The perfect cookbooks of 2023 up to now – rokodromo

The perfect cookbooks of 2023 up to now

Ravinder Bhogal, a renowned chef and food writer, was raised in Kenya by Indian parents. Her love for vegetables began early, inspired by her grandfather’s lush garden and the vibrant produce from local women growers. In her new vegetarian cookbook, Bhogal showcases her passion, claiming that “vegetables are the soul of the kitchen,” offering endless creative possibilities. The book includes tempting recipes such as hot and sour sweetcorn risotto with lime leaf butter, and mango and ‘golden coin’ curry. Bhogal, who moved to the multicultural environment of London at a young age, weaves her rich heritage and diverse experiences throughout the book. For those who appreciate innovative, cross-cultural recipes filled with warmth and affection, Bhogal’s book is a treasure.

books on brown wooden shelf

Recipe to try: Sweet and sour dal with chickpea flour pasta rags.

Interesting fact: Lime leaf salt can significantly enhance a tomato salad.

Published by: Bloomsbury (£26).

The Flavour Thesaurus: More Flavours

Niki Segnit’s third book, following her acclaimed The Flavour Thesaurus, delves into the intricacies of plant-based flavour pairings. Segnit aims to impart the joy of understanding and experimenting with flavours. Despite its scholarly depth, the book is written with a lively and humorous tone, making it an essential resource for any kitchen.

Recipe to try: Neri miso, a blend of miso, honey, and sake, celebrated for its balanced extremes of saltiness and sweetness.

Interesting fact: During World War II in Italy, barley coffee (caffe d’orzo) gained popularity due to coffee bean shortages.

Published by: Bloomsbury (£20), available at Blackwells.

Love is a Pink Cake

Claire Ptak, owner of East London’s Violet Bakery and former Chez Panisse pastry chef, has crafted a beautiful cookbook that reflects her dual heritage. Featuring recipes like black tea poppy seed muffins from California and apricot, chamomile, and honey scones from her English home, Ptak celebrates seasonal baking and highlights her favorite growers. The book is packed with tips to enhance your baking confidence and technique.

Recipe to try: Pistachio green plum cake with candied violets.

Interesting fact: Early in his career, Andy Warhol illustrated a cookbook by etiquette expert Amy Vanderbilt.

Published by: Square Peg (£22), available at Blackwells.

Notable Releases

Vietnamese Vegetarian

Food writer, photographer, and supper club cook Uyen Luu presents a stunning book celebrating the harmonious blend of sweet, sour, hot, umami, and bitter flavors. The vibrant and joyful recipes range from tapioca dumplings with sweet lime sauce to lemongrass noodle soup.

Recipe to try: Green papaya salad with pomelo, apple, and artichoke.

Interesting fact: In Vietnam, the equivalent of asking ‘how are you’ is ‘have you eaten rice yet?’

Published by: Hardie Grant (£25), available at Waterstones.

50 Pies, 50 States

Stacey Mei Yan Fong’s book is a heartfelt homage to America through pie, reflecting her 17 years in the USA. With recipes like the classic Florida key lime pie and Montana’s pasty-inspired pie with buffalo stew and cherry filling, this book explores American culture through its pies.

Recipe to try: Honey peach pie with pecan crumble topping.

Interesting fact: Washington State produces nearly half of the USA’s apples.

Published by: Voracious (£30), available at Blackwells from June 29.

Simply Scandinavian

Copenhagen-based chef Trine Hahnemann offers a collection of straightforward, seasonal recipes perfect for weeknight dinners. The book’s design is as simple and pleasing as the recipes, which include roast pork loin in vermouth and autumn pear pie with hazelnut pastry.

Recipe to try: Chicken breasts in curry sauce with grapes.

Interesting fact: Potato pancakes are a traditional dish at Norwegian weddings.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at WHSmith from June 8.

For The Love of the Sea II

Compiled by food writer Jenny Jefferies, this book celebrates the British seafood community with recipes from fishmongers, restaurateurs, and foragers. Emphasizing sustainability and the contributions of the seafood industry to national food security, it features diverse dishes like oat fried herring and champagne oysters.

Recipe to try: Pale smoked haddock scotch egg.

Interesting fact: Cornish sea salt contains over 60 naturally occurring minerals.

Published by: Meze Publishing (£22), available at Blackwells.

Tandoori Home Cooking

Maunika Gowardhan’s second book brings the vibrant flavors of Indian tandoori cooking to home kitchens. Her recipes, such as aubergine tikkas in creamy yogurt, mustard, chili, and ginger, are well-balanced and vibrant, with tips like the ‘double marinade technique.’

