Jacob Mikanowski in The Point:

ScreenHunter_688 Jun. 13 17.04This is how you cook potatoes the Noma way: Find an organic farm in the Danish countryside. Persuade the farmer to leave a field fallow for a full year and then have him dry out the hundreds of kinds of grasses, plant tops and weeds that have grown in it in the absence of crops. Unearth a few new potatoes fresh from a neighboring field. Pack each one individually in the dried weeds. Then wrap them in salt dough. Roast. When they’re done, mash them lightly with a little bit of butter. Pack the mash in skins made of dehydrated milk, creating “ravioli.” Sprinkle with wild herbs, chickweed, yarrow and glazed snails. Add a sauce of buttermilk blended with newly cut grass. Prepared this way, the dish should allow the green flavors from one field to merge with those of the potatoes from below. According to René Redzepi, the chef who created it, the completed ensemble should taste “exactly like the wonderful, heartwarming scent of a freshly mowed lawn on a summer’s day.”

When Redzepi described this recipe in front of a packed audience at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre this past November, I found myself strangely moved. It sounds like a lot of work, but it contains a beautiful thought, of hay, herbs, sun, grass, earth, a particular season in a particular place. It’s like something out of a poem by Wordsworth or John Clare. It’s the kind of recipe that has lifted Redzepi to culinary fame. In the nine years since he opened his restaurant in a Copenhagen warehouse, Noma (the name is a combination of the Danish words for Nordic and food) has become one of the most sought-after tables in the world. Starting in 2010, it was named the best restaurant in the world three years in a row, a position it only lost this year, to El Celler de Can Roca in Spain.

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