The best food & gardening books of the month

Around the Table: Delicious Food for Every Day by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Hands up if you have not fallen in love with the delightful Melbourne- based Julia Busuttil Nishimura yet? Her latest cookbook will soon fix that. Julia has received considerable and worthy praise for her practical and delicious recipes, designed for easy family meals and for occasions when all your friends visit. It all works a treat because Julia has pulled together influences from all over: recipes from her time in Italy and Japanese dishes she has learned from her husband, Nori. Around the Table is designed to be used all year round with treats for afternoon tea (ginger cake) or for family meals (herbed roast chicken). It’s the type of book you’ll grab because you want simplicity at mealtimes, but also because there is something about Julia’s capacity for joy that is infectious and generous. Around the Table is the best of Melbourne all in one delicious package.

Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect by Olia Hercules

In a recent interview in the Guardian, London- based Ukrainian cook Olia Hercules mentioned that in Ukraine, there is not a tradition of therapy as such, but there is a practice of sharing food. She does not know when she will be able to visit her home country, but in London, she has pooled all her resources together to create the impressive and successful movement #CookForUkraine, with proceeds directed to UNICEF’s efforts to support Ukrainian families and children. Hercules is that type of person and her recipes in Home Food attest to her spirit of generosity and kindness. These recipes from all over the world are about comfort and sharing, and for the most part, are all easy to create. When more technical skills are required, there are QR codes that take you straight to Olia’s kitchen where she shows you exactly what to do (so sensible). This is a beautiful cookbook with wonderful chapters including my personal favourite: ‘Potatoes and cabbage: the food that shaped me’. Add Home Food to your collection because it raises money for Ukraine, and because the recipes are comforting and inspire connection, no matter where we are from and where we end up.

Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour

Sabrina Ghayour is an Iranian-born, self- taught home cook- turned-chef, cookery teacher and food writer. She made her name hosting the hugely popular ‘Sabrina’s Kitchen’ supper club in London, specialising in Persian and Middle Eastern flavour; think set menus, candlelight, tastes and aromas mixing in one delicious and fortifying experience. This cookbook is a treat for the senses and plays considerable homage to the joy of a shared meal. At my place we have fallen in love with the small dishes such as the ‘flavour bomb beans on toast’ and ‘courgette, apple and peanut and feta salad with basil and pul biber (Aleppo pepper flakes)’. The trick here is not to be frightened of bold flavours, but to jump on board and use that rosewater, those cumin seeds and feta cheese with confidence. And do not forget to light those candles!

Chris Gordon is the community engagement and programming manager for Readings

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Around the Table: Delicious Food for Every Day

Around the Table: Delicious Food for Every Day

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

$44.99Buy now

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