3 cookbooks to check out before your next trip to the farmer's market

These cookbooks are full of refreshing recipes that encourage a seasonal approach to cooking and will give you plenty of inspiration for your next trip to the farmer’s market.

These seasonal cookbooks welcome spring with refreshing recipes, says CBC book columnist Jonathan Cheung

These 3 cookbooks feature seasonal ingredients, fresh recipes and contain tips to make you a better cook. (Jonathan Cheung)

These cookbooks are full of refreshing recipes that encourage a seasonal approach to cooking and will give you plenty of inspiration for your next trip to the farmer's market.

Where Cooking Begins

Where Cooking Begins is a collection of 70 uncomplicated recipes by Carla Lalli Music, the food director at Bon Appétit. She offers strategies and techniques to make you a better cook with an approach that emphasizes market shopping and small-batch cooking.

Carla's cooking philosophy starts with buying the freshest produce available and then deciding how best to prepare it using six main cooking methods. These are broken down with step-by-step instructions and followed by a dozen suggestions for ingredients to cook with each technique.

Her tips on keeping a well-stocked pantry and an organized kitchen make improvised cooking easily achievable any day of the week. This is the essential guide to creating simple and delicious meals from excellent ingredients, providing everything you need to master home cooking.

Bake the Seasons

This first cookbook by recipe developer and food stylist Marcella DiLonardo is filled with recipes that celebrate baking with the seasons. Her love of baking developed at an early age from learning to make traditional Italian dishes with her mother and grandmothers using ingredients straight from the garden.

In Bake the Seasons, she presents simple and rustic baking for every occasion, from Sunday brunch and dinner party appetizers, to holiday desserts and comforting weeknight dishes. The recipes are divided by season and feature fresh produce from the local farms and orchards of Ontario's Niagara region, where DiLonardo currently lives.

She includes familiar classics like fruit pies and vegetable tarts, and shares new twists on old favourites, such as squash mac & cheese, blood orange rosemary cupcakes, and bread pudding with kale, parmesan and bacon.

These comforting dishes will inspire you to start baking regularly and will encourage you to discover the amazing flavours and ingredients that each season has to offer.

Aloha Kitchen

The recipes in this cookbook embody the "aloha" spirit, which promotes a Hawaiian way of life that is based on kindness, compassion, mindfulness and generosity.

A food blogger and Maui native, Alana Kysar introduces the contemporary food of Hawaii with this collection of family recipes and other local dishes that highlight the region's diversity.

Numerous waves of immigration have contributed to Hawaii's varied cuisine, with each cultural group bringing plants, animals, and culinary traditions with them to the islands. Such influences include Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, European, Filipino and Korean, among others. The vast array of fresh and colourful dishes found in Aloha Kitchen honours this unique convergence of cultures, with recipes for mochiko chicken, poke, Cantonese noodles, pickled mango, malasadas, traditional kālua pig, and much more.

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About the Author

Jonathan Cheung

CBC Homerun Book Columnist

Jonathan Cheung is a book columnist on CBC Homerun. Owner of the cookbook store Appetite for Books, Jonathan is a trained chef with a passion for cookbooks. He was also a judge on Iron Chef Canada. You can hear Jonathan on Homerun, on CBC Radio One (88.5 FM), once a month on Wednesday afternoons starting at 3 p.m.


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