Best General Cookbooks

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

Real Cooking

3. Real Cooking 

Real Cooking
By Nigel Slater, Penguin, 1999. Paperback. $29; 288 pages

“I passionately believe that anyone can make themselves something good to eat.” This is how Nigel Slater opens the ­introduction to his lovely book. And from there he spells out his philosophy and charms the cook along the way. He disarms with his natural humor, zest for cooking, and gorgeous writing.

He’s at once a practical and sensual cook, not one to elevate cooking to art, yet he pays ­attention to every meaningful detail. “The best bits of all are the treasures hiding under the roast bird—those gloriously gooey, chewy bits that others miss,” he says of a roast chicken.

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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