Best General Cookbooks

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

Real Cooking: Slow-roasted onions with melted cheese

Continued: Real Cooking 

Most recipes in Real Cooking are simple, with appropriately short ingredient lists. Potatoes are roasted with only lard and salt, no herbs, no embellishments, but the results are magical. And Slater’s warnings are laugh-out-loud hilarious: “I would love to suggest that you don’t have to [peel the potatoes] but they will develop the hide of a rhinoceros.”

Slater spends time focusing on foods that are “worth cooking.” He doesn’t have time or patience for fussy haute cuisine or fancy, expensive equipment. Reading his informative cooking and shopping tips gives you the impression he’s guiding you through the market, pointing out the freshest and best, and standing confidently at your side at the stove. He punctuates it all with a wonderfully refreshing sense of humor. “And don’t forget to bring something home for the cat” he says of a trip to the fish market.

Within the pages of this unassuming book lies a unique and delicious mix of flavors.

GIVE THIS TO: Passionate and adventurous cooks of any skill level. —Julianna Grimes

Delicious dish to try: Slow-roasted onions with melted cheese, 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