Considering last week, I claimed it’s hard to follow recipes from cookbooks when trying to prepare meals from in-season ingredients … this post may seem a bit contradictory. While a lot of cookbooks out there aren’t usually formatted to follow the seasons, there are a few gems on my bookshelf that buck the established tendency (a trend that’s quickly changing)! While they’re not all quite structured seasonally per se, they’ve all had a part in influencing my own farm-to-table inspired mentality in some way or another.
- While it’s not necessarily seasonal, this cookbook’s focused on veggies — and veggies only. Unlike many cookbooks I own, it’s divided by vegetable type. So if you find yourself hauling home copious amounts of squash from the farmers’ market, you’ll be sure to find a delicious recipe in Ottolenghi’s Plenty. Plus, you’ll be introduced to a whole new world of ingredients and spices, from za’atar to pomegranate molasses.
- The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook catalogs 120 of the restaurant’s best menus — from special-occasion meals to informal picnics. While some of the recipes aren’t accessible to the casual home cook (like myself!), it often serves as the perfect inspiration point and gets you thinking about how you might approach the season’s finest.
- I feel like I’ve had a caveat for every cookbook I’ve mentioned in this list, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is no exception. While this isn’t a cookbook in the traditional sense, Kingsolver’s part memoir, part journalistic investigation of her family’s vow to eat local for one year will inspire new seasonal cooking ideas in your own kitchen.