Sam Sifton’s ‘No-Recipe Recipes’ and the Reinvention of Kitchen Improvisation

You don’t need a recipe. Really, you don’t.

So chastises the back cover of Sam Sifton’s new book New York Times Cooking: No-Recipe Recipes, which, despite its own pretensions, is full of recipes. Here we have a delightful-looking Asparagus and Boursin Tart (send to mom, I wrote on a Post-it), some pleasantly ’90s-sounding Miso-Glazed Scallops, and a handful of ways to make weeknight chicken, the home cook’s holy grail. These are recipes you’d expect to find on the New York Times Cooking app, which Sifton helped to launch, and for which he has written a weekly newsletter for

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