Primary Beans bookshelf
Arabiyya: Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora - As frequenters of Bay Area-based Reem’s California, we’re thrilled to get our hands on Reem Assil’s debut cookbook, Arabiyya ("Arab woman"). Her Syrian-Palestinian and social justice backgrounds shine through via moving essays, and the very tasty recipes remind us why Reem’s has become one of our absolute favorite local eateries.
To the Last Bite - Alexis deBoschnek has been a part of the PB family since the very beginning, so we’re especially thrilled to have her debut cookbook finally on our shelf. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of her Catskills lifestyle and no-waste approach to seasonal cooking. Alexis’s thoughtful recipes teach us how to efficiently and deliciously make the most of all our ingredients with every meal.
State Change - There’s a lot of talk around the mind-body connection, but what about the body-mind connection? Dr. Robin Berzin, founder of the holistic medical practice Parsley Health, teaches us how each aspect of our physical health– from how we eat, sleep, and move can can help us reach new levels of energy, clarity, and calm. We loved reading this integrated approach to health and wellness, and learning all about the mood-boosting benefits of having a healthy gut microbiome.
The Food Explorer - Daniel Stone tells the story of David Fairchild, botanist and food explorer who traveled the world and introduced thousands of crops like avocados, mangos, seedless grapes, kale, Meyer lemons (to name a few!) to the American plate– revolutionizing farming and the USDA at a time when ingredient options were sparse. Fairchild’s progressive and optimistic perspective about the future of farming is fascinating to return to after witnessing the impact of industrial agriculture.
An Onion in my Pocket - Deborah Madison has been at the forefront of vegetarianism as cookbook author and chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. She’s a household name for us– we distinctly remember our mom and aunts perusing “a new cookbook all about vegetables” which was “ so unique!” in the 90s. The memoir is as much about Deborah’s unconventional path (Big ag → Buddhist priest → Chez Panisse) as a story about the evolution of our foodways and a reminder of why it’s important to eat well.
Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora - "Beautiful, eye-opening, and belongs in every kitchen. I’m obsessed with the recipe for Trinidadian doubles– an iconic flatbread sandwich stuffed with curried chickpeas. This version is topped with tangy tamarind-jaggery sauce and spicy cucumber chutney. Delicious!”
Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide - “I discovered this book through the fan-favorite Instagram account @gastroobscura (if you’re not already following it, you’re missing out!). The book is filled with stories about unique foodways from all over the world, and it’s fun to flip through when you have a few spare minutes.”
Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes - “Abra Beren's newest cookbook is blowing up and I couldn't be more excited about it. I love her non-fussy approach to cooking with flavor. Get your copy by heading to the Primary Beans site!”
Cool Beans - “I’ve had a deep appreciation for this book ever since it was released last year. I’m floored by the level of thought Joe Yonan put into each dish, and that he balanced introducing new techniques from all over the world with recipes that aren’t at all intimidating. Current favs: Lobio, which I make with our Ayocote Morado, and Tacu Tacu, amazing with our Mayocobas.”
Grains for Every Season - “I just got this cookbook so haven't cooked much from it, but the recipes and instructions around cooking different grains are so delicious-sounding and educational, and if this book is anything like Six Seasons, it will never leave my countertop.”
Six Seasons: A new way with vegetables - We’re first to admit that it’s easy to reach for the same vegetables over and over, so Joshua McFadden’s approach to seasonal produce is not only helpful, but inspiring. We love the way the book is organized– into six seasons and by produce item– and the different, often surprising, techniques paired with each item to showcase the versatility. We take something away each time we make a new dish.
Inflamed: Deep medicine and the anatomy of justice - An ever-important read that highlights the relationship between the prevalence of chronic inflammation and the injustices of our political, social, and environmental systems. Sure, nutrition plays a huge role (be prepared for some fascinating research on our gut microbiome), but Rupa Marya and Raj Patel also make the case for its other root causes like trauma, racism, and climate change. A fascinating and timely reminder that everything is connected.
Defending Beef: The ecological and nutritional case for meat - The recently updated version covers all the latest around meat production, nutrition, the alt-meat movement, and climate change. We’re fascinated by the discussion about beef’s role in regenerative agriculture and how it complements legume production. Nicolette Hahn Niman’s unusual background positions her perfectly to be the voice of these issues: biologist, environmental activist, lawyer, and vegetarian turned cattle rancher (with her husband, Bill Niman).
Ripe Figs: Recipes and stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus - Ripe Figs is Yasmin Khan’s examination of borders and identity, all through the lens of beautiful recipes inspired by travels to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. The recipes are paired with stunning photos of the region and are 100% up our alley: vegetable-centric, thoughtful, and packed with flavor, where we can put our pantry ingredients like pomegranate molasses, sumac, dates, and tahini to good use.
Cooking for your kids: at home with the world’s greatest chefs - This lovely book by Joshua David Stein offers glimpses into the homes of recognizable chefs and demonstrates that, like any parent, chefs do the best they can to get nutritious and delicious meals onto their family tables. We’re particularly inspired by how food can communicate culture and potentially expand the horizons of young eaters.
Mother Grains - Roxana Jullapat expertly teaches us how to use those alt-grains we've always wondered about, and shares seriously delicious recipes that will make you a confident modern baker at home.
On Time and Water - One of Iceland's leading authors, Andri Snær Magnason, takes us on a personal, educational, and historical journey that describes the reality of climate change like never before. It's dark yet witty, alarming yet inspiring.
The Food of Oaxaca - Chef Alejandro Ruiz's brand-new cookbook celebrates the beautiful, distinctive culture and foodways of his homeland and Mexico's culinary capital. Spoiler alert: mouth-watering bean recipes included!
The Cooking Gene - Michael Twitty's thoughtful memoir explores racial issues through the lens of African American culinary history. A must-read for a better understanding of our painful past.
Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower - Gill Meller put together a beautiful cookbook that's not only filled with simple yet refined seasonal recipes, but plenty of inspiration for better connecting to the natural world.
My Mexico City Kitchen - We love Gabriela Cámara's simple instructions on navigating the fresh and bold flavors of Mexican cuisine, with personal stories woven throughout that really bring you into her kitchen.
Indian-ish - Priya Krishna's cookbook is a delicious tribute to her mom's cooking– an "Indian-ish" blending of family recipes from back in India with the new culture and ingredients she found in the US.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat - Samin Nosrat's fan-favorite cookbook showcases her extensive repertoire and helps any reader (including us!) discover the building blocks of becoming a confident, inspired cook.
Fiber Fueled - Dr. Will Bulsiewicz gets science-y about gut health, which he explains is key to overall well-being and is fueled by the fiber we get from eating a variety of colorful plants. Now THIS we can get behind.
The Third Plate - Chef Dan Barber's thoughtful take on the complex intersection of communities, ecology, cuisine, and flavor served as a lens into the future of food, and has been major inspiration for the founding team at Primary Beans.