The berries are popping, the aperol is spritzing, and the grill (as well as the griller) is getting FIRED up. That means one thing: It’s summer, and time to talk about the latest crop of new cookbooks that make me want to get the most out of the season. Head over to the New York Times for my annual round-up, and come back next week as I drill down some more on recipes I tested and loved and will be making all summer long. As long as you’re there, check out the rest of the Summer Reading package. It’s always a goodie.
Illustration: Angie Wang for the New York Times.
There is nothing I love more than a Jenny Rosenstrach cookbook roundup in the NYT. Seriously, I read and re-read them!
I’m curious – when you review cookbooks, how many recipes do you make from each book? Thanks!
Sally – Good question! I’ve been doing this for a few years now and though every book demands something different of me, generally I try to make three recipes from each to make sure the dish is good, but also to make sure the recipe writing is clear. But that is not the only factor — when I page through the books the first time before I start cooking, I flag recipes that look appealing, so the books with the most flags naturally rise to the top of the testing field. Lastly, I READ the books — the intro and the headnotes. This is arguably the most important variable. We can find recipes almost anywhere, so what voices are new and interesting? Perspective is pretty much everything.
Jenny, on pages 47-49 in your DALS cookbook you share “what’s held up from my kitchen library 1998-2011. Have you done a follow-up blog post on that? I’m curious to know which of those books are still your go-to faves (especially for weeknight meals and/or everyday ingredients) and which one’s you’ve added since 2011 that are your go-to’s. I’ve got two little ladies at home (5 & 8) and we live in rural-ville Wisconsin – a far cry from NY with specialty markets on every corner. I’m always on the lookout for inspiration that doesn’t require a 60-minute drive to downtown Milwaukee. I will occasionally order ingredients online if I must. Thanks!