12 Best New Cookbooks to Gift This Mother’s Day
Bonus points if you cook her something from it first!
Spring is a fruitful time that’s ripe for blossoming, and this season’s crop of new cookbooks offers an especially beautiful bouquet. Whether your mom loves to bake, lives for building a better cheese board, or is ready for someone else to think about dinner, there’s a cookbook worth gifting every type of food lover and home cook in your life this Mother’s Day.
New York City’s Maman bakery-cafes are equally lauded for their best-selling baked goods and charming spaces that feel like a home away from home. Maman — which means mother in French — encompasses the familial traditions that underscore the heart-warming fare that anchor the café menus, including heirloom cookie recipes, quiches and sandwiches. So, it’s a fitting tribute that owners Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte’s debut cookbook opens with letters from their own mothers. The collection of 100 recipes span breakfast to dessert, with highlights such as savory breakfast crepes, a bewitching cauliflower and grilled cheese sandwich, their perennially popular nutty chocolate chip cookies and a swoon-worthy lavender hot chocolate tart. Make Mom’s gift extra sweet with a special Cookies & Cookbook Box, which comes with six cookies.
What often brings us to the kitchen is a yearning to rediscover our identity and claim our cultural roots through the dishes, ingredients and flavors that have come to define life moments both ordinary and special. Food has always been central to food writer Eric Kim’s story and identity, particularly growing up in Atlanta as the son of two Korean immigrants. In large part, Kim’s debut cookbook pays homage to his mother, Jean, and the insights he gleaned from her through cooking. Kim shares recipes that seamlessly weave childhood and adulthood, borrowing liberally from both the Korean and American culinary cannons to craft recipes that are distinctly his own. Delicious mouthfuls include Gochugaru Shrimp and Grits, Smashed Potatoes with Roasted-Seaweed Sour Cream Dip and Cheeseburger Kimbap. The book is also peppered with personal essays and anecdotes, so readers also glean a better understanding of the Korean pantry and the history of Korean cooking in America.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of the Good Eats TV series or a newcomer, Alton Brown’s highly anticipated final volume is a must-have reference for any home cook. There are more than 175 new recipes, spanning the Good Eats culinary cannon, from chicken parm to bibimbap. Besides the beautiful photography and steadfast recipes, the book is chockful of handy headnotes, hard-won tips and sidebars exploring culinary techniques, flavor composition and a healthy dose of edible history. Brown’s handwritten notes capture his culinary point of view: equal parts mad scientist, culinary historian and chaser of culinary perfection.
Fire up your wok and get ready for a virtual and delicious trip to Thailand. Jet Tila, Food Network star and bestselling author, along with longtime friend and fellow chef, Tad Weyland Fukomoto, has crafted a compilation of essential Thai dishes, from street food to homestyle fare. The pair obsessively tested recipes to turn out gold standard versions for authentic Thai dishes such as Street-Style Basil Pork, Glass Noodle Stir-Fry and Hung Lay Northern Pork Curry, and made them approachable for home cooks, too. There’s also an excellent assortment of plant-based takes on popular dishes, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table with something delicious in front of them. You might never order takeout again.
As moms, Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer know how busy life can get. But as food lovers, the friends never wanted to sacrifice flavor in the name of getting weeknight dinner on the table. They started their blog The Modern Proper to offer solutions and recipes to do just that. In their debut cookbook, you’ll get an impressive roster of go-to dishes, ingredient swaps, pantry essentials, and kitchen shortcuts that will help you become a more creative cook. We love that there is an entire chapter devoted to meatballs (bookmarking Lemongrass Pork Meatballs with Glass Noodles, stat) as well as one dedicated to eggs (hello, Jammy Eggs on Lentils with Wilted Greens). There’s also a substantial number of meatless dishes, including the kid-friendly Cheesy Tamale Pie with Quinoa and Bean Chili. You’ll also glean loads of culinary tricks to fill your own kitchen toolbox, whether you’re cooking for others or nourishing yourself.
Befitting its title, this bucket-list worthy collection of sweet treats features best-in-class recipes sourced from baking blogger whizzes and world-renowned chefs alike. Author and food writer Allyson Reedy readily admits that she is not a baker—which is exactly why you can rest assured that if she says she can bake it, then so can you. The recipes are grouped into five categories, including Cookies, Cakes, Pies/Tarts, Things You Eat with Your Hands, and Things You Probably Shouldn’t Eat with Your Hands. After reading Reedy’s book, we too feel our lives would be incomplete without eating as many bites of Biscoff White Chocolate Blondies as possible. And why wait to make Christina Tosi’s Birthday Layer Cake but once a year? Life is too short. We might have to work our way up to Daniel Boulud’s madeleines or Dominique Ansel’s croissants, but a day spent with butter and flour is a day well spent.
