Cookbook trends to look forward to in 2019

As world politics bring more despair to us all, our yearning for the simple things in life like meals with family and friends will increase. We will look for ways to make our life easier and more considerate. Consequently, the food we prepare will be kind to the environment and nurturing to our souls. This year the flavours will be unpretentious, the ingredients will be local and you will be using cooking techniques that your great, great grandparents used. Proof in the pudding of this theme is the enormous success last year of Ottolenghi’s Simple. You’ll need to line up your household tools and ensure you have a trough, a watering can, a ball of twine and secateurs because this year you are going to be cooking with your very own garden ingredients. You will also need a barbeque for grilling meat or faux meat alongside sliced vegetables flavoured only by fire, fat and salt.

This year plenty more cookbooks will be vegetarian-based, although they won’t be using that word in the title. For example, David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl’s Little Green Kitchen (April) focuses on simple and comforting dishes that are easy to like, adapt and cook. Ingredients have been minimised so that everyone will find the recipes inspiring and useful. Whole by Harriet Birrell (aka Natural Harry), out this month, also strikes the perfect balance between healthy, humble and satisfying food. The philosophy these books share is about enjoying friends and family while keeping meal times effortless and meat-free.

Ross Dobson’s latest cookbook Weekend BBQ (March) is also about guaranteeing a straightforward approach to cooking. A barbecue is the seamless way to gather friends together and to honour cooking and eating outdoors. Drawing on culinary influences from around the globe, including Asia, the Middle East and Europe, plus oldschool favourites, ensures Dobson’s book is absolutely part of the present zeitgeist.

Joining the trend for wonderful pared down meals is Morgan McGlynn’s brilliant The Modern Cheesemaker (March). The aim of this charming book is to show you how to make delicious cheeses such as halloumi, pecorino, mozzarella and paneer at home. Who knew it was so easy? And look out for the ultimate baking guide with Margaret Fulton’s Baking Classics (April). With her easy instructions and reliable tips you can impress everyone with your light Victoria sponge, scones and brownies.

There will be cookbooks on creating the perfect sauerkraut; there will be books on food options for mending your gut. There will also be pages and pages dedicated to cauliflowers (the new wonder food), Hawaiian food, and an extraordinary range of grains. It will be the year we hanker to create and share our locally grown food. It will be in those shared moments that the outside world will seem far away

Chris Gordon is the events manager for Readings.



Harriet Birrell

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