The best food & gardening books of the month

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One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

It seems to me that every Readings staff member has a favourite Anna Jones recipe, and for excellent reason – her instructions on cooking vegetarian meals are simple, elegant and delicious. A regular writer for the Guardian, Jones trained under Jamie Oliver and is committed to creating meals that are sustainable and stylish. Her new collection, One, features over 200 unpretentious recipes that include one-tray dinners such baked dahl with tamarind-glazed sweet potato, quick dishes like tahini broccoli on toast, as well as one-pot soups and stews. This cookbook is suitable for any home chef at any level and will inspire you to dine well with a clear conscience.


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Preserving the Italian Way by Pietro Demaio

My copy of Preserving the Italian Way is tattered and stained by its constant use. It is the one cookbook my family have used many times over. It is brought out at gatherings as if it contained all the answers to all our problems, all of the time. And to be honest, I firmly believe it does hold the golden key to a good life. First published in 2008 and with more than 45,000 copies sold, Preserving the Italian Way is essential reading for anyone who wants to preserve their own food, reduce food waste and help keep alive cultural traditions. Pietro Demaio has meticulously collected family recipes handed down for generations. Included in this new edition are recipes for cheese, sausages (really very good), bread and wine. If sitting down and sharing a meal with friends and family is your way to end a bad week, well, make room for Pietro and this new edition. This is my pick for the must have cookbook of the month.


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Sumac: Recipes and Stories from Syria by Anas Atassi

Amsterdam resident Anas Atassi says about this beautiful collection: ‘With this book, I hope to build a bridge between Syrian culture and the rest of the world, with food as common denominator. But even more, I hope that Sumac will present a positive image of my country, despite all of the unfortunate events now taking place in Syria.’ The title of this cookbook is a clue to the vibrancy of these recipes. Sumac is a deep red spice that adds an effervescent lift to all kinds of food and is a prized ingredient in both traditional and contemporary Syrian cuisine. This cookbook is perfect for those wanting to look further afield for armchair travel, to learn a little about this wonderful culture, or for those who simply wish to create feasts that fulfill their senses.


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Torta della Nonna by Emiko Davies

This is what we already know about Emiko Davies: her books are beautiful and make you yearn for long summer days under a canopy of grape vines with mountain views just there in the distance. Her latest pocket ode to Italy, Torta della Nonna brings together the best Italian sweet recipes from her past collections with a few extra treats as well. Featured are classic well-known dishes, as well as family recipes passed through generations. My family favourite is the lemon and ricotta cake, offered here as a breakfast treat but certainly very suitable for an evening dessert as well. Just serve with a glass of sweet limoncello. Add this to your cookbook collection because everyone needs a little Italian romance in their lives. I promise.


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Simple Italian: The Essentials of Italian Home Cooking by Silvia Colloca

Not only can Silvia Colloca sing opera, host a television show, parent and always look wonderful, but she can also gift you 100 simple and delicious recipes for pasta, gnocchi, risotto, bread and truly delicious cakes. This book is a stepping stone to creating your own Italian-inspired meals from scratch. With clarity and consideration, Colloca details the techniques that are at the heart of the world’s most popular cuisine. This is the type of cookbook you gift to a home chef that needs recipes that are accessible; there are no fussy ingredients or steps, but rather all the tricks of the trade for creating family-friendly meals at home.


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The Ultimate Book of Chocolate by Mélanie Dupuis

In some ways, this book does not need a review. I feel like all I need to do is say chocolate and we are all in. Perfect for our troubling times, this is a masterclass in making chocolate desserts from an expert pastry chef. It is truly a chocoholic’s dream book! Worried about world affairs? Make chocolate mousse. Concerned about the virus? Learn how to temper chocolate. Anxious about the environment? Try your hand at truffles. Chocolate trained pastry chef Mélanie Dupuis guides the reader (kindly) with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions on all the essential techniques for creating, courciving and eating chocolate. There can be no greater nor more needed cookbook.

One: Pot, Pan, Planet

One: Pot, Pan, Planet

Anna Jones

$49.99Buy now

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