Ten of the best cookbooks of 2022 so far

If the first half of the year is any indication, 2022 will be a notable year for cookbooks.

NPR staff and critics have collected their favorite readings for the first summer issue of the books we love. Along with the best beach and beach reads to take you elsewhere, we’ve rounded up the best cookbooks from 2022 so far. So, whether you’re looking for exciting dishes to serve up at a cookout in the summer, or something to help you get out of your culinary predicament, we’ve got recommendations for you.

The Art of Cooking in Stock: Meals for Family and Friends by Rhonda Karman

If your kitchen stock has ballooned beyond recognition during the pandemic, you’re not alone. It’s time to confront those unused piles of guilt-inducing artichoke and quinoa hearts, and Rhonda Karman is here to help. Organized alphabetically from almonds to thyme, this cookbook is an international journey through 35 canned and bottled essentials.

– T. Susan Chang, food writer

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Harry N. Abrams

Colo Cox: Easy Fine Dining by Colo Henry

If you’re like me, you’ve longed for friends to meet again for dinner. But as we bring loved ones back to our tables, it can be hard to know what to make of it. Fortunately, Colu Henry’s cookbook is warm and inviting and will inspire both the experienced cook (try “Crispy Fish with Quick Tomatillo and Jalapeño Confit”) as well as the novice in the kitchen (check out her viral hit “My Cec”).

– Jessica Goldstein, Senior Director and Executive Producer, NPR Events & Experiential Programming

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Street page for publication

Fix Me Dish: Traditional and New School Spirit Food Recipes from Scotty Scott from Cook Drink Eat. by Scotty Scott

The first cookbook written by Scotty Scott for personal chef and food blogger in Fort Worth is a blend of traditional family recipes along with staples, remixed… Scott lets us go through the stories behind the food and pays tribute to his ancestors for what he puts on the plate. This is good food.

– Debbie Elliott, National Bureau correspondent

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Henry N. Abrams

Gula Jichi Home Cooking: Recipes from the Mothers of Edisto Island by Emily Meggett

If you haven’t heard of Edisto Island before, Emily Meggett’s cookbook is a great place to start learning. Mejit is the ruler of the island, which is home to many of the Jela Jechi people and the food they have made for generations.

— Wayne Davis, Editorial Assistant, All things considered

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WW Norton

I’m From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef by Vishwesh Bhatt

Western India and the southern United States share more culinary similarities than you might think, from rice and sesame varieties to okra, shrimp, and fresh tomatoes. Here, these ingredients explode into a delightful fusion, a strong connection to the spice cabinet and a well-stocked pantry.

– T. Susan Chang

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Clarkson Potter

Korean American: Food that tastes like at home by Eric Kim

Whether it’s his mom Jan Nappa’s cabbage kimchi or homemade milk bread, each recipe is filled with stories of Kim’s childhood in Atlanta and the loved ones who shaped his life and food. Topped with gorgeous photos by Jenny Huang, it’s a beautiful and warm read – not just as a cookbook but as an accompanying food diary.

– Janet W. Lee, Associate Producer, It’s been a minute

Mi Cocina's cover

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Clarkson Potter

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Ecstasy from My Kitchen in Mexico by Rick Martinez

With seven sections focusing on different regions across the country, Martínez guides you through some of the essential recipes for each. The recipes are vibrant, but what I love most are the stories next to each one. Food is very personal and with May CucinaMartínez shares his life in food and invites you to come.

– Wayne Davis

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Milk Street: The world in a frying pan by Christopher Kimball

If you, like me, routinely ax recipes that use one pan too much for a week, then this book is a godsend. Cook pasta there with pancetta, chard, and beans. Forget about laying a layer of foil, just crimp it on top of it for a ‘Spanacopita’ pan. In other words, Christopher Kimball gleefully broke the rules in the name of simplification.

– T. Susan Chang

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Turkey and Wolf: Flavor Trippin’ in New Orleans By Mason Hereford with JJ Goode

Chef Mason Hereford has put on some of the magic that draws locals and tourists alike to this popular New Orleans sandwich shop, Turkey and Wolf. The cookbook is full of nostalgic recipes that a home chef can access. There’s the odd Hereford take on a fried bologna sandwich, topped with house-made chips, spicy mustard and ‘chrites’ (yes, that’s just shredded lettuce). He gives us permission to serve caviar on a brown McDonald’s block. The Cabbage Melt might be my favorite – a Southern twist on Reuben.

– Debbie Elliott, National Bureau correspondent

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WW Norton

The Wok: Recipes and Techniques by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

wokAttractiveness is not innovation. You can find dishes such as kung pao shrimp and mutton on many Chinese restaurant menus. But now you don’t have to leave your house. As far as I’m concerned, learning the velvet technique – a way to keep meat tender while you’re cutting it – is worth the sticker price – and it’s a method that really works. It’s just one of the gems on these pages.

– T. Susan Chang

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