Get inspired: The 10 cookbooks you should read this summer

Jul 12 2021, 4:10 pm

With COVID restrictions lifting in many regions, many of us can finally see our friends and extended families for indoor and outdoor gatherings.

So there’s no time like the present to pick up a new cookbook, brush up on your culinary skills, and blow away your loved ones with a delicious in-person meal. 

From summer salads to beat-the-heat to books filled with tasty and easy-to-make handhelds for picnics in the park, these are our 10 essential cookbooks for the summer. 

Double Happiness Cookbook by Trevor Lui

The Double Happiness Cookbook is a lively celebration of Asian cuisine from Toronto based chef Trevor Lui. This one features feel-good, Asian-inspired recipes with a big city attitude like BBQ pork on rice, bulgogi beef tostadas, and sweet chili cauliflower wings. My favourite recipe is for the Mc Lyte Bao, which is the perfect picnic companion!

An authentic celebration of heritage, community, street culture, and food philosophy, this cookbook is sure to wow your guests. The layout is gorgeous, too, and the recipes are easy to follow. 

Mandy’s Gourmet Salads by Erickson Meredith, Mandy Wolfe, and Rebecca Wolfe

From the sisters behind Montreal’s amazing gourmet salad company Mandy’s, this cookbook has all the ingredients to take your salad game to the next level. 

In Mandy’s Gourmet Salads, Mandy and Rebecca talk you through how to create their well-known salads and smoothies at home, including easy prep steps for essential ingredients, how to mix their famous dressings like their green goddess and turmeric tahini, and how to combine flavours and textures to create a salad masterpiece. The “Tropical Smoothie” is one you’ll want to be drinking all summer long. 

Cook This Book by Molly Baz

The cookbook you didn’t know you were waiting for. One of my favourites on this list, Cook This Book is brought to us from YouTube personality and Senior Associate Food Editor at Bon Appetit, Molly Baz. Molly breaks the essentials of cooking down to clear and uncomplicated recipes that deliver big flavour with little effort and a side of education. 

The Graziella’s Pasta al Pomodoro is the ultimate dinner party entrée, and the Miso Apple Tart is the dessert that will make your mouth water.

Cooking For Your Kids : At Home with the World’s Greatest Chefs by Joshua David Stein

For all the parents (or grandparents) out there, this book contains 100 recipes for everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to the snacks and treats in between. Cooking For Your Kids is brought to us from the repertoires of world-famous chefs who cook for their children at home.

I love my oats, and Seattle-based chef Edouardo Jordan’s “akil’s morning oatmeal” recipe is the perfect start to any day. 

Lure by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes

Authored by chef and seafood advocate Ned Bell, this bright and bold cookbook is the ultimate guide to selecting, preparing, and cooking simple and delicious fish. Lure features casual recipes for handhelds like tacos, sandwiches, and fish burgers all the way to more fancy dishes for entertaining, such as crudo, ceviche, and caviar butter. 

Jam Bake by Camilla Wynne

Tis the season! Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are available in abundance right now in Canada, so there’s no time like the present to learn about baking, canning, and preserving the season’s offerings. 

Author Camilla Wynne shares more than 80 scrumptious recipes for baking with the jams you make, everything from Cheesecake Scones to Angel Food Cake, or Eton Mess to Rye & Ginger Sandwich Cookies. 

Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

There are 120 highly cookable recipes in this Palestinian cookbook. Author and chef Sami Tamimi teases out the vestiges of an ancient cuisine while recording the derivations of a dynamic cuisine and the stories of the people of Palestine, as told from the kitchen. 

The rice with yogurt, roasted cauliflower and garlic is my absolute favourite, and one of the most comforting dishes in the book, and the pulled lamb shawarma sandwich is great for wrapping up and taking to a picnic, only if you can stop yourself from eating it on the way there.

Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie

Hosting friends for a backyard BBQ? Legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott’s new book caters to both seasoned barbecuers and novices. Rodney shares what makes his pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings, hush puppies, Ella’s Banana Puddin’, and award-winning whole hog so special. Read an excerpt online, courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada.

Summer: A Cookbook by Jen Stevenson and Marnie Hanel

Summer: A Cookbook features more than 100 seasonally inspired recipes for all kinds of occasions. There’s an abundance of options like tasty focaccia sandwiches for get-togethers in the park to tiki cocktails for evening soirées. The cherry on top is six sensational ice cream sandwich recipes. This book is deliciously gorgeous in every way. 

The Zero-Waste Chef by Anne-Marie Bonneau

July is plastic free month so there’s no time like the present to pick up this book. The Zero-Waste Chef is food blogger Anne-Marie Bonneau’s debut cookbook, and it gives you the simple fixes to ease you into wasting less, as well as 75 vegan and vegetarian recipes for cooking with scraps, creating fermented staples, and using up all of your groceries before they go bad. 

There’s a fantastic recipe for pancakes that is so perfect for using up all those veggies sitting at the bottom of your fridge. If you’re thinking about making a change to better the environment, this cookbook is a great place to start!

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

+ Curated