Oh cookbooks, how I do love you. Sure, there are the standards, the staples, the workhorse cookbooks for ready reference, but the Practical Cook adores the quirky cookbook even more. Niche market, check. Spiral bound, fabulous. Out-of-print, creates demand!
So for today’s Kitchen Tool Talk, Three of My Favorite Quirky Cookbooks
1. Lettuce in Your Kitchen: I was introduced to this book by a friend (and very talented cook) who promised a whole new world of dinner salads, including ones with sausage. Yes, please sign me up. My favorite is still the salmon avocado salad, which has served as an inspiration for my own Tuna Salad recipe. Each recipe (there are plenty without meat) comes with a dressing that is always sure to surprise. This is not an oil and vinegar cookbook. Out of print, but worth hunting down for the title alone.
2. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Years and years ago, a roommate (one of 3 Amys, try answering the phone when you all have the same name) introduced me to the Black Bean Chili with bulgur in this book, and I’ve been making it regularly ever since. The recipes work, they challenge you to think outside the box, and they are forgiving. Great vegetarian staple even for non-veggies.
3. Party Receipts from the Charleston Junior League: What do you do when you need a cheese ball, spiced nut, crab dip, or any spread (hot or cold) that involves mayo and watercress? Everything I’ve made from this little gem rocked and was asked after. Perfect party food: nibbles, noshes, and old-school charm. The ultimate Junior League cookbook, spiral binding and all.
When I’m low on inspiration, these cookbooks bring light back into my kitchen. Which quirky cookbooks are your favorites?
Tomorrow, Punt! Rotisserie Chicken al Pastor Recipe!