These are recipe books that have changed the way I cook & eat. They taught me my entire memorised repertoire, all of my fancy tricks, and I owe them a whole heap of thanks – so here it is.
- Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food to Warm the Soul by Diane Henry.
- How to Feed Your Friends with Relish by Joanna Weinberg.
A book of meals that you can whip up at short notice, with minimum effort – so you can relax & enjoy your family and guests. The first section is entirely dedicated to preparation, with a brilliant list of what to keep in the pantry at home. Chapters include ‘supper around the kitchen table’, ‘picnics’, ‘cooking for comfort’ and ‘weekending with friends’.
What it taught me: to chill the eff out and enjoy myself
Fave recipe: rack of lamb with tiny roast potatoes and garlicked canellini.
- A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen this book cropping up on lots of people’s feeds. With good reason; it’s truly brilliant, & Anna’s even an IG user herself! The premise is pretty perfect – modern food for modern families trying to eat less meat, more good stuff and not compromise on taste or variety.
What it taught me: To be less skeptical about certain ‘hippie’/eco ingredients!
Fave recipe: coconut and vanilla loaf cake or lime & chipotle black bean tacos
- Apples for Jam: Recipes for Life / Falling Cloudberries / Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found/ anything by Tessa Kiros.
Tessa’s books are as much travel memoirs and photo stories as they are recipe compendiums. That said, these books are all jam-packed with fantastic, never-fail recipes – so many that even now, years on, I’ve probably only cooked about half. When life feels a bit flat & tired, I come home, cook a new Tessa Kiros, and pretend I’m on holiday somewhere glorious.
What it taught me: My entire kickass pasta repertoire, and the joy of weaving food, photography and story.
Fave recipe: Angel hair pasta with feta and zucchini, or beef stew with red wine and carrots and herb infused mash.
- The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings
I feel like including this is almost a cliche now, but of course, it’s a really great book. Ok, occasionally it gets a bit carried away with the fancypants ingredient combos, but there are some real gems, and the pictures make me feel excited about food and friends and LIFE. It’s Kinfolk at its best.
What it taught me: To wear a linen apron & gaze moodily out of a window whenever I cook 😉
Fave recipe: Steel-cut Irish oatmeal with peanut butter, honey and cinnamon. Why did I never think of this?!
A collection of recipes collected from the snowiest places in the world, this is the cookbook book I wish I had written. Curse you, Diane. The sections are divided by typical winter gluts and preserves – berries, nuts and seeds, apples, winter vegetables, except she names them evocative things like ‘gathering in’, ‘from hedgerow and bog’ and ‘earthly pleasures’. A cozy book full of cozy food.
What it taught me: That eating seasonally in winter doesn’t need to be boring
Fave recipe: Smoked haddock and leek risotto. Never fails!
PS. The beautiful spoons in the above shots were handcarved by Sophie at Grain & Knot! Thanks Sophie x