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.
More on the top books of the year: Cookbooks for the BBQ enthusiast 50 best nonfiction books 50 best fiction books Best audio books Timeline: the year in books