Best General Cookbooks

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

Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Continued: The Essential New York Times Cookbook

In a 1940 Sazerac cocktail, Hesser says the bitters “hover over the rye like a citrusy mist.” She warns the reader to avoid the Oriental Watercress Soup (1949) if pork liver is unavailable, and admits mistakes of her own: “I used globe artichokes rather than Jerusalems—somehow I failed to make the obvious connection between Palestine and Jerusalem.”

Most recipes are fairly recent, many from food notables and chefs, and there’s a nice balance of European, regional American, and global flavors. Many recipes contain serving suggestions, derived from other recipes in the book.

GIVE THIS TO: A reader, a lover of food heritage, a serious cook of at least intermediate skills. —Phoebe Wu

Delicious dish to try: Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew, pictured

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25 Best Vegetarian

Whether you have made the full vegetarian plunge or just want to mix it up, sans the meat, once a week, these healthy, meatless main dishes will have you swooning.

Fontal Polenta with Mushroom Sauté