By Suzanne Goin
Alfred A. Knopf, $35
In her inspiring new book, chef Suzanne Goin offers 100-plus seasonal recipes for the vibrant fare served at her Los Angeles restaurant, A.O.C. Her secret to delivering deliciousness is so simple that it's mind boggling: She chooses excellent ingredients and combines them in brilliant ways. The chapters devoted to salads and vegetable dishes are especially exciting (and accessible). Though it's hard to pick favorites, Roasted Kabocha Squash with Dates, Parmesan, and Pepitas is a must-try, as is the Young Broccoli with Garlic and Chile. Her meat and fish dishes ask more of a cook's time because most comprise a few mini recipes that come together on the plate. Goin's hope is that you'll devote a whole weekend afternoon to cooking her Lamb Paillards with Risotto Carbonara, English Peas, and Chanterelles. But, honestly, you can't go wrong with zeroing in on just one tempting part: the amazing Risotto Carbonara. It's so good that, like this book itself, you'll come back to it time and again.
Sweet Potatoes with Bacon, Spinach, and Romesco (page 253) These roasted potatoes, tossed with brown butter and thyme, may be a side dish, but they're exciting enough to be the focal point of a meal.
Arugula Salad with Burrata, Cumin, and Toasted Almonds (page 76) Peppery arugula, savory cumin, toasty nuts, and creamy cheese play off the vibrant juiciness of the peaches in this colorful salad.
Photos by Shimon and Tammar Rothstein