5 Farm-To-Table Inspired Cookbooks To Add To Your Shelf

Photo source Sidney Bensimon

Farm-Fresh Recipes For The Home Cook

In the summer months, piles of cherries, mounds of kale, and towers of lanky rhubarb stalks spill over from farmers markets stands right into in the fridge. It’s hard to resist picking up a little of everything when it comes to seasonal produce and it’s easy to buy more than you’d planned. We’ve gathered cookbooks that take the freshest ingredients from the farm and turn them into thoughtful, wholesome meals. With these volumes on your shelf, there’ll be less food in the compost and more on the dinner table. 


The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright

What We Love | Laura Wright is the mind behind the award-winning vegan blog, The First Mess. The pages of this cookbook are full of plant-based recipes that elevate everyday meals to something a little out of the ordinary. Among recipes for superfood lattes and plant-based snacks are vegan spins on classic recipes. Wright includes a handy guide for how to best stock your pantry for healthy, whole food cooking that new vegans will find especially helpful.

Recipe We Can’t Wait to Try | Crispy Avocado Tacos

Reviews | “I love Laura’s ability to highlight the sensory experience of an ingredient or dish, connect a memory she had growing up with harvesting and preparing it, and how ethics guided her towards veganism. Reading Laura’s writing is like sinking into a good book, and pairs so well with the culinary offerings that accompany it.” - Erin Wysocarski

Price | $18

Order the First Mess Cookbook on Amazon


Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists by Julia Sherman

What We Love | From the popular website Salad for President comes a cookbook inspired by artists, musicians, writers, and creators of all kinds. Recipes for inventive salads mingle with photos and interviews that offer a peek into the lives of artists around the world. Within these pages, Sherman redefines salads, proving that veggie-centered eating can be hearty or light, indulgent or nutritious. 

Recipe We Can’t Wait to Try | No-Fail Summer Gazpacho

Reviews | “Sherman's recipes extend beyond the ordinary. Recipes vary in complexity, but the sheer diversity of components, flavors and ultimate outcomes demonstrates the beautiful elasticity of the word salad. There is so much imagination at play, readers will understand that only an artist could have assembled such a guide to the senses. And yet, with all its inspired elements, nothing here is out of reach for the at home cook.” - David Graver

Price | $23

Order the Salad for President cookbook on Amazon


Simple Fare: Spring and Summer by Karen Mordechai

What We Love | Karen Mordechai is the creative force behind Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn-based food and design community that draws creative-types from around the world to partake in workshops and artfully-crafted communal meals. Mordechai’s second cookbook, Simple Fare, features seasonally-inspired, market-based ingredients to inspire intuitive, simple cooking. Alongside each recipe are three to five alternative ingredients to swap in or out based on the season and your taste buds.

Recipe We Can’t Wait to Try | Burnt apricot with whipped yogurt, puffed amaranth, maple, salt

Reviews | “This [cookbook] emboldens readers to find inspiration at local farmer’s markets, demonstrating that cooking should be intuitive, simple, and ultimately evoke a sense of freedom in adaptation. This unique cookbook is sure to become a go-to kitchen staple to revere and entice others to gather ’round your table for a seasonally beautiful meal.” - Jessica Comingore

Price | $23

Order the Simple Fare cookbook on Amazon


Malibu Farm Cookbook by Helene Henderson

What We Love | The Malibu Farm Cookbook brings Southern California to your dinner table, one recipe at a time. Inspired by her own farm, Helene Henderson’s cookbook makes the most out of farm-to-table dining and offers encouraging tips for those testing their hands at backyard gardening. Henderson describes this book as a treasure map, guiding and surprising readers with each recipe. 

Recipe We Can’t Wait to Try | Seaweed Sugar Snap Peas

Reviews |  “Every single recipe is simple yet gourmet, straightforward yet elegant, and draws on fresh, natural, vibrant ingredients from Southern California, including fresh herbs, goat cheese, lime, honey, and other ingredients that are most probably already staples for someone who likes to cook (whether in Southern California or elsewhere)… This cookbook is a keeper.” - Dawn English

Price | $27

Order the Malibu Farm Cookbook on Amazon


Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

What We Love | Six Seasons just might be the answer to the vegetable-lover’s prayers. Joshua McFadden’s recipes put veggies in the spotlight, inspiring local, seasonal cooking (and more farmer’s market runs!). As you may have guessed from this volume’s title, McFadden divvies the year into six seasons - Spring, Early Summer, Midsummer, Late Summer, Fall, and Winter - for a more intuitive take on cooking. 

Recipe We Can’t Wait to Try | Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Peanut Sauce

Reviews | “This is a book that will educate nearly everyone who picks it up, a book beginner and seasoned cooks alike will reach for repeatedly. It’s the rare book that achieves what it sets out to do, and manages to do so in a manner that is both appetizing and engaging. It is accessible without sacrificing its artistry.” - Paula Forbes

Price | $23

Order the Six Seasons cookbook on Amazon