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Best Cookbooks for Summer

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When the nicer weather rolls around, do you find yourself changing your style of cooking? Do you cook with more seasonal produce? Do you seek out “lighter” recipes? Do you grill more? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you’re in good company. Many people change up their cooking style during the summer.

And if you’re looking for some new recipes to add to your menu, then you’ve got to take a look at these cookbooks. They’re chock full of summer recipes that you are sure to love!

  • Endless Summer Cookbook by Katie Lee
    • Katie Lee—co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen—is known for her summer soirees, and in Endless Summer Cookbook, she shares more than 100 recipes that are staples at these parties. As Chef Bobby Flay can attest, “the recipes are as mouthwatering as they look.”     
    • For Katie, cooking isn’t just about the food. It’s about the whole experience: the atmosphere, the stories that each ingredient tells, and, of course, the people who share the meal. Katie’s vision of a complete entertaining experience continues with Endless Summer Cookbook—where the cooking reflects the distinctive flavors of her home in the Hamptons.                                                         
    • From photography to design to the recipes themselves, Endless Summer Cookbook evokes the delicious flavors of the best season of the cook’s year. Included are salad Niçoise, peach blueberry cobbler, figs wrapped in prosciutto, a pizza thrown onto the grill, steak tacos served with avocado and fresh cilantro, and much, much more. Katie also offers ideas for wine pairing and easy entertaining. Endless Summer Cookbook—with its stunning photography and fresh, easy recipes—brings to mind the ultimate summer fantasy of lazy, luxurious days at the beach.
  • The Complete Summer Cookbook: Beat the Heat with 500 Recipes that Make the Most of Summer’s Bounty by America’s Test Kitchen
    • A hot day and hanging over your stove were never meant to be. When fresh produce beckons but you haven’t much energy to respond, these recipes help you settle into a more relaxed kind of cooking designed to keep you and your kitchen cool. Untether yourself from the oven with make-ahead meals best served cold (or at room temp), like Poached Salmon with Cucumber and Tomato salad and Tzatziki. Fix-and-forget recipes like North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork made in the electric pressure cooker won’t steam up the kitchen. Equally easy are dinner salads; we’ve got enough to keep them interesting and varied, from Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Garlic Toasts to Grilled Caesar Salad. Barely more effort are fresh summer recipes requiring the briefest stint in a pan, such as Beet and Carrot Noodle Salad with Chicken or Braised Striped Bass with Zucchini and Tomatoes.
    • Ready to take the party outside? You’ll find all you need for casual patio meals prepared entirely on the grill (from meat to veggies, even pizza). Throw a fantastic cookout with easy starters, frosty drinks, and picnic must-haves like Picnic Fried Chicken, Classic Potato Salad, and Buttermilk Coleslaw. Visited the farmers’ market? Find ideas for main dishes as well as sides inspired by the seasonal bounty, plus the best fruit desserts worth turning on the oven for. To end your meal on a cooler note, turn to a chapter of icebox desserts and no-bake sweets.
  • Summer Food: New Summer Classics by Pau Lowe, Nina Dreyer Hensley, and Jim Hensley
    • Summer Food features more than 90 recipes for light and flavorful fare for every meal of the day—from brunch favorites to light suppers, refreshing cocktails, and fruit-forward desserts. Dishes like grilled escarole with plums and goat cheese; salmon with crème fraiche and garden herbs; quinoa with capers, torn basil, and tomatoes; and lamb burgers with minty pesto celebrate the fresh flavors of the season and are well suited for sharing with friends and family at alfresco meals. Gorgeous photography throughout the book showcases the simplicity and beauty of summer cooking. Stunning scenic photography of the seaside, finished dishes, and summer ingredients, emphasize the book’s carefree nature and style.
    • The perfect solution for home cooks who want easy, fresh recipes for light and flavorful fare that makes the most of seasonal ingredients and eating outdoors. With crowd-pleasing yet wholesome recipes like orzo with grilled corn, olives, torn basil and tomatoes; watermelon and chili salsa; grilled beets with mustard sauce; grilled pizza with pesto and prosciutto; lamb burgers with mint and feta dressing; and linguine with lox, lemon, and dill, this enticing collection is full of great ideas for low-key meals and simple menus for picnics and barbecues.
  • The Beach House Cookbook by Barabara Scott-Goodman
    • A great day at the beach calls for great food especially delicious, quick dishes that leave time for fun in the sun. Barbara Scott-Goodman serves up more than 75 recipes for sensational meals for those spending a weekend at the coast or for whom the seaside is home. Recipes for appetizers, soups, sandwiches, main courses, salads, desserts, and cocktails feature farmstand fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and shellfish, and meats for the grill that celebrate summer’s bounty. Steamed Mussels in Tomato-Fennel Broth and Chicken & Soba Noodle Salad with Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce make for delightful post-beach fare. Fire up the barbecue for Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa and voil! instant backyard beach party. For dessert, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie or Brownie Sundaes with Raspberry Sauce are guaranteed to please. With photos that capture the beauty of both the coast and the cuisine, The Beach House Cookbook offers all the right ingredients for fabulous dining with an ocean view.
  • Summer Kitchens: Recipes and Reminiscences from Every Corner of Ukraine by Olia Hercules
    • In this new cookbook from award-winning author Olia Hercules, explore the diversity of Ukraine’s cuisine and heritage through the alluring window of summer kitchens—small structures alongside the main house where people cook and preserve summer fruits and vegetables for the winter months. Featuring 100 superb recipes, a gorgeous collection of food and lifestyle images, and evocative personal narrative, Hercules illustrates how the region’s cuisine varies as much as the landscapes, climate, and produce through her travels to the Carpathians, the Black Sea, the shores of the Danube and Dnieper, and her native land. 

No matter what type of food you like, these cookbooks will help you bring delicious meals to your table this summer. Which one are you going to check out first?

***All book descriptions courtesy of Amazon

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