FOOD: Daily Mail's selection of 2023's best cookbooks
Mary Berry goes back to basics, while Jamie Oliver gets tasty in record time – and Nadiya spices up your life in our selection of 2023’s best cookbooks
Mary Makes it Easy
by Mary Berry (BBC Books £28, 288pp)
Dame Mary’s latest book is full of useful time-saving tips, tricks and shortcuts to make your life easier.
Her food is elegant yet uncomplicated, with recipes such as chicken legs with smoky bulgur wheat, or a roasted vegetable wellington, and, of course, there are plenty of divine cakes. You’ll want to cook it all.
5 Ingredients Mediterranean
by Jamie Oliver (Michael Joseph £28, 320pp)
Jamie Oliver roams all around the Mediterranean for his latest five ingredients book, with dishes ranging from garlicky Moroccan pasta to Greek lemon tzatziki chicken. This is a great collection of super-speedy meals with, as Jamie says, ‘big flavours at its heart’.
Mary Berry with her Beef and Aubergine Filo Pie in the studio kitchen for Mary Makes It Easy, Oxfordshire
Jamie Oliver, author of 5 ingredients Mediterranean, pictured with roast potatoes
Mary Makes it Easy by Mary Berry (BBC Books £28, 288pp) and 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver (Michael Joseph £28, 320pp)
Rick Stein’s Simple Suppers
(BBC Books £28, 320pp)
Rick Stein decided to write this book when he was recovering from surgery in hospital and dreaming of good, simple food. Highlights include mushroom and thyme tart, prawn and fennel risotto, beef bibimbap, and Black Forest Eton mess.
Most dishes can be made in under an hour — perfect for time-pressed cooks.
Cucina di Amalfi
by Ursula Ferrigno (Ryland Peters & Small £20, 192pp)
Revelling in the food of Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast, this sunny book features dishes passed down through the author’s family. Recipes include savoury ricotta pie, spaghetti with lobster sauce, sweet and sour courgettes, skewered lamb parcels, and the famous Amalfi lemon tart. Mediterranean food at its most enticing.
Finch Bakery Disco Bakes & Party Cakes
by Lauren and Rachel Finch (DK £20, 224pp)
If you like your bakes colourful and over-the-top, this will tick all the boxes. The Finch sisters pull out all the stops with sweet treats such as a caramel latte cake, brownie scotch eggs, red velvet cheesecake blondies and crème brûlée cookies. Perfect for special occasions, these are showstoppers for confident bakers.
Nadiya Hussain is pictured posing for her cook book Nadiya’s Simple Spices
Rick Stein’s Simple Suppers (BBC Books £28, 320pp), Cucina di Amalfi by Ursula Ferrigno (Ryland Peters & Small £20, 192pp), and Finch Bakery Disco Bakes & Party Cakes by Lauren and Rachel Finch (DK £20, 224pp)
The Pepperpot Diaries
by Andi Oliver (DK £27, 288pp)
Broadcaster and chef Andi Oliver describes Caribbean food as ‘constantly evolving and bursting with flavour’. This warm, chatty book mixes tales from her own life with recipes from all over the Caribbean; highlights are chocolate curry goat, green banana and coconut dumplings, and a spicy rice pudding. A delightful guide to this vibrant cuisine.
by Tom Kerridge (Bloomsbury £27, 272pp)
Pub food used to be awful, but how times have changed. Tom Kerridge — owner of two Michelinstarred pubs — shows how to make more than 100 pub classics such as prawn cocktail, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and roast pork belly, plus a range of sweet tarts and pies. His extra touches elevate these familiar dishes to something special.
The Pepperpot Diaries by Andi Oliver (DK £27, 288pp) and Pub Kitchen by Tom Kerridge (Bloomsbury £27, 272pp)
Nadiya’s Simple Spices
by Nadiya Hussain (Michael Joseph £26, 240pp)
TV star Nadiya goes back to her roots here, recreating the dishes she ate when growing up. Combining just eight different spices, she creates centrepieces including beef lemon balti, duck egg bhuna and an unusual watermelon rind curry. With tempting side dishes and sweet treats such as kulfi ice cream bars, this is fragrant, filling, family food.
by Emiko Davies (Smith Street Books £26, 256pp)
‘Gohan’ means rice in Japanese, as well as ‘everyday home-cooked meals’. This charming book, full of anecdotes and family stories, is a collection of accessible recipes such as tempura vegetable fritters, miso eggplant and marinated fried mackerel. Sweet dishes include a pretty, green matcha tiramisu. Japanese food, Davies promises, ‘is quick and remarkably simple.’
by Amelia Christie-Miller (Kyle Books £22, 192pp)
Packed with protein, low in calories and cheap to buy, beans are invaluable in salads, dips, soups, stews and as an accompaniment to meat. Stand-out recipes here include a smoky black bean bake, stuffed chicken with truffle beans, mascarpone braised beans and a butter bean dauphinoise. No wonder the author calls beans ‘the world’s best food’.
