The year 2022 yielded more than its fair share of excellent cookbooks, including deep dives into cuisines like Gullah Geechee, Kashmiri, and Sri Lankan, as well as well-tested everyday recipes that fill in the gaps between intricate cooking projects. Overall, there are many to recommend, even beyond the best gifts to give during the holidays. To make sure we covered all the delicious bases, here are more of our very favorite cookbooks from friends and cooks around the world.
Romy Gill’s beautiful book (read an excerpt here) is an intimate look into the cuisines of Kashmir and Ladakh, the Northern regions of India bordering both Pakistan and China. Her fascination with the cuisine began as a child, and continued throughout her career as a professional chef. The result is a book that celebrates the unique mashup of cultures that create the cuisine, heavily influenced by Central Asian styles of cooking. From pakora to curries (like this paneer curry with turmeric and cardamom), each dish is rich in flavor and tradition.
Masa is the foundation of Central American and Latin American cuisine, and its long history is rich and intriguing. Jorge Gaviria has written a book that details both the history of masa and the techniques, recipes, and tools that will allow home cooks to master it. Owner of LA’s Masienda, Gaviria is dedicated to the craft of masa, working with farmers to grow heirloom corn and expanding the general population’s understanding of it beyond tortillas—but also to make the very best tortilla possible.
The endless refrain of “what’s for dinner?” now has an answer, likely found within the 150 recipes in New York Times recipe developer Ali Slagle’s new book. Organized by ingredients, the book is filled recipes that are both approachable and think outside the box with many options for subbing ingredients and pantry staples. Simply flip through the beautifully styled photos and recipes to find the answer to your own nightly crisis, happily resolved by Slagle.
This year marked the publication of the first book dedicated to Juneteenth, often called “Black Independence Day,” by a major publisher, bringing African American culture and tradition to the forefront. Journalist Nicole A. Taylor wrote a book filled with colorful traditions, including many of the red foods eaten to commemorate the blood shed by enslaved people and their descendants. Watermelon and Red Birds is filled with recipes for foods that commemorate struggle and celebration, skillfully intertwined with social commentary on Black tradition—and joy—in America.
Former Bon Appetit editor Claire Saffitz is continuing to cement her place as a heavy hitter in the world of dessert with her second cookbook, What’s for Dessert: Simple Recipes for Dessert People. It’s 100 recipes deep, with each one designed to make dessert consumption easy and efficient for all home cooks. Flavorful cookies, cakes, mousses, and more are found within, each one well-tested and ready to join your regular recipe rotation.
Chef and activist Reem Assil tells the story of her Palestinian and Syrian roots through her food in California, from flatbreads to hummus and all the dips and snacks served in her Arab bakery. Assil’s passion for both hospitality and equity are the driving forces at her Bay Area restaurants and can be felt through her recipes as well. (Learn more about Assil here.)
At 89, Emily Meggett is a respected cook and keeper of Gullah traditions on her home of Edisto Island near Charleston, South Carolina. Now she is also a cookbook author and family historian, chronicling bits of her own family history in the Lowcountry and sharing recipes for crabs, oysters, and other Southern staples like collard greens and grits. It’s a loving tribute to the West African influences that created this coastal cuisine.
Generations of cooks have benefited from the wisdom of Marcella Hazan, whose classic recipes are the ones we return to again and again. This new edition includes favorites like Hazan’s tomato sauce (with butter!), chicken cacciatore, ossobucco, and more—all featured along gorgeous illustrations. Truly, if you can only have one Italian cookbook, this is the one.
Southern food and Indian food live in glorious harmony in the hands of Vishwesh Bhatt, chef of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi. His Southern means fried okra in chaat masala and catfish wrapped in collard greens with spicy peanut pesto. Mix and match from 130 recipes that incorporate the ingredients and spices of both India and Mississippi. Bhatt wrote the book with home cooks in mind, meaning that most dishes are pleasantly uncomplicated, though they don’t taste like it.
More Books We Loved
The Social Food: Home Cooking Inspired by the Flavors of the World (Shirley Garrier and Mathieu Zouhairi)
Peach (Bitter Southerner/Amanda Greene)
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