Don’t think of these as also-rans; a case could be made for bumping any of these titles up to top-10 status. They are listed in alphabetical order. Dishes mentioned can be found online at washingtonpost.com/recipes .
“The Art of Eating Cookbook: Essential Recipes From the First 25 Years,”by Edward Behr (University of California Press, $39.95). The slim volume celebrates the quarterly magazine, its editor’s distinctive voice and a way of writing recipes for those who know how to cook.
“Big Vegan: More Than 350 Recipes, No Meat/No Dairy, All Delicious,” by Robin Asbell (Chronicle, $29.95). This paperback has the counter appeal and substance of a hardcover book. The chef-author’s emphasis is on balancing sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami.
Recipe to try: Quick Refried-Bean Quesadillas With Corny Salsa Verde.
“Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes,” by Andrea Reusing (Clarkson Potter, $35). A modest volume that begs to be cooked through, page by page. The author is the chef at Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Recipe to try: Kale Panini.
“Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook,” by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (Little, Brown, $50). Stunning. Chances of re-creating a complex dish so that it looks like what’s in the accompanying photograph seem slim, at least for mere mortals.
“The Food of Spain,” by Claudia Roden (Ecco, $39.99). The book is big, but the recipes are not complex, affording opportunities to work them into a weeknight rotation.
“Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese,” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95). The prolific authors’ research and recipes go a long way toward providing solutions for a 21st-century carnivore’s dilemma: better red-meat eating.
“How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen,” by Sanjeev Kapoor (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95). Encyclopedic, and indicative of the author’s enormous influence on his country’s cuisine.
Recipe to try: Kolambi Kaju Curry.
“The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose,” by Barbara Kafka (Artisan; $29.95). The winner of a James Beard lifetime achievement award offers truly inclusive food, with helpful pantry notes and ingredient glossaries.
“Momofuku Milk Bar,” by Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter, $35). It’s almost not fair; the pastry chef of Momofuku in New York has an unerring sweet tooth, and her prose is entertaining enough for bedtime reading.
“The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes From Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria,” by Nancy Silverton with Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreno (Knopf, $35). This is food you first eat with your eyes, in restaurant-size portions.
Recipe to try: Nancy’s Chopped Salad.
“The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best From Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, & CSA Farm Boxes,” by Sheri Castle (University of North Carolina Press, $35). Arranged by ingredient, the book acknowledges vegetable love in the South. Slow-cooker variations are included.
“The One-Block Feast: An Adventure in Food From Yard to Table,” by Margo True and the staff of Sunset magazine (Ten Speed Press, $24.99). A straightforward, soup-to-nuts DIY seasonal guide for the committed locavore.
“Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto,” by Michael Ruhlman (Chronicle, $40). The Cleveland food writer draws from his kitchen time with some of the country’s best chefs to synthesize a strategy for home cooks. Recipe to try: Roasted Cauliflower With Browned Butter.
“Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making & Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are,” by Ed Levine and the editors of SeriousEats.com (Clarkson Potter, $27.99). An obsessive collection of lists and mini-treatises on the nation’s best pizza, barbecue, street and other “serious” food, with 50 new recipes for those who want to eat in. (Smoky pickled okra, anyone?)
“ Southern Biscuits , ” by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs-Smith, $21.99). We can’t think of a better or more definitive source for such a worthy undertaking.
“Vegetables From an Italian Garden,” by the editors of Phaidon (Phaidon, $39.95). A lovely collection of simple seasonal dishes.
More on the top books of the year: