Minnesota authors filled bookshelves in 2021 with a bevy of intriguing titles.
Cookbook powerhouses Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François revisit their bread-baking publishing juggernaut with "The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" (St. Martin's Press, $32.50), cherry-picking their top recipes from the influential series they launched in 2007.
François, one of the country's busiest bakers (witness her "Zoë Bakes" series on the Magnolia Network), also somehow found time to write a definitive — and inspiring — book on a favorite subject: "Zoë Bakes Cakes" (Ten Speed Press). The recipe for Sticky Toffee-Date Cake is worth the book's $30 price tag all on its own.
Fresh off the success of last year's "100 Cookies," Sarah Kieffer released "Baking for the Holidays" (Chronicle Books, $24.95), offering creative and delicious recipes for celebrating the festive period between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Alan Bergo, the last chef to run the farm-to-table kitchen at the former Lucia's Restaurant in Minneapolis, was the perfect pro to pen the fascinating "The Forager Chef's Book of Flora" (Chelsea Green Publishing, $34.95). After the eagle-eyed Bergo guides readers through Midwestern fields and forests, he demonstrates exactly how to best embrace root-to-flower cooking.
Two entries focus on the farm-kitchen connection. In "The Perennial Kitchen: Simple Recipes for a Healthy Future" (University of Minnesota Press, $27.95), author and Taste contributor Beth Dooley (working with her longtime collaborator, photographer Mette Nielsen) makes the case for hazelnuts, Kernza, honey and other bounty from pioneering Minnesota food producers.
And in "The Farmer and the Chef" (Globe Pequot, $27.95), Claudine Arndt (with photographer Katie Cannon) shares the recipes, stories and images culled from nearly 20 years of the Minnesota Cooks program, which pairs farmers and chefs at a popular Minnesota State Fair event.
In "The Good Berry Cookbook" (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $24.95), Anishinaabe writer and cook Tashia Hart beautifully illuminates the ages-old regional tradition of harvesting and preparing wild rice. The book's 70-plus recipes also place other Indigenous ingredients (bison, walleye, sweet corn) in the spotlight.
Two Minnesota-based authors explored global flavors. A wide range of traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern favorites, modified for contemporary, health-minded cooks, are the focus of "Homemade: Made Healthy and Whole" ($48) by nutritionist Sara Farhat Jarrar.
"Amalia's Mesoamerican Table" (Wise Ink, $40) by Amalia Moreno-Damgaard infuses the ancient culinary traditions of Central American cuisine (with an emphasis on her native Guatemala) with gourmet touches. In this sequel to "Amalia's Guatemalan Kitchen," the author goes beyond cooking and incorporates her tireless research into each eye-catching page, resulting in more than 130 recipes and the knowledge that the food south of the border is deeper and more flavorful and meaningful than you could ever imagine.
Two to look for in the coming weeks include "The Asian Market Cookbook" (Page Street Publishing, $21.99), which debuts on Dec. 22. Author Vivian Aronson, the force behind cookingbomb.com, provides intel on Asian pantry staples, then funnels them into 60-plus recipes.
And when it arrives on Jan. 4, 2022, "Cook Well, Eat Smart: Mayo Clinic Recipes and Strategies for Healthy Living" (Mayo Clinic Press, $24.99), author Jennifer Welper, wellness executive chef at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, will provide cooking coaching for the New Year's resolution-minded.