We Asked and You Shared: Your Favorite Cookbooks

Monday, April 08, 2013 - 03:51 PM

Pancetta, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Pot Pies, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman (Deb Perelman)

We asked you to share your essential cookbooks - you know, the ones that have stains and notes all over them that contain your favorite, tried-and-true recipes.

Listeners shared over 50 titles with us! Click below to see them all, and maybe find a new favorite. Don't see your old stand-by on the list? Add it to the list in the comments below!

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian were the most popular titles.

Both The Silver Palate and The New Basics by Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins were recommended. Gabrielle on Facebook told us that her second copy of The New Basics is stained and falling apart, but that it’s still indespensible.

The Joy of Cooking was recommended by 6 different people. John on Facebook told us: “My mom gave me my copy of JOY back in the early 80s. Love it!”

The Betty Crocker Cookbook

Several of Marcella Hazan's books made the list: The Classic Italian Cookbook and More Classic Italian and The Essential Classic Italian Cooking.

The Moosewood Cookbook

Gabrielle on Facebook recommended The Talisman Italian Cook Book by Ada Boni, which she found at a garage sale.

Several of you wrote simply, “Ina Garten.” Her many books include The Barefoot Contessa and Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

An oldie but a goodie: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, which was first published in 1896 and was overhauled by Marion Cunningham in 1979

The Settlement Cookbook by Simon Kander

The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

The Love of Eating: Another Simply Delicious Cookbook by Renny Darling

Molly Stevens’s All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking

The Electric Vegetarian: Natural Cooking the Food Processor Way by Paula Szilard

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe

The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

The James Beard Cookbook

Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Vegetable Literacy

The Way to Cook by Julia Child

How to Cook without a Book by Pam Anderson

The Bon Appetit Cookbook

Cooks' Illustrated books

Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

The Amanda Hesser edition of The New York Times Cookbook

Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible

The Italian Baker by Carol Field and Ed Anderson

Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Annie Somerville

Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking and The Provence Cookbook

Jaime Oliver's books, which include Jaime's Dinners and The Naked Chef

Martha Stewart Everyday Cooking

Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries

Simon Hopkinson’s Week In Week Out

Ottolenghi and Jerusalem and Plenty – all by Yotam Ottolenghi

The Good Food Book by Jane Brody

Craig Claiborn’s New York Times International Cookbook

Mad Hungry by Lucinda Quinn

The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers and Gerald Asher

Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters

The Flavor-Principle Cookbook by Elisabeth Rozin

Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table by Suzanne Goin and Teri Gelber

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry


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Comments [17]

JOHN from brooklyn

Pomp and Sustenance by Mary Simentti. It catalogs her experience living in Sicily and tracking the ancient techniques of cooking through all the various cultures that have inhabited Sicily. Wonderful!

Apr. 19 2013 12:58 PM

I love curling up next to a stack of cookbooks for ideas and edification - but for cooking:

La Cuisine de Mapie (Mapie de Toulouse-Lautrec) -

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone - Deborah Madison - so much info on veggies! I like her other cookbooks, too)

A Spoonful of Ginger - Nina Simonds wonderful Asian cookbook full of history and healing lore - really good recipes.

French Family Cooking - Françoise Bernard (very authentic - I lived in France when I was young; it's in English, not metric)

Apr. 17 2013 11:46 AM
Wendy Mitsui

My favorite cookbook is the Women's Home Companion Cookbook of 1946. It was the cookbook my mom always had handy. It was the Joy of Cooking of it's day. I still use it for cookie, bread and pie crust recipes and basic canning or jellies. You can get it on the internet. It's a must for collectors.

Apr. 14 2013 07:39 PM
Tichita from NYC

If going by stains/war wounds/scars of honor, I have 2 go-to favorites that live permanently between my sheet pan rack and my Robo(coup):
Sara Jenkins' Olives & Oranges (every recipe I have made from that book has brought whomever I'm feeding to their knees in thanks and awe) and Carmines Family Style Cookbook. Believe it or not, both of these cookbooks have many things in common. Namely, they both have sole and the recipes are not only easy to follow, but they make perfect sense and when you understand that, every dish gets better and better each time you make it.

Apr. 12 2013 10:22 AM
littleredyarn from Philly 'burbs

My all-time new favorite one is "The New England Cookbook" by Brooke Dojny. Nothing fancy, no haute cuisine or anything anyone might consider weird fusion food experiments. Just really, really good (and easy!) food that doesn't take all day to prepare.

