When the seasons change, what I cook changes. I try to cook seasonally according to what is available locally as often as I can. It’s helpful to have a variety of seasonal cookbooks on the shelf to get fresh ideas from.
NPR published a list of 10 Summer Cookbooks yesterday – all recent releases. I have only one of the books on the list, “The Family Cooks.” That’s okay. I don’t need to run out and buy a shelf full of new books. I have plenty already.
I went to my bookshelf to refresh my memory about what I have and pulled out six cookbooks that I’ll be looking through this week before I hit the farmers markets this weekend.
“Edible: Celebration of Local Foods” by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian. From the cofounders of Edible Publications, the publishers of the regional Edible magazines, this cookbook features some of the best recipes from the magazines arranged seasonally. Grilled Chicken and Peaches with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese is one recipe I have marked in the book that I have yet to make. I’m going to make sure it gets made this summer.
“Farm to Fork” by Emeril Lagasse. One of my all-time favorite summer recipes is in this cookbook, Zucchini, Tomato and Leek Galette with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese. It’s a bit involved so I only make it a few times each summer and save it for when I’m entertaining because it really impresses. There are many other recipes in this book that are far less time consuming through, and it’s full of recipes that make good use of the bounty from your garden or the farmers market.
“Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese” by Tenaya Darlington. There are only a handful of recipes in this book, and I debated about putting it on this list. Most of the book contains sustainably made cheeses with pairing ideas. But, if I’m to be honest, I’ll be using it a lot this summer. One of my favorite summer meals is a cheese plate with all its complements, served on my patio with friends and drinks. I’ll probably make a few of the recipes the book does contain, like the Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini using a local goat cheese.
“Your Organic Kitchen” by Jesse Ziff Cool. This gem of a cookbook came from a library sale of used books. The seasons in this book are subdivided so recipes are easy to find for late spring produce or early summer produce. At the height of summer, I’ll be making the Fresh Corn and Bean Succotash and during the last week’s of the farmers market in the fall, I’ll give Autumn Vegetable Gratin a try.
“Preserving by the Pint” and “Food in Jars” by Marisa McClellan. These books are all about preserving seasonal foods in small batches. There recipes for pickles, jams, condiments, syrups and more. They’re the books to reach for when you get a bargain buy on a big basket of bruised peaches at the farmers market or your garden spits out more zucchini in a week than you can eat in an entire summer.
I would recommend any of these cookbooks if you’re looking to add to your summer cookbook collection. If I wanted to add one more seasonal cookbook to my shelf, what would you recommend? What’s your favorite summer cookbook?
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