Best General Cookbooks

Find our top nine picks for the best general cookbooks published in the United States since 1987.

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Radically Simple

6. Radically Simple

Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease
By Rozanne Gold, Rodale, 2010. Hardcover. $35; 340 pages

Rozanne Gold built her fame on ingenious, stripped-down three-ingredient cookbooks, but really found her voice last year by liberating herself to use a few more ingredients in dishes that are still ­elegantly, inspiringly simple. Recipes are either quick-cooking; have short, mainstream ingredient lists; or contain make-ahead components. What’s so impressive is that so many dishes take sophisticated little twists and turns. A pasta dish with caramelized onions, peas, and mint has a dash of fish sauce to punch up the umami.

This is one of those books that make you want to leap up and start cooking. Gold is a precise writer: Her recipe titles and headnotes are vivid. (For example, she notes that frozen peas tossed in with crunchy-crumbed cod “also get roasted and take on a comforting starchy texture.”)

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