You don't have to be in the market for a major diet shift to appreciate the joys of cookbook shopping. As convenient as it is to look up recipes online, there's something so satisfying about opening a book packed with gorgeous pictures of food — and the instructions for preparing that food. And with summer approaching, now is the perfect time to get some new influences in the kitchen.
This season is filled with titles that will inspire you to eat different. Whether you're looking to shift to a plant-based lifestyle or learn about the cuisine of a region (or a region of NYC), there's a cookbook for you. And what I love about this batch of titles is how varied their approaches to cuisine are. Whether they're sharing recipes that take days or mere minutes, these writers show how important valuing food is. We're often grateful for the people we share meals with, but it's just as important to appreciate our ability to engage in the process of making food.
So, roll up your sleeves, get out your knives and spatulas, and start perusing. These seven cookbooks will have you eating yummier breakfasts, packing tastier lunches, and, importantly, throwing better parties. Bon appétit!
1'One Part Plant: A Simple Guide to Eating Real, One Meal At A Time' by Jessica Murnane
The most usable plant-based cookbook you'll ever own — complete with a chocolate chip cookie recipe (a vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe at that) that runs laps around the one on the Tollhouse bag.
2'Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook' by Elisabeth Prueitt
If you're a foodie who's visited San Francisco, odds are you've stood in line to get a croissant or a morning bun from Tartine. Prueitt, the renowned bakery's proprietress, brings her classic, pretty much perfect approach to food to home cooks with recipes that will take you from breakfast to a bedtime snack.
3'Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons' by Andrea Bemis
4'The Red Rooster Cookbook' by Marcus Samuelsson
The subtitle says it all: 'the Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem.' Marcus Samuelsson's history-via-food-and-figures is as eye-opening as it is delicious (that cornbread!).
5'Dinner: Changing the Game' by Melissa Clark
The New York Times food writer Melissa Clark will leave you marveling at what lemons and anchovies can do to your pastas.
6'Jack's Wife Freda: Cooking From New York's West Village' by Maya and Dean Jankelowitz
This cookbook, by the husband-wife owners of the eponymous NYC bistros, is packed with Jewish comfort food, both traditional and contemporary. Shakshuka? Cantaloupe juice? Yes, please.
7'Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias' by Marcela Valladolid
Host of the Food Network's Mexican Made Easy and co-host of The Kitchen, Marcela Valladolid's latest book is filled with everything from small bites (Cod Fritters with Chipotle Tartar Sauce) to scrumptious desserts (Strawberry Layered Tres Leches).