If you love cookbooks as much as I do, you’re always looking for more to add to your (already abundant) collection. As we enter into winter, I’ve rounded up a few of the most exciting cookbooks from the season, which I’ve been cooking from (and just reading) all fall and all of which I’m super happy to add to my shelves.
For your cookbook-perusing pleasure, I’ve given each book a likely fan category, but many of the books include a wide variety of recipes. Here are the second four; the first four were featured in Part I last week. (Even the most ardent cookbook fans can experience cookbook overload, after all.)
I absolute love David Tanis’s beautiful cookbooks – with the incredible recipes and the gorgeous photography, they are a pleasure from start to finish. This book takes Tanis’s emphasis on simplicity and boosts it to a whole new level: single dishes that can be eaten alone (with a green salad and bread) or in combination to make anything from a solo supper to a feast. From Fried Bread in the Iberian Manner to Speckled Sushi Rice with Nori to Griddled Polenta Scrapple, these are dishes I might be able to almost come up with on my own, but not with the perfect balance and elegance of David Tanis.
Alice Waters’ first book in this now-series has a privileged place on my bookshelf (and also the best cornbread recipe I’ve ever made), so I was really excited to see that a sequel was coming out. The Art of Simple Food II has all the kinds of recipes you’d expect from the woman behind Chez Panisse (suncoke and fennel soup, grilled pork shoulder with ancho chilies), but also an entire section on “Growing the New Kitchen Garden.” This planting section – a good fifty pages of advice and encourageent – includes instructions for composting, cover crops, crop rotation, cold frames, and everything else the home gardener needs to know.
For the California Dreamer: The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
Los Angeles-based chef Suzanne Goin is well-known for her distinctly Southern California style of cooking, and her latest cookbook keeps up her emphasis on seasonality, and also explains the thought process behind each recipe. Dishes range from mustard-grilled chicken with spinach, pine nuts, pecorino, and soft egg to arugula and autumn grapes with goat cheese, pecans, and saba vinaigrette; desserts include persimmon cake with crème fraîche and maple pecans and pink lady apple crostata with whipped mascarpone and armagnac prunes.
The Scarpetta Cookbook is a little fancier than the cookbooks I usually find myself interested in – crudo, truffles, and lobster all make appearances. But I’ll keep this book for one chapter alone: the pasta. Scott Conant’s restaurant Scarpetta became immediately famous for its Scarpetta Spaghetti, and that is the first recipe in the pasta chapter; here at my home, we’ve already made it several times. This chapter shows how to make all the pastas I’ve always been curious about: agnolotti, mezzaluna, and cavatelli, as well as shapes I’ve never even heard of before, like pisarei.
Claire Stanford is a writer and editor at Simple, Good, and Tasty. She last wrote An Interview with Elissa Altman, Food Blogger and Author of Poor Man's Feast. She also wrote this cookbook round-up in late summer 2013. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at @clairemiye.