THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF 2017
If you like cookbooks, 2017 was a great year. Let’s just say if I was let loose on amazon, I would have needed a new bookshelf. Here are a few of my favorites from the year:
The Lost Kitchen by Erin French (Clarkson Potter)
This is a straight up love poem to Maine. There is a touch of heartbreak in its exquisite simplicity. We had the pleasure of eating at Erin’s version of The Lost Kitchen when it was a brick and mortar restaurant in Belfast. We also had the honor of hosting her at Four Season Farm when we were farming there and the Lost Kitchen was operating out of an airstream. The day following her farm dinner, Erin cooked brunch for everyone on site that we shared in the apple orchard. This book brings me back to that table in the dappled summer light. There is love in every bite she prepares.
Favorite recipe: Skillet mussels with rosemary, lavender and lime
Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (Artisan)
Joshua is the chef/owner of our favorite restaurant to both work with and eat at in Portland, OR. We had the opportunity to sell veggies to their talented crew when farming in Oregon, and also the pleasure of dining there for special occasions. Joshua is dedicated to vegetables and excels in bringing out the best in them. He got his training as a vegetable farmer at our Alma mater, Four Season Farm, and knows his produce cold. The book is organized by vegetable and by season, making it easy to explore.
Favorite recipe: Tomato, melon and hot chili salad with burrata
The Ultimate Pasta and Noodle Cookbook by Serena Como (Cider Mill Press)
As a lover of all things dough, I could not walk past this book in Costco without picking it up. It was the illustrated glossary of all stuffed pastas that sold me. It is an amazing bible of all foods that can be classified as noodles or stuffed dough. I decided to buy it mostly as a reference book to read, however I have cooked out of it as well.
Favorite recipe: Pierogis with Potato, onion and farmer’s cheese filling
Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons by Andrea Bemis (Harper Wave)
Andrea’s portrayal of small farm life is honest, relatable and inspirational. The book can feel a bit precious on the whole, at times reading like an ode to her partner, whose presence you feel on every page. I do love her vegetable-forward approach, and it is refreshing to get new ideas for veggies we are also harvesting from the fields. Many of the recipes are vegan or easily vegan-adapted.
Favorite recipe: Minty pea soup
Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray by Adam Federman (Chelsea Green)
Not really a cookbook, but rather a biography of Patience Gray and a kind of behind the scenes of Honey from A Weed. If you haven’t read Honey from A Weed, I recommend reading it first or alongside Fasting and Feasting.
Special Mentions (New to us this year)
This is Camino (2015) by Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain (Ten Speed Press)
I love the attitude and approach to both cooking and running a restaurant that are fiercely collaborative and improvisational. The approach is unapologetic and so honest. The commitment to seasonality is so apparent, and appreciate how we get a behind-the-scenes look at the day to day of the kitchen.
Favorite recipe: We haven’t cooked from it yet (no grill set-up) but my favorite section is a week at Camino
Clean Soups (2016) by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson (Ten Speed Press)
This was a surprise book new to us this Christmas - simple, straightforward broths with recommended soup recipe pairings. This book is expanding and refining our broths (i.e. not just throwing veggies in a stock pot) and a I am approaching the process of soup-making with more intention. It’s a welcome companion in the winter kitchen.
Favorite recipe: Thai broth
Still on the buy list:
Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt (Ten Speed Press)
On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen by Jeremy Fox (Phaidon)
Dining In Alison Roman (Clarkson Potter)
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks ( W. W. Norton & Company)
State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (Ten Speed Press)
Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient by David Tanis (Artisan)