The Cookbooks in Our Tiny Yurt Kitchen

Living with a small kitchen is not an uncommon reality for many, whether you’re in a yurt, a tiny house, or a New York City apartment. And cooking in a tiny kitchen presents some challenges, or at least encourages the cook to be mindful of how many dishes they’re making (there is also no dishwasher in these kitchens), how much counter space they have, and how many pots and pans can fit on a tiny stovetop or inside a small oven. These are our go-to cookbooks in the yurt. Though they aren’t specifically curated with tiny kitchens in mind, there are plenty of good recipes that are conducive to cooking in a small space. That is, they check the boxes for minimal counter space and minimal dishes, without sacrificing flavor. Enjoy and let us know if you have any other recommendations!

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Our favorite go-to recipe: Braised fennel wedges with saffron and tomato, which Annie describes as “Pretty much a one-pot deal.”

Other notable recipes:

  • Parsley sauce, which we use as a condiment, served with the socca from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen (below). Really good on eggs, too, or to brigthen up a quinoa or rice bowl.
  • Open-faced sandwich of spinach, caramelized onions, and roasted peppers
  • Corn simmered in coconut milk with Thai basil
  • Buttermilk skillet cornbread
  • Cauliflower with saffron, pepper flakes, plenty of parsley, and pasta. Buy here.

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily & Melissa Elsen

We’re still digging into this one since we don’t make pies extremely often, but when the urge hits—typically, if I’m being honest, when there’s a chill in the air and the leaves are falling or fallen—to this book I go. Recipes are separated by seasons—for instance, rhubarb in the spring, sweet cherry streusel in summer, salted caramel apple in fall, and buttermilk chess in winter.

Though I have not had superb success with the all-butter crust recipe (I still use the Smitten Kitchen recipe), the recipes here are creative and straight-up dope. That buttermilk chess pie, hearkening to the best of the South, is the perfect thing for a cold winter day. Buy here.

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Goodness, this book is a gift that never quits giving. Some of the recipes are more complicated than others and can have some lengthy ingredient lists, but our favorites are perfectly simple and reasonable for a small kitchen:

  • Castelluccio lentils with tomatos and gorgonzola
  • Shakshuka
  • Marinated mozzarella and tomato
  • Saffron tagliatelle with spiced butter. What’s it spiced with, you ask? “Oh my god,” Annie says. “It’s so good but it’s so rich.” To wit: Shallots, ginger, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, caryenne, chili flakes, turmeric, salt pepper, topped with pine nuts and parsley. Buy here.

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin

This book too is a veritable treasure trove of recipes. You could probably live a perfectly happy life with only this cookbook on your shelf. Our favorites:

  • Dijon mustard marinated tempeh. This is the only way we eat tempeh now. Sliced thinly, it can be used for a tempeh reuben; or as a protein topper for rice bowls.
  • Curried socca with the parsley sauce (above) and Amy Chaplin’s harissa
  • Quinoa beet salad with feta, chili, garlic, and sauteed beet greens
  • Kale slaw wih creamy mustard dressing
  • Soft polenta with nettles, peas, and goat cheese (We usually just use other greens rather than nettles.)

“I have so many more that are my favorites.” Annie wouldn’t stop turning through the book. Couldn’t stop. Wouldn’t stop. Buy here.

Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold

This is the newest edition because Annie’s all stoked on cocktails (trendy, trendy). I bought it for her out of a combination of love and the not-so-secret hope that I might be fed a never-ending slew of alcoholic concoctions as the guinea pig in the laboratory. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Buy here.