Best New Cookbooks Spring 2017

Our 22 picks for freshening up your bookshelf

Fill your bookshelves with the 22 best new releases for spring 2017, from exciting chef cookbooks to food memoirs that will make you laugh.


In My Kitchen, by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed Press, March 28, $32.50)

The latest from this vegetarian expert, who's been publishing cookbooks for 30 years, proves healthy food doesn't mean giving up pizza; it just means transforming it into a vibrant tomato-red pepper tart. Her headnotes are as poetic as ever, and recipes like Hummus Worth Making deliver on their promises.

Food52: Mighty Salads, by the Editors of Food52 (Ten Speed Press, April 11, $23)

Putting crusty bread, fresh peas and pesto dressing in a bowl and calling it salad is our kind of move. And it's that exact spring vegetable panzanella—plus 59 other not-lame salads—that make this book so exciting. The tone (and the food) is refreshingly playful, as evidenced by the "unscientific formulas" that lead the path to a much-improved lunch.  

The Book of Greens, by Jenn Louis (Ten Speed Press, April 11, $35)

The real way to get a green thumb? Paging through this ultimate guide to this highly diversified (and nutritious) food group. You'll learn how to make established go-tos (Brussels sprouts, kale) even better, as well as how to incorporate newer picks like nutty minutina into everything you cook. There are even ways to green up your beloved dessert—Lewis adds iceberg lettuce to carrot cake and churns celery into a crisp sherbet.

On Vegetables, by Jeremy Fox (Phaidon, April 17, $50)

The enigmatic Rustic Canyon chef is releasing his first book, and vegetables have never sounded so exciting. Despite his tenures at starry restaurants like Ubuntu, Manresa and the now-defunct Rubicon, all of the 160 recipes are more than doable for a home cook—and beautifully photographed at that.

Six Seasons, by Joshua McFadden (Artisan, May 2, $35)

McFadden, the chef behind Portland's Ava Gene's and the buzzy new Tusk, proves that sticking to four seasons per year is so last season. Instead, he splits summer into three distinct phases ("because summer is where the action is") with primers and recipes for how to make the most of each one's specific harvest. So not only will you learn how to salt a late-summer eggplant, you'll also master pickling it with garlic and rosemary.

Dinner: Changing the Game, by Melissa Clark

Reprinted from Dinner. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Acquacotta, by Emiko Davies

Photos: Lauren Bamford

Burma Superstar, by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy

Reprinted with permission from Burma Superstar, copyright © 2017 by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photographs copyright © 2017 by John Lee

Food52: Mighty Salads, by the Editors of Food52

Photos: ©James Ransom/Food52, Courtesy Ten Speed Press

In My Kitchen, by Deborah Madison

Photo: Courtesy of In My Kitchen

On Vegetables, by Jeremy Fox

Photos: Rick Poon

On Vegetables, by Jeremy Fox

Photos: Rick Poon

Provence to Pondicherry, by Tessa Kiros

Photos: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Provence to Pondicherry, by Tessa Kiros

Photos: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Street Food Asia, by Luke Nguyen

Photos: Alan Benson

Street Food Asia, by Luke Nguyen

Photos: Alan Benson

Tartine All Day, by Elisabeth Prueitt

Photos: Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

The Book of Greens, by Jenn Louis

Photos: Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

The Book of Greens, by Jenn Louis

Photos: Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School, by Alison Cayne

Excerpted from The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.

Food Fights & Culture Wars, by Tom Nealon

Photos: Courtesy of The Overlook Press

Salad for President, by Julia Sherman (Abrams, May 16, $35)

Expect more of the artist-driven recipes you might already know from Sherman's blog, which led to garden installations at both MoMA PS1 and the Los Angeles Getty Museum. And if you still think salad means a sad smattering of iceberg in a bowl, know that Sherman's definition includes grilled hearts of palm with mint and triple citrus, Japanese green onion pancakes, spicy slaw and plenty of crunchy croutons.


Dinner: Changing the Game, by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter, March 7, $35)

This New York Times food columnist's ode to dinner truly puts breakfast to shame. It'll help you streamline your weeknight cooking strategy and combat any dinner-prepping fatigue with dishes like Turkish lamb chops, asparagus carbonara and the guacamole that proved peas could cause a scandal.

Egg Shop: The Cookbook, by Nick Korbee (William Morrow, March 21, $35)

This hit NYC restaurant's eggy guide leaves no cooking method unturned, including microwaved scrambles ("microhuevos") and using an espresso machine wand to heat them, as in the cheekily named Coffee Shop Scramble. Colorful egg-topped bowls, foamy whiskey sours and salted caramel bacon bread pudding make sure you don't confuse this for morning-only fodder.

Cover Design: Mumtaz Mustafa

Tartine All Day, by Elisabeth Prueitt (Lorena Jones Books, April 4, $40)

Prueitt, half of the team behind San Francisco's world famous Tartine, wrote her latest recipe collection with a fairly lofty goal in mind: She wanted to create the next Joy of Cooking, the book she says truly taught her how to cook. And the result? Effortless to follow, thorough in its instruction and proves reliable for all meals, from the Any Day Pancakes to start you off to the teff carrot cake to put you to bed.

