Washington Post’s top 10 cookbooks of 2011

Dishes mentioned can be found online at washingtonpost.com/ recipes .

1 Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites From My Life in Food,” by Jacques Pepin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40). Who better than the master himself to update a life’s worth of recipes? A technique DVD is included. Recipes to try: Banana Tart With Guava Glaze, Haddock in Rice Paper With Shallot and Soy Sauce, Onion Puree.

2 All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art,” by Molly Stevens (W.W. Norton, $35). A comprehensive and worthy successor to the author’s 2004 award-winning cookbook, “All About Braising.” Recipe to try: Slow-Roasted Duck Breast.

3 Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi,” by Yotam Ottolenghi (Chronicle, $35). The Israeli-born chef elevates the level of vegetarian recipes in this, his second book. Recipe to try: Green Pancakes With Lime Butter.

4 Jekka’s Herb Cookbook,” by Jekka McVicar (Firefly, $29.95). Called England’s “Queen of Herbs” by superstar chef Jamie Oliver, the author lays out the history and utility of her 50 top garden herbs.

5 American Flavor,” by Andrew Carmellini and Gwen Hyman (Ecco, $34.99). Carmellini, the New York chef-restaurateur of Locande Verde and the Dutch, writes recipes that are easy to follow. This collection is thoughtful and diverse. Recipes to try: Red Chicken; Endive, Apple and Farmhouse Cheddar Salad With Country Ham and Wheat Beer Dressing.

6 The Homesick Texan Cookbook,” by Lisa Fain (Hyperion, $29.99). Sprung from the popular blog of the same name, this book channels the right attitude and an impressive number of recipes that you. Must. Try.

7 Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries, & More,” by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press, $29.99). The author fits healthful ingredients into the foods we crave without, as she writes, “taking the pleasure away from eating.”

8 The Food of Morocco,” by Paula Wolfert (Ecco, $45). Beautifully presented, offering a real sense of place. Not to be missed are the author’s 10 tips for preparing Moroccan food. Recipe to try: Lamb, Tomato Cinnamon and Steamed Pasta Chorba.

9 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home,” by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan, $23.95). With this book, the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio, satisfies a nationwide craving for her inspired flavors of yogurts and sorbets as well as her ice creams with a touch of cream cheese.

10 The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes From Exceptional Home Cooks,” by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (William Morrow, $35). It’s a testament to crowd-sourcing, to accomplished cooks who don’t necessarily blog, and to Food52.com’s smart curating.

Recipes:

Red Chicken

Endive, Apple and Farmhouse Cheddar Salad With Country Ham and Wheat Beer Dressing

Lamb, Tomato, Cinnamon and Steamed Pasta Chorba

Bonnie S. Benwick has the job most envied among cocktail-party conversations. If they only knew ... Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes: washingtonpost.com/recipes.
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