For me, summer is a time when I get hugely inspired by reading. Yes, I'm that perplexing person who reads cookbooks in bed (along with novels and anything else I can get my hand on, naturally). Lately, there have been a bounty of really great releases in the cookbook world, and I'd love to share my favorites with you!
Laura Lea Balanced: I've always had a thing for the south, given that my father hails from there and has always shared with me the best stories of his upbringing. My grandmother (his mother) brought him up on THE most delicious southern food...but it wasn't exactly healthy. Although I love reading many traditional southern cookbooks, I admittedly don't cook that way. I feel that Laura Lea is part of a new generation of southern cooks that really understands the culture of this food, but also is able to seamlessly incorporate healthier options. So far the recipes I've tried (overnight oats, honey roasted salmon, garlicky greens) have been totally on point. Her Instagram feed (specifically her Stories) is also worth checking out - the perfect mixture of informative and entertaining.
One Part Plant: I love this cookbook by Jessica Murnane because it is NOT a strict tome touting the benefits of eating a solely plant based diet. Rather, it is about eating real food, and trying to eat at least one plant based meal a day. Jessica stresses balance above all else and these recipes provide just that. I recently made the strawberry chia jam and am pretty much having it on EVERYTHING. There is also a killer granola recipe, and once again, gorgeous photography.
Dinner, Changing the Game: Oh man this one is a keeper. I've followed Melissa Clark for years and years, and have always loved her writing. This book presents gorgeous recipes for dinner that are also blessedly NON complicated. After all, Melissa is a busy mom herself and knows exactly how to get amazing meals on the table....quickly. Some of my favorites (so far) include fish tacos and farro salad. Look for more - I'll be cooking my way through this one in the coming weeks!
Mighty Salads: When this book was first released, I kind of gave it the 'meh' treatment. I mean, how much can one actually do with salads? Leave it to the crack team at Food 52 to show us all the answer....a LOT! The recipes in this smaller book span the seasons, and incorporate a huge variety of vegetables. One of my favorites so far - the Chorizo and Summer Melon Salad. Not a pairing I would ever think to make, but I'm still dreaming of this one! This book should be in every home cook's arsenal...for every season!
Love real Food (Cookie + Kate): Vegetarian NEVER looked so good. The recipes in this book are bright and just burst off each page. I've been a longtime reader of the blog Cookie + Kate and am thrilled to see this physical manifestation of the magic that appears weekly on my computer. From novel ideas like Carrot Cake Breakfast cookies to classics like roasted egglplant lasagna, this one is another new staple in my kitchen!
And there they are...my top picks for this season. I'm always acquiring new cookbooks, they are after all my happy place, but if you run out and get any of these you won't regret it one bit. Let me know what you're cooking!