Recipe to try: Aubergine tikkas in creamy yogurt, mustard, chili, and ginger.

Interesting fact: Traditional tandoor walls are reinforced with straw.

Published by: Hardie Grant (£25), available at Waterstones from May 4.

The Pepperpot Diaries

Andi Oliver’s book celebrates the rich diversity of Caribbean cuisine, influenced by the islands’ history. Featuring recipes like tea-brined spiced chicken and sticky star fruit pork chops, Oliver’s book offers a personal and vibrant exploration of Caribbean food.

Recipe to try: Aromatic shrimp curry.

Interesting fact: Short ribs taste exceptionally good when cooked in cola.

Published by: DK (£27), available at WHSmith from April 27.

Honey

Amy Newsome’s debut book is a tribute to bees and honey, spanning the beekeeper’s year and showcasing honey’s versatility in the kitchen. With recipes like smoked lime and honey chicken and lemon pollen pie, it highlights honey’s culinary potential.

Recipe to try: Gochujang apricot sticky wings.

Interesting fact: Honeybees’ body hair has the perfect electrical charge to attract pollen grains.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at Waterstones from May 11.

Pomegranates & Artichokes

Saghar Setareh, originally from Iran and now living in Italy, shares the culinary traditions of her two homes. This visually stunning book captures the migration of ingredients and recipes between these regions, with dishes like saffron roast chicken stuffed with dried fruit.

Recipe to try: Saffron roast chicken stuffed with dried fruit.

Interesting fact: Iran is the world’s largest producer of pistachios.

Published by: Murdoch Books (£26), available at Amazon from May 4.

Mom Tongue: Flavours of a Second Generation

Gurdeep Loyal’s debut book joyfully explores British-Indian cuisine, featuring inventive recipes like sticky treacle and kokum chicken lollipops. Loyal’s engaging writing offers insights into innovative flavor combinations.

Recipe to try: Pear and panjiri trifle.

Interesting fact: Red Leicester cheese pairs surprisingly well with spices and sweet potatoes.

Published by: 4th Estate (£26), available at Amazon from March 2.

Andaza

Sumayya Usmani’s book is both a memoir and a cookbook, delving into her Pakistani heritage and the role of cooking in her life. The recipes are enticing, such as sour lemon, mustard seed, and garlic pulao.

Recipe to try: Sour lemon, mustard seed, and garlic pulao.

Interesting fact: Andaza means ‘estimation’ in the context of cooking by intuition.

Published by: Murdoch Books (£25), available from April 13.

Of Cabbages and Kimchi

James Read’s book on fermentation is a comprehensive guide filled with techniques and recipes suitable for both newcomers and seasoned fermenters. With adaptable methods for sauerkraut, kombucha, and more, it includes unique recipes like soy caramel dark chocolate tart.

Recipe to try: Kefir panna cotta with mandarin and thyme.

Interesting fact: In Germany, tinsel is colloquially known as ‘silver-plated sauerkraut.’

Published by: Express Books (£22), available at Waterstones.

Pasta Masterclass

Mateo Zielonka’s book is a colorful guide to pasta making, featuring techniques for various doughs and shapes. The book is filled with delightful recipes like agnolini mantovani with pumpkin and amaretti.

Recipe to try: Agnolini mantovani with pumpkin and amaretti.

Interesting fact: Scraps from pasta cutting are called maltagliati, meaning ‘poorly cut.’

Published by: Quadrille (£26), available at Amazon from April 20.

Cucina Povera

Giulia Scarpaleggia’s book celebrates rustic Italian cooking, transforming simple, seasonal ingredients into delicious meals. With recipes like chestnut flour maltagliati with porcini sauce, this book highlights the art of making do with what you have.

Recipe to try: Chestnut flour maltagliati with porcini sauce.

Interesting fact: Chestnut flour has a short shelf life and is best stored in the freezer.

Published by: Artisan (£30), available at Blackwells.

Rice Table

Su Scott’s intimate book explores the Korean-British food experience, featuring recipes ranging from innovative ferments to bold mains. The book delves into the importance of food in identity and relationships.

Recipe to try: Spicy squid salad.

Interesting fact: Many Koreans believe the touch of fingertips can influence the overall harmony of a dish’s flavor.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at Waterstones from March 30.

Salt of the Earth

Carolina Doriti’s book is a rich celebration of Greek cuisine, filled with authentic and historical insights.

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