Our Favorite Cookbooks

by: Karissa Seiersen

Most people who enjoy cooking also enjoy collecting cookbooks. It just comes with the territory. At Freddie's, we are no exception to this. As I stare at my collection, all I can think is, "What’s not to love about a huge picture book full of mouth-watering dishes and instructions to recreate them?". I never get tired of flipping through mine and often find myself reading them as I would a novel. They are filled with inspiration when I’ve run out; a gentle reminder that joy is only a recipe away.

We collectively own a lot of cookbooks of all genres and wanted to share our favorites with you. As you continue reading you will find that our reasoning for selecting these specific cookbooks varies from person to person. Most were selected because they are filled with delicious recipes and insightful techniques, of course. But for some, there was no real rhyme or reason. Just an irreplaceable deep connection, between a human and a cookbook, both in mutual agreement that the two could never part.

Leah's Favorites

1. Seductions of Rice, Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid Buy it

This book travels the world of rice! It’s an arsenal of rice recipes accompanied by stories and photographs of all the different people and places rice comes from, ranging from the Far East to the U.S. to Europe. It’s a well-rounded book that’ll surely expand your knowledge of rice. I really enjoy the Jamaican rice and peas and Mexican green rice recipe.

2. Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton Buy it

I love the way the Prune cookbook shows you what restaurant kitchen life is like and the author shares actual notes and instructions from their employee cookbook. The “scraps” section is especially fun because it shows you how to repurpose food that would have just ended up in the garbage. It’s an entertaining cookbook to read and includes cocktail recipes as well!

3. The Silver Spoon, Giovanna Mazzocchi, Clelia D'Onofrio, Phaidon Press Buy it

I like the feel and layout of the silver spoon cookbook, I don’t even know if I’ve made a recipe out of it, it’s nice for reference and Italian basics. The layout is concise and the recipes honor simplicity without compromising on vibrant flavors. It’s a very large cookbook and can be hard to handle at times but you truly won’t need any other Italian cookbook once you have this one.

Lauren's Favorites

1. The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking, Jeanine Donofrio Buy it

When I switched to being a pescatarian a decade ago, I basically became vegan at home for financial reasons and because the dairy-free and meat-free options at the time were... pretty gross. Love and Lemons was my go-to plant-based recipes to try and ultimately put me on a path to seasonal eating. This cookbook is easy to follow with recipes that are quick to make and an excellent source of inspiration when you grab something at the farmers market and think "What the heck am I going to do with this".

2. The Cook You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress, Andy Baraghani Buy it

Just over a year old, The Cook You Want to Be was my favorite of 2022. Every single recipe you make tastes, and looks like it came from a restaurant. The Caramelized Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter Harissa are truly spectacular and the condiment section is a must-make list that I add to roasted vegetables all of the time.

3. In Pursuit of Flavor, Edna Lewis Buy it

In doing research for a week we celebrated Edna Lewis last year, I fell in love with her books and her cooking. While her book, "The Taste of Country Cooking" is delightful, the way that In Pursuit of Flavor reads and recipes won me over. Focused not only on seasonality but also on type of food (oceans, farms, pantry etc.) this has become a go-to especially flavorful and approachable ways to cook beans, jams and more.

Honorable mentions: Mamacita by Andrea Pons

Karissa’s Favorites

1. The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters Buy it

Whenever I don’t know what to make or it’s my first time trying out a recipe, I reach for The Art of Simple Food. It focuses on building fundamental techniques, stocking up on staple pantry items, and using great produce. Which makes it a timeless repository of recipes and wisdom. The recipes are written clearly and in their simplest form, designed to teach you the basics, and include variations for when you’re ready to enhance them. This is definitely a staple in my collection!

2. Six Seasons, Joshua McFadden, Martha Holmberg Buy it

A couple of years ago I worked on a veggie farm. At that point, I wasn’t super familiar with the different types of vegetables we grew and sold so I bought Six Seasons in an attempt to expand my knowledge. The cookbook is first broken out by growing season and then by vegetable which makes it easy to navigate. The recipes range from simple to advanced, raw to cooked, and overall set an approachable tone for elevating how you cook your vegetables. In particular, I really love the Roasted Fennel with Apples, Cheese, & Almonds casserole recipe and any of the fava bean recipes.

3. Jubilee, Toni Tipton-Martin Buy it

Everything I have made from Jubilee has been delicious and overall it might be my most used cookbook. It’s full of historic African-American recipes that have been passed down through generations. The recipes are full of flavor and include stories that are full of heart. It’s my ultimate comfort cookbook, it just feels like one big warm hug. I love the Maque Choux (fried corn with green peppers) and the Devil's Food Cake.

Back to blog