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School, by Alison Cayne (Artisan, April 4, $35)

January isn't the only time to set new goals: Make this the season you finally perfect your poached eggs or classic sole meunière. Cayne channels her New York cooking school's teachings into nine succinct chapters including eggs, sauces and one devoted to all types of fritters. The recipes are instructive but not pedantic, and always show you how to take your dish one step further.

Unforgettable, by Emily Kaiser Thelin (April 4, $35)

What began as a Kickstarter is now a dream project realized. This biographical cookbook shows how food can truly be medicine, even—or especially—for legends like Paula Wolfert. There are more than 50 recipes within, but the book's indispensable value lies in how Thelin captures Wolfert's anecdotes, memories and character throughout each section.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat (Simon & Schuster, April 25, $35)

Forget fancy spices, expensive cuts of meat and esoteric kitchen tools. All you need to master the kitchen are the four elements laid out in this Joyfully illustrated book's title. Nosrat, who's been called "America's next great cooking teacher" by Alice Waters and taught Michael Pollan how to cook, is a more than trustworthy instructor.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster


Provence to Pondicherry, by Tessa Kiros (Quadrille Publishing, March 7, $35)

The list of places Kiros has called home could fill an entire passport, which accounts for this book's vast range of authentically flavored recipes. Recurring ingredients weave her travels together, like how you'll find mussels steamed in cider in Normandy, served au pistou in Provence and cooked with masala mix in the coastal Indian city of Pondicherry.

Acquacotta, by Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant, March 14, $40)

It's time to get acquainted with Maremma cuisine, a style stemming from the Tuscan coast that sits a world apart from its neighbors' sauce-drowned pasta and bubbling pizza crusts. There's cod with pine nuts and olives, red wine biscuits made for dunking into more wine (take that, tea cookies) and the book's namesake, an ancient, soul-warming soup that made the region famous.

Street Food Asia, by Luke Nguyen (Hardie Grant, March 7, $45)

Few cookbooks allow you to truly travel the globe the way Nguyen's does. The Australian chef brings the action right to your kitchen with his insider's guide to the bustling street food tucked into every corner of Saigon, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Recipes for dishes like Malaysian meat-filled curry puffs and Vietnamese coffee will tide you over until you can track down the market stalls yourself.

Burma Superstar, by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy (Ten Speed Press, March 28, $30)

The eponymous San Francisco restaurant is making quality Burmese food even more accessible than before with this insightful, thorough cookbook. Take mohinga, for example, the breakfast noodle soup you've probably never heard of that's considered Burma's national dish. And in between coconut chicken curry and tea leaf salad, you can read all about Myanmar's struggle for democracy, as well as the people and ingredients that make up this rich culture.

The Lost Kitchen, by Erin French (Clarkson Potter, May 9, $32.50)

This Freedom, Maine, restaurant, located in a restored 1800s mill, is a hot ticket these days, and has the reservation wait list to prove it. French, whose beautiful story needs to be heard, truly delivers with a book full of fantastic seasonal recipes like Maine halibut Niçoise.


Food Fights & Culture Wars, by Tom Nealon (The Overlook Press, March 14, $30)

Enjoy your dinner with a side of history, as Nealon dispels myths like whether or not lemonade actually helped stave off the plague in France. And in between these cold-hard facts is some great eye candy: We're talking everything from illustrations from the 1500s to comical food advertisements from the past century.

Project 258, by Zakary Pelaccio (University of Texas Press, March 14, $50)

Those who've dined at Hudson, New York's Fish & Game know the hyper-local restaurant fully deserves all the hype and awards it's been given, and this book opens the door to how the magic happens. You'll learn how to make many of the restaurant's staples, from bacon to ketchup, but the stories of local farmers and eye-opening photographs are really what makes  this book shine. And Pelaccio's quirky asides, including gems like "mean hens still taste good," are sure to make you laugh along the way.

Notes on a Banana, by David Leite (Dey Street Books, April 11, $27)

Throughout his gripping new memoir, Leite manages to apply the same witty yet thoughtful tone that fans of his award-winning website, Leite's Culinaria, know and love to issues of mental illness, sexual identity, immigration and life in New York City. Expect equal parts laughter (like the time his mother dumped a bowl of soup on his head) and heartwarming stories of cooking with his grandmother.

Courtesy of Harper Collins

Out of Line, by Barbara Lynch (Atria Books, April 11, $26)

Prominent chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch has won multiple James Beard Awards, is a recurring guest judge on Top Chef and plays an integral role in Boston's culinary scene. So it's no surprise we're looking forward to her memoir, which promises to shed light on the tenacity required to rise to this level of (justified) culinary stardom.

Flavor, by Bob Holmes (W. W. Norton, April 25, $27)

Alton Brown fans, this one's for you. Geek out with Holmes as he uses science to explain why it is that dessert tastes sweeter when served on a white plate, why spicy food enthusiasts seek out pain and other such mind-bogglers. You might even find that learning about the mechanics of taste helps improve your cooking skills, too.