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
  1. Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food to Warm the Soul by Diane Henry.

  2. 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! how to feed your friends with relish
  3. 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.
  4. a modern way to eat anna jones(1)
  5. 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
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  7. 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.
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  9. 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?!

Notable mentions go to The New English Kitchen by Rose Prince, and Joie De Vivreby Robert Arbor; both books I adore and would not want to be without, that didn’t quite make this list.

What are your favourite cookbooks? What’s missing from my kitchen bookshelf?

PS. The beautiful spoons in the above shots were handcarved by Sophie at Grain & Knot! Thanks Sophie x

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  • Imogen

  • June 18, 2015

These look beautiful. I’d love to read more posts about what you cook on a daily basis, (the repertoire you refer to) if you would be willing to share! I’m a new reader by the way and your blog has already become a firm favourite

  • leonie

  • May 03, 2015

I have the Kinfolk Table and have only made one recipe from it. Time to get it off the shelf and have another look I think!

My current favourite would have to be Jerusalem by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. So many amazing flavours and everything I’ve made has been so delicious it’s been made again and again.

My biggest challenge is, living on a small island off the coast of New Zealand, some ingredients are hard to find so I very often have to find substitutes for a few things. All part of the fun though!

  • Susan M.

  • April 25, 2015

Thank you for sharing this Sara. I’m not very good at cooking… since I moved to this side of the world I’ve gained some weight and I’m looking for new ways to eat and what better way to eat my own food, so this is a total inspiration! <3

  • found and sewn

  • April 16, 2015

I love cooking from the Kinfolk table and A modern Way to Eat is wonderful!

  • Lily Panyacosit

  • April 09, 2015

So excited to read about new cookbooks! I don’t have any of these, although I have seen Kinfolk. I have been toying with making myself a linen apron, so maybe I should get Kinfolk and learn how to stare moodily out the window! 🙂 A Modern Way to Eat sounds completely up my alley! I will be checking that one out of the library for a read! xx,Lily

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 09, 2015

Yes, you’d love it! Providing you can find the ingredients in Berwick… x

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 09, 2015

Thank you Brit! Tessa’s books are brilliant. Check out thebookpeople too – they sometimes have them at a discount! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 09, 2015

What a brilliant use of the holidays! I’m heading over to your blog to see what you recommend trying next!

  • Paprika

  • April 08, 2015

I am currently using my Easter holiday to try more and more of the Kinfolk table recipes: so far I’ve tried about 15 altogether and only one didn’t work out. Good choice! I will definitely have to try some others from this list they look beautiful Xx

  • Helen Stephens

  • April 08, 2015

I’m fancying ‘A Modern Way to Eat’.

  • BritW

  • April 08, 2015

I’m in love with your blog. Thank you for the list. Can’t wait to check out Tessa Kiros’ books!

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 07, 2015

Thanks Emma! Hope you manage to find one or two that appeal – and apologies for any resulting food obsessions and weight gain the books create! Hee xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 07, 2015

I can totally see how it would end up as a look-but-don’t-cook book. The risotti is a must-try, but I also love the ‘peasant girls in the mist’ apple dessert, russian cheese pie, and Irish stew, plus so many of the christmassy bakes. Her recipe for mulled wine is the greatest, too!

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 07, 2015

Ah, sounds like perfect timing then! I’ve been clearing away pointless recipe books too. If I haven’t felt inspired to cook from it in the last 5 years, why do I insist on keeping it in the kitchen?!

  • Sara Tasker

  • April 07, 2015

I’ve never met anyone who’s heard of Roast Figs before, so it’s graifying to find other people who love it too! Thanks Abi x

  • Abi | These Four Walls blog

  • April 07, 2015

What a lovely post. Roast Figs, Sugar Snow is one of my favourites, and I have a few new ones to hunt down now!

  • Kate | Netherleigh

  • April 07, 2015

These all sound wonderful, Sara! I’ve just had a big clear out of recipe books I don’t use so there is a little room on the shelf now for one or two new volumes… 🙂

  • Sarah

  • April 06, 2015

Great list – I have a few of these 🙂 I bought Roast Figs, Sugar Snow a few years ago and although I love reading it I haven’t got round to making many of the recipes. Would love to know which ones you like other than the risotto you mention?

  • Emma @ Tales of a Greenwood

  • April 05, 2015

Love the round up. Some of these books I have never heard of, will hunt them down!

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