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7 Essential Seasonal Cookbooks Everyone Should Own

Nigella

I try to cook with local, seasonal produce as much as possible. Right now in the Northeast, our farmers markets are brimming with produce from early garden harvests and there is more to come. To help me cook with what is locally available, I turn to my collection of favorite seasonal cookbooks. These are books that specialize in appropriate dishes for certain times of year based on what is in season. I love all the different suggestions and ideas for preparing fresh vegetables, fruits, and certain meats and fish. They are all about making foods that are appropriate for the time of year: heavier foods in the winter, lighter dishes for summer. These books also all happen to be perfect for families because the recipes don’t require complicated cooking techniques and the dishes easily serve a family of four or more. Here are my favorite seasonal cookbooks; what are your favorites? And, don’t forget, if you like reading here are 12 Food Memoirs Everyone Should Read and my 8 Best Family Cookbooks.

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  • In Season by Sarah Raven 1 of 7
    In Season by Sarah Raven
    The chapters in this book are arranged by the fruits and vegetables that are in season each month. I particularly love Sarah Raven's light touch with food; her cooking techniques aren't complicated. We love her simple zucchini chutney and her pea and lettuce saute. Both are easy, healthy and perfect for summer!
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater 2 of 7
    Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater
    This terrific book focuses on seasonal vegetables. Well-known British food writer Nigel Slater draws inspiration from his garden, making dishes that can be served for nearly any meal. My current favorite is the asparagus and tarragon tart for brunch.
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Nigella Fresh by Nigella Lawson 3 of 7
    Nigella Fresh by Nigella Lawson
    Nigella lends her terrific cheeky voice to this sensuous cookbook. With dishes brimming with bright fruits and vegetables, Nigella easily inspires even the most skeptical person to cook from the farmer's market. This month I am enjoying her watermelon, feta, and black olive salad. It will be perfect for the Fourth of July!
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule 4 of 7
    Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule
    This book is organized in a rainbow. It begins with red fruits and vegetables and descends through all colors until it reaches calm white foods. The recipes are virtually foolproof and I love the tidbits I learned about about lesser-known produce. My current favorite recipes are in her chapters for red (cherries) and green (peas), since they are just coming into season where I live.
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Twelve by Tessa Kiros 5 of 7
    Twelve by Tessa Kiros
    This awesome book focuses on seasonal Tuscan recipes from the author's adopted homeland. The chapters are arranged by month and right now my family is loving the vegetable-based risottos for June. This book is a must for anyone who loves simple, seasonal Italian home cooking.
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Canal House Volume I by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hersheimer 6 of 7
    Canal House Volume I by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hersheimer
    This terrific summer volume from Canal House was their first book, but it still is my personal favorite. It contains just the right amount of summer recipes and features everything you need for a quick dinner party menu or family cookout. I love the instructions for sun tea and fritto misto - both easy recipes, but described so beautifully in this volume.
    Get this book on Amazon.com
  • Food52 by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs 7 of 7
    Food52 by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs
    This detailed book just won a James Beard Award, and for a good reason. It contains 140 recipes from home cooks that have won contests on the Food52 website. Arranged by season, not only is this book fun to read, it is also perfect for taking advantage of seasonal produce. However, this is also a book you can use year-round; I also love the ideas for holiday drinks, like their amazing eggnog, and secret cookies for Christmas!
    Get this book on Amazon.com


Some more interesting posts:

11 Delicious & Healthy Green Recipes for Summer in Under 30 Minutes

10 Easy French Recipes Everyone Should Know

 

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