Bold Beans by Amelia Christie-Miller (Kyle Books £22, 192pp) and Nadiya’s Simple Spices by Nadiya Hussain (Michael Joseph £26, 240pp)
by Alexina Anatole (Square Peg £27, 240pp)
Writing in praise of bitterness may seem odd, but Masterchef finalist Alexina Anatole loves the ‘complexity, depth, dimension and nuance’ of bitter food. She proves her point with unusual dishes like burnt aubergine dip, chicory gratin, braised pork shoulder with ginger and liquorice, and a decadent bitter chocolate torte with passion fruit sauce. An excitingly original book.
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen
by Imad Alarnab (HQ £26, 256pp)
The author of this heartfelt cookbook fled war-torn Syria in 2015 and now runs his own restaurant in London. Syrians ‘show their love through cooking’, and from mezze and dips to katif ghanam, a spiced lamb shoulder, and eawaama, doughnuts in date molasses, Imad Alarnab’s enticing recipes are suffused with nostalgia for the country he left behind.
Bitter by Alexina Anatole (Square Peg £27, 240pp) and Imad’s Syrian Kitchen by Imad Alarnab (HQ £26, 256pp)
The Art of Friday Night Dinner
by Eleanor Steafel (Bloomsbury £26, 288pp)
Passionate foodie Eleanor Steafel recommends celebrating the start of the weekend with sophisticated comfort food such as pork chops with quince butter, brown-butter mashed potatoes or a hot tahini fudge sundae. Interspersed with amusing accounts of her disastrous dates and a list of favourite cocktails, this is also a fun read — 20-somethings will love it.
A New Way to Bake
by Philip Khoury (Hardie Grant £30, 256pp)
The head pastry chef at Harrods, Philip Khoury shows off his considerable skill with sweet treats including silky extra-virgin olive oil cake, triple chocolate cake and a spicy sweet potato pie, as well as biscuits and buns. These delicious recipes are all vegan, with no eggs, butter or cream in sight — and the results are superb.
The Secret of Cooking
by Bee Wilson (4th Estate £28, 432pp)
Aiming to make cooking ‘less of a drag and more of a joy’, this is full of delectable recipes. Best of all, though, are Wilson’s suggested shortcuts, her reassuring advice and her musings on how to be relaxed about your cooking. She writes so well that even a chapter devoted to carrots is gripping. An outstanding book.
The Art of Friday Night Dinner by Eleanor Steafel (Bloomsbury £26, 288pp) and The Secret of Cooking by Bee Wilson (4th Estate £28, 432pp)
James Martin’s Spanish Adventure
(Quadrille £27, 256pp)
There’s so much more to Spanish food than tapas, as TV chef James Martin demonstrates here. Travelling around Spain, he showcases dishes such as Seville escabeche mackerel, slow-cooked pork with Beluga lentils, and a classic burnt Basque cheesecake. A handsomely illustrated celebration of Spanish regional cooking at its best.
Baking for Pleasure
by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion £26, 256pp)
These are the dishes that pastry chef and Junior Bake Off judge Ravneet Gill cooks for her family and friends. Her crowd-pleasing treats include a tiered celebration pavlova, brown butter and honey tart and rum and raisin pudding; there are also savoury bakes such as chicken and Marmite pie. This is the best kind of comfort food.
James Martin’s Spanish Adventure (Quadrille £27, 256pp) and Baking for Pleasure by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion £26, 256pp)
by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant £26, 224pp)
Influenced by the cuisine of Sicily, North Africa and Greece, Malta’s food is based around fresh vegetables, seafood and pasta. With photos of the island and recipes for traditional dishes including spinach and tuna pie, whitebait fritters, stuffed artichokes and a zingy orange tart, this book offers a burst of pure Mediterranean warmth.
by Sabrina Ghayour (Aster £26, 240pp)
Known for her Persian-influenced cooking, Sabrina Ghayour has a knack for colourful, intensely flavoured, no-fuss recipes. There are some spectacular light dishes here, such as a harissa broccoli and black rice salad, plus heartier ones such as a layered vegetable and feta bake and lamb with tahini garlic yoghurt. Perfect for relaxed family suppers.
by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant £25, 224pp)
This beautifully produced book demystifies Vietnamese cooking with recipes for wontons and dumplings (you can buy ready-made wrappers for them), stir fries, curries, soups, stews and pancakes. Whether it’s the lemongrass noodle soup, vegetable curry puffs or mung bean dumplings in sweet ginger syrup, Luu’s recipes are full of delicious flavours and textures.
Malta by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant £26, 224pp), Flavour by Sabrina Ghayour (Aster £26, 240pp), and Vietnamese Vegetarian by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant £25, 224pp)
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