlman means when he says “high heat” versus “medium heat” to various kinds of specialty roasting, like spit roasting and smoke roasting. Then you move on to The Recipes, a chapter that includes iconic dishes like Roasted Chicken and includes step-by-step tutorials for skills that are a little more complicated, like how to properly truss that chicken up before you pop it in the oven. But Ruhlman doesn’t stick solely to the classics. You’ll find recipes for roasted dishes that range from Roasted Shellfish with Tarragon and Thyme Broth to Broccoli with Garlic to Roasted Tomato Sauce. He even sidles up to the sweeter side of the technique with dishes like Roasted Peaches with Creme Fraiche and Mint (recipe below for you to try at home).