What Cookbook to Work Your Way Through This Fall, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

published Oct 3, 2020
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Ah, the age-old question: What should you cook tonight? Because I am an extremely indecisive person, I’ve often picked a random cookbook, opened a random page, and let chance pick my dinner for me. Whether you’re as trusting of fate as I am, or you’re looking for ways to fill your meal plan for the coming week, why not let the mystical zodiac help you choose? 

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite cookbooks—both new and well-loved alike—according to each zodiac sign’s key characteristics. Of course, you don’t need to stick to your sun or rising sign for guidance, so if you’ve been feeling your secret self in the past few months at home, look up your moon sign and try that cookbook out. Find a new signature dish or work your way through the full collection. What you do with the astrological inspiration is up to you.

Aries: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child

Aries are bold and aren’t afraid of a challenge, so you’ll probably want to dive headfirst into a project. Why not channel “Julie & Julia” by trying your own hand at a few of Julia Child’s immortal recipes from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking“? (You can skip the aspic chapter if you’d like.) Whether you’ve got your eye on the classic boeuf bourguignon or a pastry or three, you’ll have plenty of reasons to chortle your best “bon appétit!” 

Taurus: “Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes” by Bryant Terry

If you’re looking to get grounded, there’s no better place to start than with nature. Earthy Taurus will appreciate Bryant Terry’s “Vegetable Kingdom“, a book bursting with flavor. (Three words: Collard-peanut pesto.) As the Kitchn noted when they tapped the book for their monthly cookbook club, the recipes highlight Black and Asian techniques and flavor profiles, making for perfectly hearty fare.

Gemini: “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat

Geminis are all about duality—they’re equal parts business and party, if you will. What better way to channel this than “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat”, the groundbreaking book by Samin Nosrat that is equal part recipe trove and educational index? The first half of the book is dedicated to teaching you how cooking works, and why building on the tome’s four namesake blocks can help even the most intimidated cooks get comfortable in the kitchen. The second part? Putting your new or revamped skills to the test, with recipes that allow for endless experimentation. Given that Gemini rarely likes doing the same thing twice, that gives you plenty of room to play.

Cancer: “New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fermented Breads” by Bryan Ford

Cancers are natural homebodies, and may naturally gravitate toward the hearth. For that reason, revive your sourdough kick with “New World Sourdough” by Bryan Ford. This book goes beyond your traditional sourdough loaf—though Ford’s recipe for that is great, too— and explores the ways in which people have been baking with active cultures for centuries.

Leo: “Cravings: Hungry for More” by Chrissy Teigen

The zodiac sign voted most likely to live out in the open, Leos need a cookbook with plenty of crowd-pleasing options, and the personality to go with. For that reason, pick up a copy of “Cravings: Hungry for More” by Twitter fave Chrissy Teigen. The follow-up to her first smash-hit cookbook, this edition features the banana bread recipe that nearly drove the whole of Los Angeles to a halt as people sourced overripe bananas for Teigen’s recipe-testing. There’s also a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich with a jalepeño-and-parmesan crust (innovation, thy name is cheese) that serves as satisfying comfort food with a kick—perfect for a fire sign like Leo.

Virgo: “The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes” by Nik Sharma

Virgo is the sign that’s all about logic and organization, which means you’re probably looking for a cookbook that is as informative as it is delicious. You could opt for baking books, which showcase precise measurements and exacting chemistry…or you could pre-order “The Flavor Equation” by Nik Sharma. By breaking flavor down to different tastes and ways we experience it, Sharma helps readers deeply understand how and why ingredients work together to create something greater than the sum of the parts. 

Libra: “Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook” by Christina Tosi

Libras know the power of precision, and a baking cookbook is often stop number one for instructions listed by weight rather than metrics. “Momofuku Milk Bar” by Christina Tosi features both options for every kind of baker—and, yes, offers up the secrets to the bakery’s famous, deconstructed birthday cake. Why a dessert book rather than something a bit more… balanced? We’re in peak Libra season! Celebrate with a towering confection or three.

Scorpio: “Ottolenghi Flavor” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage

Scorpios are proudly complex, which is why you’ll want to reach for “Ottolenghi Flavor“, the new offering from culinary star Yotam Ottolenghi and Ottolenghi Test Kitchen recipe developer Ixta Belfrage. Here, you’ll find plenty of ways to build chiles and other spices for maximum effect. There’s even an entire section dedicated to condiments, sauces, and spread, in case you’re looking to turn the heat that much higher, Scorpio.

Sagittarius: “Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from my Indonesian Kitchen” by Lara Lee

I have a suspicion that plenty of Sagittarians—the jet-setters of the zodiac—spend a lot of time looking longingly through their passports, hoping that they will one day be able to travel again safely. If this is you, I’d recommend you bookmark “Coconut & Sambal”, a love letter to Indonesian cooking by Lara Lee. Out Oct. 13, this book features recipes from across Indonesia, as well as from Lee’s own home in Australia. What results is a collection based on generations of tradition, updated lovingly for your own to-cook list.

Capricorn: “Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein” by Joe Yonan

A Capricorn is capable, strategic, and resourceful, which is why a cookbook dedicated to one powerhouse ingredient is perfect for the sea goat. For that reason, take on “Cool Beans” by Joe Yonan (which is also the Kitchn’s current cookbook club pick!), a book dedicated to beans that might finally convince you to soak your own beans more often than you reach for the can. It also proves that beans are far from boring, with dishes that pay tribute to cultural traditions from around the globe. 

Aquarius: “Cooking Solo: The Fun of Cooking for Yourself” by Klancy Miller

Aquarians are free thinkers and all about the party-of-one, which is why they’ll particularly vibe with a cookbook like “Cooking Solo” by Klancy Miller. Far from the “single microwave meals” of yore, these recipes are all about making just enough for yourself—which means you’ll get to mix things up for your next meal rather than tap leftovers (again). 

Pisces: “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible: Over 250 Classic Recipes” by Mary Berry

This watery sign is all about fantasy, and what’s dreamier than (lots and lots of) dessert? But Pisceans also need to stay grounded lest they swim away, which is why “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” will take you back to the basics. It boasts over 250 recipes for cakes, cookies, and scones, as well as some of the treats you’ve seen on “Great British Bake-Off”. You’re under no pressure here, Pisces—your only challenge will be making enough for everyone in your life.