If mom is looking to step up her cheese and charcuterie board game, or if the idea of a grazing board for dinner on a typical Tuesday lights her up, this is her book. Professional food stylist and entertaining enthusiast Elle Simone Scott shares her top tricks, including plating techniques, party themes, and timing tips. The book is comprised of 35 vibrant, photo-worthy boards, each of which offer recipes to build your board around or to level up your board, such as a trio of homemade mignonettes for a raw bar-inspired board, or Marinated White Beans with Garlic and Capers to accompany the Grilled Vegetable Platter. We’re particularly fond of the First Things First chapter, which offers superb inspiration for a Mother’s Day brunch at home. Try the Low-Lift Brunch board, anchored by recipes for easy muffin tin frittatas and hands-off bacon, rounded out with store-bought pastries, toast, jams, and butter. Earn bonus points by setting up a Bloody Mary bar for mom (with or without booze!), complete with homemade black pepper candied bacon garnish.
Celebrated Icelandic chef Solla Eiríksdóttir offers ample inspiration for vegans and the plant-based curious alike, to the tune of 145 recipes. Learn to make your own vegan staples such as nut and oat milks, tempeh, tofu, and coconut yogurt from scratch. Or start simple by making a one-pan breakfast with beans and tomatoes, whizz up tahini dressing to drizzle over salads and grain bowls, or bake seed crackers for a week’s worth of inspired afternoon snacking. We’re particularly taken by the sweets chapter, which includes a recipe for raw tiramisu and a vegan version of Eiríksdóttir’s mother’s pear cake, complete with chocolate cream. More than mere cookbook, Vegan at Home provides readers a delicious escape to the landscapes and ingredients of Iceland, filtered through the lens of the author’s childhood stories, travels, and professional cooking experiences.
Bestselling author and blogger Tieghan Gerard has earned legions of followers for her approachable recipes that prove that ‘wholesome’ and ‘delicious’ aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. Her latest cookbook also feels like her most personal, offering readers glimpses of her life in Colorado and snippets of family life, too. There are more than 120 all-new, feel-good recipes designed to nourish yourself and those around you, no matter what you’re craving. Flavor is paramount to every recipe, whether it’s a plant-forward Spinach and Pesto–Stuffed Butternut Squash or a Gerard family go-to of Crispy Carnitas Taquitos. To keep things sweet, you’ll find sumptuous desserts such as Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, which also makes a fine snacking cake.
In a time of collective cooking burnout, we’re all looking for the magical ratio of low-effort, high-reward recipes. And home cook turned recipe developer Ali Slagle gives us a whole book of them — 150, to be exact. Each recipe is designed to be fast and flexible, to use what you have on hand, while magically still sating your craving for what you actually feel like eating. All dishes come together with fewer than eight ingredients and in under forty-five minutes, use only one or two pots and pans, and half the recipes are plant-based, too. It might sound too good to be true, until you make Farro Carbonara with bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts and realize that everyday culinary magic is in fact possible in your own kitchen. Many chapters are helpfully organized by main ingredients such as eggs, noodles, and chicken, with suggestions for riffing on cooking methods and flavor combinations. To wit, Bok Choy Gochujang Omelet, which Slagle describes as “an envelope with confetti inside,” offers suggestions for fillings using up leftovers, cured meats, or stewed veggies. Abandon the meal planning model once and for all, and instead arm yourself with Slagle’s roster of culinary tricks to confidently wing it and make dinner work for you (not the other way around).
In her latest cookbook, chef and activist Reem Assil has woven together a collection of more than 100 vibrant recipes and a selection of thoughtful personal essays that explore food, family and identity. The beautifully written stories highlight the resilience of Arab communities to turn hardship into nourishing meals and knack for turning any occasion into a celebration-worthy feast. It inspires the warm, intentional hospitality that Assil brings to her own California restaurants, which she translates to the page in a section called How to Host Like an Arab to help inspire your own spirited family gatherings at home. Assil draws recipe inspiration from her Palestinian and Syrian heritage as well as popular dishes from across the diaspora, such as Falafel Mahshi, Salatet Fattoush, and Mujaddarra. Plus, there’s a whole section dedicated to the breads of the Arab bakery.
If mom loves to travel vicariously through recipes and cooking, this is her book. Writer and food personality Rick Martínez takes readers on a delicious journey throughout Mexico, spanning 20,000 miles across 32 states and 156 cities. Through his own travel experiences and food memories, Martínez has recreated many of his most memorable dishes in his own kitchen, distilling the vibrancy, diversity and complexity of Mexican cuisine into a compendium of recipes geared toward the home cook. Forget Taco Tuesday — we’re all about the Northern Mexican-inspired grilled Carne Asada that gets stuffed into a grilled quesadilla. In Martínez capable hands, we’re inspired to turn out Oaxacan Albondigas en Chipotle, a dish of herb and cheese meatballs in a smoky, kicky chipotle sauce, and to try our hand at a Sinaloa-inspired coastal corn tamales stuffed with succulent shrimp, chiles and roasted tomatoes.