top ten cookbooks
I'm a cookbook junkie.
Phew, got that off my chest.
I can't get enough of them. Tyler knows to scout ahead inside any boutiques or kitchen shops to divert my course away from any cookbook displays. I'm such a sucker for a full page spread of pretty photography - especially when it makes my mouth water!
Because of my *ahem* addiction, I've collected a fair amount of cookbooks. While I often buy them for how pretty or delicious they look, my favorites have emerged because they hold valuable info and inspiration to make that thing we do *at least* three times a day soooooo insanely pleasurable. So yes, my favorite cookbooks are not just pretty to look at, they have some seriously killer recipes worth trying.
Foremost, I want to thank these chefs for sharing their talents. Their work has helped fill my stomach, but more importantly, given me an invaluable education in How To Cook. I didn't consider myself a capital c Cook until about a year ago when I started making dishes *without* following recipes. My knowledge and ability to ad-lib in the kitchen is rooted in the information I've sponged up from these books! I appreciate that when I "make up" a new recipe... it's often recycled, spliced and adapted from these and a few other resources.
So have at it - here's my top 10. I could give you more, but these 10 really are the cream of the crop, the cherry on top, the ripe for the picking - favorites. (I ran out of food-related phrases).
Please note, if you are considering purchasing any of these, use the links provided through this blog. THFH receives a small (but helpful) affiliate amount for each purchase made via my site. Just helps me to continue making these great resources!
Like the title suggests, this pair offers some of the more simple books to cook from. These companion guides offer unparalleled seasonal inspiration. The ingredients are pure and basic - typically found at a farmers market or local butchers. One of my favorite things Karen Mordechai does is teach how to make sauces, oils, and yogurts to store for later use in other recipes.
2. Twenty Dinners by Ithtai Schori & Chris Taylor
A staple in my meal planning, this book is so well organized into full seasonal meal plans. This takes the planning out of meal planning - which IS sometimes fun, but in this case, you're guaranteed to have as seasonal menu that flows well from start to end. Appetizer, side, main, dessert, and drink or wine pairing come with each meal menu. Five meals per season give you a total of, yep you guessed it: XX dinners.
3. Market Cooking by David Tanis
Truly educational - a textbook and cookbook had a baby, and it was this book. Author David Tanis goes deep into cooking ingredient by ingredient with essential basic recipes to embrace and discover each ingredient. This WILL make you a more versatile chef, able to use the techniques in many situations.
4. Wabi Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams
This book caught my eye after traveling through Japan. I'd become familiar with the idea of "wabi sabi" in Japanese culture. In one sentence that won't do the idea justice - wabi sabi is the aesthetic of the raw process that hasn't been manufactured or too overdone. This book will take you deeper into the principles behind building a wabi sabi style life (it's more than just the way things look). The writer shares examples from cultures around the world - Japan, Italy, and California from the perspective of hosting. She includes a number of natural and home cooked menus that capture the freedom of wabi sabi. If your interested in studying this further, I'd recommend this book as well!
While not a cookBOOK, this cook-magazine goes deep into one location of the world per issue. So far they've covered Brooklyn, Baja Mexico, and Copenhagen. As of today, they're previous mags have all sold out (I know, I'm bummed I missed "Brooklyn"). So sign up quick! Stunning photography, inspiring chef and restaurant stories, as well as niche recipes from each specific region, all take you traveling through food.
6. The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams
Anything from Kinfolk is sure to be worth investing in. I subscribe to their quarterly magazines and consistently benefit from the art and wisdom in their publications. They tend to deliver their content through stories of real people's experience. With small bios and personal anecdotes, this book is a journal of influencers, chefs, bloggers, and creatives sharing their home cooking. For a cookbook, it is somewhat unconventional, as it reads more cover to cover. I find myself pulling it off the shelf to find specific recipes that I remember only because of the lovely humans behind them. This helps me feel that my inspiration came from somewhere or someone, rather than a random link on Pinterest (although I have no issue with Pinterest as a recipe database either ;)
7. Six Seasons: A New Way to Look at Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
I do not personally own this book... yet. It's been in my amazon cart for a while, but I'm attempting to stagger my cook book purchases in an effort to convince Tyler not to have me placed on a strict no cookbook budget. I've looked through this book a bit, however, and I like it's take on cooking seasonally. With an emphasis on six seasons, I appreciate that this book points out that if we are going to cook seasonally, we need to be a bit more aware of what *actually* is growing and being harvested each month. Eating seasonally will most likely lead you to eat more locally AND with less waste! As, a bonus, food will taste "right" because it's fresh, *hopefully* not covered in chemicals, and in the time mama earth intended.
8. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
I could blame my semester in Israel for the fact that this book nostalgically made the list. The truth is, there are too many delicious recipes in here not to love it. Mediterranean food is my favorite genre - with cardamom, chickpeas, lentils, lamb, and tomatoes. You'll find all sorts of new dishes, from
9. The First Mess by Laura Wright
Super easy to follow and do-able seasonal recipes. This book has some good old favorites with a more healthy spin.
10. Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking by Yotam Ottolenghi
Another by this amazing Israeli chef - this book takes a deep dive into veggie cooking. If you've grown bored or uninspired by your regular veg routine - check this book out. His recipes marry unique vegetables with their soul mate flavors and never disappoint. With middle eastern seasonings and methods - these recipes are an interesting new challenge, yet never disappoint!
One other cookbook I am super excited for on the horizon is Johanna's (fellow blogger from Fox Meets Bear) Tales from a Forager's Kitchen, coming out this March. She's sharing the recipes from she and her families lives spent in the forest living off the land! Sure to be amazing.
& Other books (that I'm throwing in because they do have valuable food recipes alongside plant-based projects)
Harvest by Steffani Bitner
Kale + Caramel by Lily Diamond