10 Cookbooks We’d Love to Get for Christmas

published Dec 16, 2015
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(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

Year in and year out, there’s a recurring item on our Christmas wish lists: cookbooks. From new releases to classics that haven’t yet made their way onto our bookshelves, you can count on each one of The Kitchn editors to have a cookbook or two on their wish lists at Christmastime.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

I have two cookbooks on my wish list! “Vegetarian India” is a great cookbook for someone who is looking to branch out in their cooking. Madhur Jaffrey has written countless cookbooks about Indian home cooking, so you’re in good hands. I’m super excited to use this cookbook next year for special weeknight meals.

And “Gjelina” is so, so beautiful. There’s a whole bunch of recipes for entertaining, but also delicious, vegetable-forward recipes perfect for a special weeknight dinner. My favorite recipe from this cookbook right now is the beet farro. It kinda tastes like a nutty, earthy risotto. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but it tastes like it does.

I’m really late to the Laurie Colwin party, but thankfully my invitation finally came in the mail. I’ve heard wonderful things about her books and her unique ability to weave together joy, confusion, humor, and celebration all with food as its lens. Is this a straight-up cookbook? I’m not sure, but it’s about food and living. And if by her example I can learn something new about a life lived in the kitchen and around the table, it will be recipe and instruction enough.

The one cookbook I’d be absolutely thrilled to get on Christmas is “Ferment Your Vegetables” by Amanda Feifer, the mad scientist behind Phickle.com. There have been a lot of cookbooks on fermentation and pickling that have come out in the past few years, but this one feels like it adds something new to the conversation — new vegetables I’ve never thought about pickling, new combinations of spices and seasonings I’ve never thought to try, and new ideas for using these fermented veggies every day. I’m particularly excited to try cumin basil beets, Thai-chi (a Thai riff on kimchi), and winter herb kvass (to go in woodsy gin and tonics).

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

After cooking and eating my way through “Super Natural Cooking” and “Super Natural Everyday,” as well as a large chunk of Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks, I can’t wait to dive into “Near and Far.” Her recipes have a sense of familiarity along with an element or two just outside my comfort zone. I’m especially excited for the recipes inspired by her travels through Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, and India, and of course for Heidi Swanson’s stunning photography.

I’d love to get “The Violet Bakery Cookbook” by Claire Ptak, which features recipes from Ptak’s popular London bakery. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill baked goods, though; these recipes have a healthier slant. I’m all for using whole-grain flours and natural sweeteners when baking — especially if they look and taste as beautiful as Violet Bakery’s treats.

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson)

At the top of my wish list this year is “Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes” by the editors of Lucky Peach magazine. My husband and I really miss all the incredible Asian food we left behind when we moved away from Los Angeles, so it would be great to cook some of our favorite dishes at home. I no longer have easy access to many of the ingredients my more esoteric Asian cookbooks include. Plus I have a toddler, so I don’t have the time for “Pok Pok”-level cooking. I need 101 easy Asian recipes in my life — especially if they come from the smart, hilarious Lucky Peach team.

I would love to get Mindy Segal’s “Cookie Love.” I’ve always admired her fun, irreverent approach to cookies since I tend to stick to tried-and-true cookies and need to break out of my comfort zone. Her oatmeal scotchies, with butterscotch chips and brown sugar, sound amazing!

I’m hoping for the “Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook” because I’ve gotten into baking and I think it’s a wonderful cause to support. Plus it will get me out of my rut of trying to perfect my sourdough boule by encouraging me to try new things.

Next on my list is “Crossroads.” I’ve been a vegetarian for years, but still end up eating more dairy and fish than I would really like. All the recipes in “Crossroads” look amazing, and just a bit more elevated than I generally cook for myself. I’m excited to be challenged a bit.