Apr. 09 2013 11:09 AM
jc from usa

Any vegan one! There's nothing but love in each dish :)

Apr. 09 2013 09:47 AM
robin in irvington

The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan.

I have tried to replace it with the newer improved version, but I always go back to my original paperback bound together with duck tape.

Apr. 09 2013 09:38 AM
Christine from Westchester

The base cookbook is "Better Homes and Gardens" red and white checked binder. It's the best basic for anyone and good reference book. I can remember my mother's looking splattered and worn when I was a kid. Now mine looks like that.

The Williams and Sonoma topic books are great; short and easy to thumb through with a photo of finished recipe. After that, I often just go fishing for recipes on the internet.

Apr. 09 2013 09:20 AM
DSS10 from DC

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Every recipe works, very few unobtainable ingredients, understandable easy techniques, good delcious food food.....

Apr. 09 2013 08:36 AM
Wendy W from Central Jersey

Both of Bittman's cookbooks: How to Cook Anything and How to Cook Anything Vegetarian. I have never cooked anything from them that we didn't like and his easy-going approach is hard to beat.

Apr. 09 2013 07:30 AM
Robert Bach from Toronto

Moosewood Cookbbook, by Mollie Katzen. 1977. Healthy vegetarian cooking..a deserving classic. Well known, though I find I need to introduce it to newer generations. The Baba (Ga Noosh) is GOD. :)

Apr. 09 2013 07:12 AM
dianne mcarthur

In California there are so many local, jr league books that give great ideas for local ingredients.... my all time favorite go to is actually Seattle Jr League books... NOt a bad one inthe bunch.
Best muffin book
The Cheese Board Collective. Berkeley's own!

Apr. 09 2013 12:45 AM
mara from nc

My husband and I cook daily and hardly ever use cookbooks. However, we couldn't be without The Bible - the updated Joy of Cooking. For conversions, learning about weird ingredients, basic techniques.... It's amazing.

Apr. 09 2013 12:09 AM
Andrew from Redding, CT

World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. (Though almost anything by her would qualify.)

Apr. 08 2013 10:58 PM
Rebecca from Manhattan

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything - This is my go-to reference book for things like cooking times for meats or what flavors go best together (spices with meats, meats with vegetables). He gives lots of variations on recipes and encourages you to experiment to find what you like best. Most recipes can be made from what a well stocked kitchen already holds, so it's not necessary to go out and buy a whole new spice rack to make one meal. Also, there is a tone to the writing that makes you feel like you can't really mess anything up (save for burning something black), that if it doesn't come out the way you wanted/hoped, there's always next time. You've done nothing wrong.

Jane Brody's Good Food Book - BEST lentil soup ever!

Apr. 08 2013 09:44 PM

I have a few favorites -- that are well used & stained!

1. Sunset MEXICAN COOKBOOK (155 Classic Recipes) first printing 1977
This is a wonderful thorough & authentic cookbook that I have used for many years. As my knowledge of Mexico and it's regional cuisine has grown, I have continually discovered recipes in this cookbook. The recipe TITLES are also named in Spanish under the English Titles making it possible to search for a recipe in English or Spanish. You can find these cookbooks today on Amazon or eBay.

2. Laurel's Kitchen (1976) - a great standby! I discovered Tennessee Corn Pone in this book. It's a great resource whether or not you are a vegetarian.

3. The Vegetarian Epicure Book 1 & 2 (Anna Thomas 1972) - A great inspiration for a wide variety of food - including baking. Great for vegetarians or omnivores.

4. She Cooks By Ear (Frances S. James 1976) - a Great downhome Southern standby. I love the pie recipes, in spite of it's high fat leanings! Hey, if you're going to make a Coconut Cream Pie -- you should pull out the stops!

Apr. 08 2013 05:47 PM
Meredith from Washington, DC

Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr

Apr. 08 2013 04:44 PM

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About The Lodown

The Lodown is a blog about everything brought to you by the staff of the Leonard Lopate Show (Leonard will even drop by from time to time)! We cover food, art, politics, history, science and much more -- literally everything from Picasso to pork pies. Tips and suggestions are welcome so please send us your thoughts, curiosities and intellectual detritus!

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