It has been a while since I last looked over new additions to my kitchen bookshelf, however, this week has seen a glut of new titles. Not all of these are brand new but they have all been published within the past few months (one is even a pre-release copy). I’ve broken these books down.
Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite
Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite looks at recipes that aim to help you eat a lighter, healthier and in many ways more interesting diet. Moving away from heavy dishes and such a reliance on meat these recipes use interesting grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and draw heavily on Middle Eastern cuisine by way of Scandinavia and Georgia.
The book is divided into seasons and then subdivided further into sections on salads, lunches and breakfast to name a few with a complete menu for each season floating around too. The recipes read easily, sound divine and are accompanied by simply beautiful photography. If anything will make you want to change your appetite, this will. (£25, Mitchell Beazley)
Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana
Middle Eastern cuisine, in many ways thanks to Ottolenghi, is now ever so popular. It is no longer viewed as overly complex with ingredients that are simply too hard to find in a UK supermarket and names that you just can’t get your head around. Sabrina Ghayour has been running a successful Persian supper club in London for years and is one of a band of rising culinary stars in the capital.
Her first book Persiana offers the sort of food that you long to eat in the summer months – fresh, colourful, exciting – and recipes are broken down into easy to follow bullet points. If you like your pomegranate and za’atar this is the book for you. (£25, Mitchell Beazley)
Sam and Sam Clark’s Morito
If your tastes are more Mediterranean (though don’t forget a little Middle Eastern can still creep in here) then perhaps the Morito cookbook will be more your thing. You just know the fabric cover will soon be covered in flour, splashes of sauce and messy finger marks but that is part of its charm. Recipes from Sam and Sam Clark are for tapas and mezze dishes such as salt cod brandada, various types of pinchos and jamon croquetas with a nice little drinks section towards the back.
The book gives you the feel of the restaurant – busy, colourful and playful. It isn’t the most beautifully produced book of the bunch layout wise but that doesn’t really matter. The recipes are easy to follow, the introductions give you a good feel for where the dishes originate and it has a great index of suppliers at the back. (£26, Ebury Press)
Valentine Warner’s What To Eat Next
Next up is Valentine Warner’s What To Eat Next. I met Val and his cookery book crew at the pub on the day they finished the photography for this latest venture. Thankfully some Tupperware was brought along too with samples of the dishes that had been cooked so I can say unequivocally that the food in this book tastes good.
This fourth book from Mr Warner is full of dishes you can make in under an hour (with one or two exceptions) and include rarely mentioned classics such as pommes aligot – a mash that is practically more cheese than it is potato and proper potted shrimps as well as simple suppers and lunches. (£20, Mitchell Beazley)
Gail’s Artisan Bakery
And finally, for today anyway, we have something for those of you who need more baked goods in your lives – the cookbook from Gail’s Artisan Bakery. Rather than seasons this book is divided into meals – breakfast, lunch, tea and supper with additional chapters on bread and the essentials (tools, techniques, standard ingredients etc). You have all the classics – scones, lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake and brownies – alongside lighter supper dishes, lunches and good old croissants, muffins and loaves.
The recipes are written as continuous prose rather than bullet points but they are still easy enough to follow and there is plenty to keep you entertained on a wet bank holiday weekend. (£20, Ebury Press)