3 Vintage Recipes from Classic Cookbooks

Stack of books with a glass of red wine
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward | Food Styling by Jamie Kimm | Prop Styling by Paola Andrea

These often dog-eared cookbooks have earned pride of place in many kitchens—and as these recipes show, they are as relevant as ever.

Related: 10 Classic Cookbooks Every Home Chef Needs

In the race for the new, it’s easy to forget the classics that set us on the path to innovation and discovery. This applies to the wine world, of course, but also to cookbooks. Hundreds, even thousands, of cookbooks come out every year. But all serious home-chefs have those that they reference again and again for decades. As older food trends reappear, much to the excitement of unwitting young foodies, revisiting these classic tomes can be revelatory. Here, we’ve picked recipes from three favorites from the ’70s and ’80s.

This article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!



Fruit-Filled Loin of Pork
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward | Food Styling by Jamie Kimm | Prop Styling by Paola Andrea
Fruit-Stuffed Loin of Pork

Pitted prunes and dried apricots give this tender cut a jammy flare, elevated by hefty pour of Madeira wine.

The Silver Palate Cookbook (1982)

No book influenced how America ate in the 1980s more than this one, and its influence is still felt today. It introduced a myriad international influences—moussaka, ratatouille, ceviche, gravlax, gougères—and tweaked favorite American dishes with powerful spices, fresh herbs and high-quality imported and domestic ingredients. With entertaining and food-lifestyle tips strewn throughout, it presented “gourmet” living as both aspirational and accessible, a world where a beautiful crudités platter is more elegant than a fussy foie gras dish. This and the authors’ 1989 book, The New Basics Cookbook, are still perennial best sellers.

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Cauliflower with Ginger and Chinese Parsley
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward | Food Styling by Jamie Kimm | Prop Styling by Paola Andrea
Cauliflower with Ginger and Chinese Parsley

This Indian-spiced vegetable side dish will make any meal soar. Pair it with something bright and refreshing, like Sauvignon Blanc.

An Invitation to Indian Cooking (1973)

The 1970s was a time of social revolution and reckoning. Many people recognized that the country’s increasing diversity was its strength, and food was a way for people to both explore faraway cultures and connect with multicultural neighbors close to home. The early 1970s saw seminal first cookbooks from the likes of Diana Kennedy (Mexican), Marcella Hazan (Italian), Irene Kuo and Florence Lin (Chinese) and the hugely successful Time-Life Foods of the World series, among others. Madhur Jaffrey was a successful actor whose cooking career started with friends in the U.S. and U.K. asking where to get “authentic” Indian food. The recipes in Invitation came from her mother, adapted for Jaffrey’s Manhattan kitchen. It remains one of the bestselling Indian cookbooks of all time.

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Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward | Food Styling by Jamie Kimm | Prop Styling by Paola Andrea
Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Whether as a morning coffee pairing or evening dessert, top your blueberries with MORE blueberries with this easy recipe.

The Taste of Country Cooking (1976)

Edna Lewis lived several lives before she released this book at age 60. She grew up in Freetown, Virginia, a farming community started by emancipated slaves (hence the name). In her late teens Lewis moved to D.C. and New York, working for FDR’s re-election campaign, as a dress designer and Communist activist. She eventually opened Café Nicholson with an antiques dealer friend, where she cooked traditional Southern food for a celebrity clientele. This book helped to redefine Southern cooking as a refined seasonal cuisine borne of African-American farming traditions and centered around vegetables, fruits, animal life cycles and food preservation. It still feels remarkably current today.

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Published on October 10, 2022