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Eat This

All the Cookbooks You Need for Summer

Eat This BY courtney conway 06/06/2017

Been waiting and waiting for summer produce but now faced with a  quickly softening pile of veggies and fruits that feels like a ticking time bomb? We recruited Lila Rice—who spends any time she’s not making boldly geometric earrings and necklaces winding down in her kitchen with a stack of cookbooks—to give us some of her best ideas. Here are the pages she turns to when things start heating up.

 

PLENTY BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI

“This is a well-known book from a few years back and deservingly so—it is sumptuous. It’s wonderful to look at, the beautiful paper is a pleasure to touch, and the recipes are irresistible. I am an omnivore, and this is a vegetarian cookbook—and it wants for nothing. I love the socca, the burnt eggplant with tahini and pomegranate, and the zucchini and hazelnut salad, to name a few.”

 

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SALT FAT ACID HEAT BY SAMIN NOSRAT

“I just bought this book and am reading it now—it is a science-y book written by a Chez Panisse veteran that is both wildly entertaining and informative. It’s like a fun textbook (yes, I am a nerd). So far I have thought way more about salt than I ever thought possible—about the structure of different kinds of salt molecules and how that affects their application, when to salt different kinds of things to effect maximum deliciousness, and, interestingly, how we have this crazy idea in American cooking that black pepper is the opposite of salt. Acid and fat may be used to balance salt; pepper is a spice that doesn't affect our comprehension of saltiness whatsoever. We have been duped by our table shakers!” 

 

SIMPLE BY DIANA HENRY

“This is new to my collection, and I love it. Diana's recipes are uncomplicated and wonderful, and the photos are very beautiful to behold. The pork chops with mustard and capers are incredible, and I recently bookmarked a recipe for salmon and cucumbers with miso dressing that made my stomach growl. I am also dying to try her New York takeout noodles. This is a good and exciting book for people who don't have a lot of experience in the kitchen.”

 

THE BLUE STRAWBERY COOKBOOK (COOKING BRILLIANTLY WITHOUT RECIPES) BY JAMES HALLER

“I’ve had this forever—it was written by the owner of a dearly departed restaurant with the same name in my hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. What I love about this book is that Haller teaches very loose and intuitive cooking; most recipes, such as artichoke heart and corn chowder or dandelion greens with black walnut dressing, aren't really recipes, rather a few sentences strung together instead of a list of ingredients and instructions. Grab some of this, add some of that—it’s my favorite way to cook.”

 

 

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MARCELLA CUCINA BY MARCELLA HAZAN

“A bible of Italian cooking. The ingredients are generally unfussy, but the process is key. Do not f*** with Marcella's instructions. She is so specific about process. Try the bluefish with baked onions, peppers, and potatoes and quietly have the mind inside of your mouth blown.”

 

VEGETABLE LITERACY BY DEBORAH MADISON

“Here’s an arty encyclopedia with a wealth of info for cooks, gardeners, and lovers of food. It has tons of information about all veggies, legumes, and grains, like how to store and pair them with other foods. She also offers ‘kitchen wisdom’ tips for each plant. Plus her chapters have names like ‘The Cucurbit Family: The Sensual Squashes, Melons, and Gourds’ and ‘The Cabbage Family: The Sometimes Difficult Crucifers.’ Winning.”

  

A BONUS INTERNET TIP:

“Subscribe to the New York Times cooking emails. A couple of weeks ago, I made Charlie Bird's farro salad and, trust me, it is insane. Do not skip cooking the farro in apple cider.”

 

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