New York Times Summer Cookbook Roundup

Summer is upon us, which can mean several things, depending on where you live: it can mean that your house is too ridiculously hot to even contemplate cooking anything; it can mean that local produce is finally starting pop up all over the place; it most likely means that a good deal of charcoal will be used.

In any case, summer is a great season for cookbooks, and in this weekend's New York Times Book Review section, Christine Muhlke has penned a roundup of some of the best books coming out in the next couple months. Here are a few of the ones we're excited about:

For the It's-So-Hot-I-Can't-Even-Boil-Pasta Cook

If the thought of spending any time at all in your kitchen this summer makes you a little queasy, what you need is a couple good chef-helmed books--books that will spark your imagination but not necessarily have you running to the grocery store. Try The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant by Michelle and Phillip Wojtowicz (buy at Amazon), or Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry Lang (buy at Amazon).

For the Holy-Shit-What-Do-I-Do-With-All-These-Tomatoes Cook

Maybe you're one of those people who spends most of the year thinking "Buying local produce would be awesome. If only the ground weren't frozen solid." And then suddenly it's August and you have more tomatoes (raspberries, zucchini) than you know what to do with. Maybe this year you should save some of that sweet local produce for this off season? Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods by Diana Henry (buy at Amazon) not only shows you how to preserve seasonal recipes but also includes recipes on what to do with them.

For the Grill-Master

Summer is the perfect time to take the cooking outside, and accordingly there are a ton of new grilling cookbooks. Muhlke describes Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by South American celebrity chef Francis Mallmann with Peter Kaminsky (buy at Amazon) as "punk," which is intriguing. Or, if you're looking for a challenge, try your hand at Serious Barbecue, above.

—Paula Forbes

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