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Cook with the best books of 2012

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His family’s farm inspired the author, a former recipe tester for Gourmet, to create straightforward dishes like Beet and Snap Pea Salad With Ricotta.

THE FOOTHILLS CUISINE OF BLACKBERRY FARM » By Sam Beall and Marah Stets (Clarkson Potter)

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Sounds rustic, but Blackberry Farm is a luxury resort in Tennessee known for farm-to-table food. Marbled Potato Salad With Arugula Pesto is a work of art.

GREAT FOOD STARTS FRESH » By Nathan Lyon (self-published)

The Arlington, Va., native who made a name for himself on Season 2 of TV’s "The Next Food Network Star" presents simple food with an emphasis on seasonal local ingredients. Basics such as Shrimp With Cheddar Grits and Chorizo fill the pages.

MAKING ARTISAN PASTA » By Aliza Green (Quarry)

By hand or by machine, follow these comprehensive steps to a universe where flour, eggs and water can yield such different results.


The author’s smart menu approach takes the guesswork out of creating vegetarian feasts. Kudos to her inclusion of a simple quart - not a gallon - of homemade broth.

MODERN FLAVORS OF ARABIA » By Suzanne Husseini and Petrina Tinslay (Appetite by Random House)

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In a large field of new Middle Eastern cookbooks, this one stands out. Classic Arabian food gets a modern makeover.

MODERNIST CUISINE AT HOME » By Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)

If you can devote about two hours toward Low-Temp Oven Steak, you’ll be rewarded with better-than-sous-vide results.

THE PRESERVATION KITCHEN » By Paul Virant with Kate Leahy (Ten Speed Press)

There’s a certain level of sophistication here, with tempting ingredient combinations such as Peach Saffron Jam.

A RETURN TO SUNDAY DINNER (REVISED AND UPDATED) » By Russell Cronkhite (Thomas Nelson)

These days, it takes a Saturday head start to bring the book title’s tradition back to the Sunday table. That type of advance planning and prep is featured here.


Natural’s the key mode in the author’s third cookie-centric compilation, drawing on colors and flavors of herbs, teas, citrus and edible flowers.

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