Though summer won’t officially hit until June 20, to our minds Memorial Day marks the start of the season, with its warmth, its gatherings, and its flavors. Hot dogs, barbecue, and pies fill our bellies starting on the last Monday in May. Here are five great cookbooks to help you celebrate the start of the season of sparklers and barbecue.
The Great American Hot Dog Book, by Becky Mercuri
The humble hot dog may just be the most recognizably American of all foods, and definitely a staple at summer parties. But hot dogs don’t have to be plain and simple, as evidenced by Becky Mercuri’s book, featuring countless hot dog recipes from all corners of the country. No matter how you like your dog, Mercuri has got you covered with detailed recipes from Cincinnati Chili to Greek Style.
Franklin Barbecue, by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay
Summer just isn’t complete without barbecue, and for the ultimate guide on that, one need look no further than Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay’s New York Times bestselling book on the subject. Franklin and his wife opened their Austin eatery, Franklin Barbecue, in a trailer in 2009. It was so popular they established a brick and mortar in 2011, which is considered one of the city’s (and therefore the country’s) best barbecue restaurants. But newbies to the pit need not be intimidated—this book is written so that even first-timers can follow along.
Hardcover $31.50 | $35.00
Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, by Sarah Copeland, Yunhee Kim
To balance all the grilling and barbecuing that fills out summer festivities, here’s a vegetarian cookbook sure to satiate even the fiercest of appetites. Dishes like Angel Hair Lentils with Oyster Mushrooms and Spring Vegetable Paella are so alluring, even the carnivores will be asking for a bite.
Chef Ronaldo’s Sabores de Cuba, by Ronaldo Linares
This appetizing cookbook was written by former U.S. Marine and current executive chef at Martino’s Cuban Restaurant Ronaldo Linares. Following the standards put out by the American Diabetes Association, this bilingual cookbook reinvents traditional recipes without spoonfuls of sugar. For your next seasonal get together, look out for Roasted Chicken in Mojo Citrus Sauce.
Art of the Pie, by Kate McDermott
The best meals end with dessert, so this list closes with a dessert cookbook. James Beard Nominee Kate McDermott entices palates with Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life. Since the saying goes, “As American as Apple Pie,” chapter three of this book is titled, “The Quintessential Apple Pie.” In it McDermott teaches readers how to make a scrumptious apple pie, sharing a recipe and technique you’ll go back to again and again.