Essential recipes from Nigel Slater, Claudia Roden and Ottolenghi: the best food books of 2021 – The Guardian

December 12, 2021 by No Comments

Med: a Cookbook
Claudia Roden
(Ebury, £28)
More than 50 years after her groundbreaking, genre-defining A Book of Middle Eastern Food, Claudia Roden has produced another triumph that this time travels around the Mediterranean. The most revered of living food writers (by me at least) has relaxed. The recipes are simple and of course immaculate, the writing is effortless. Read and cook from it often. AJ
Buy it for adding to your Claudia Roden collection
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Nigel Slater’s A Cook’s Book. Photograph: PR

A Cook’s Book
Nigel Slater
(4th Estate, £30)
Subtitled The Essential Nigel Slater, this is 500 pages of new and revisited recipes, interwoven with writing that evokes a life’s work. Of course the words are as comforting as the dishes – there’s a definitive roast chicken with roast potatoes and roasting juice. If you were to only have one Nigel Slater cookbook in your life, this is the one. AJ
Buy it for reading aloud to yourself in the kitchen
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Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love
Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi
(Ebury, £25)
In 2020, most of us finally turned to that “one shelf in the pantry”, the one full of overlooked ingredients, and tried to make a meal. The shelves of Yotam Ottolenghi and his test kitchen team, led by Noor Murad, may have been better equipped than most, but in this guide to making the most of what you have, it’s inspiration that shines, rather than reliance on fancy ingredients. HO
Buy it for the tamarind mung beans with turmeric oil; the coconut dream cake people go (coco)nuts for
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The Arabesque Table
Reem Kassis
(Phaidon, £24.95)
The follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Palestinian Table sees US-based writer Reem Kassis deep in research, tracking the food of Arab cultures across countries, communities and history. Structuring the book by ingredients allows her to explore how traditional dishes evolve depending on what was available, and how new, cross-cultural recipes are born of modern tastes, particularly evident in her desserts. HO
Buy it for the many interesting seasonal fatteh – salads based on crisp pitta
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