15 of the best new cookbooks from this spring

Cookbook lovers, you’re in for a treat. Food writer Mark Diacono has thoroughly browsed dozens of releases from the last few months to bring you the delicious. edit of the best new cookbooks. Each includes a must-make recipe pick – and a curious fact that gives you a flavour of the book…

Discover sunny ideas inspired by Greek, Turkish and Italian traditions; heartfelt celebrations of cookery from Britain, Palestine and Ukraine; and unabashed celebrations of steak, fruit and brunch. Plus: we’ve got in-depth guides to baking and Korean street food, alongside ideas for tempting desserts and great everyday meals. These new titles – by top food names including Georgina Hayden, Tom Kerridge, Theo Randall and Anna Jones – will provide fresh inspiration in spades (and all make great gifts, too). Happy reading!

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15 of the best new cookbooks from this spring

Top cookbook picks

Fruitful

Formerly of California’s Chez Panisse and now London’s Spring restaurant and Heckfield Place in Hampshire, Sarah Johnson’s heritage of farm-to- fork cookery translates beautifully to the pages of her first book. It’s full of desserts I could eat every day – the apricot and muscat tart, and hazelnut and pear cake immediately caught my eye. There are enticing preserves such as blackcurrant conserve with rose geranium, and appealing mains like lemony chicken piccata and slow-cooked salmon with pickled rhubarb relish. Chapters include Stone Fruit and Berries (which encourages substitution, using raspberries in place of blackberries and so on). Perhaps my favourite thing about Fruitful is the many thoughtful touches: the use of leaves (peach, fig) to embellish, season and add contrast is particularly pleasing in recipes like roasted figs on fig leaves. The recipes are punctuated by stories from fruit farmers in this inventive, elegant book. Published by Kyle Books and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£30). Photographs by Patricia Niven.

Fruitful by Sarah Johnson

I didn’t know that… The loganberry (a blackberry and raspberry hybrid) was developed in a private garden in Santa Cruz, California.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Lemon curd tart (below).

Lemon curd tart from Fruitful by Sarah Johnson

 

Sift

Pastry chef Nicola Lamb’s first book is a masterclass in baking. Chapters like ‘All About Flour’ and ‘How To Build A Bake’ help you understand why something did or didn’t happen and what to do about it. There’s just enough science, delivered with an incision that illuminates the invisible elements of the baking process. If you bought this book only for the base recipes – tart pastry and the like – it would be worth it. The recipe chapters, however, organised by duration – afternoon bakes, day-long projects and weekend undertakings – cover everything from amazing gateaux to simple biscuits.

I couldn’t not make the miso walnut double-thick chocolate-chip cookies: they’re even better than they sound. A remarkable book, written with an enthusiasm that has you embracing what once seemed intimidating. Published by Ebury Press and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£30). Photographs by Sam A Harris.

Sift by Nicola Lamb

I didn’t know that… Autolyse – the resting after mixing flour with water which helps gluten develop – is a French word for ‘self-digestion’ or ‘self-breaking down’.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Brown sugar custard tart (below).

Brown sugar custard tart from Sift by Nicola Lamb

 

Greekish

Award-winning food writer and delicious. favourite Georgina Hayden delivers again with 120 vibrant recipes that transport appetite and mind to the sunny Med. Inspired by her Greek-Cypriot roots and travels, the recipes and combinations are often familiar, but only to a point – hence the title. Hayden’s recipes – brilliant breakfasts, appetising small plates and salads, and I-want- that-now desserts – are as reliable and inspiring as ever, with her usual emphasis on flavour and minimal fuss. There really is so much to enjoy: when I was eating the simple genius of whole grilled halloumi with apricots, I couldn’t help anticipate the spanakopita jacket potatoes to come. I love a book that’s a full, unpretentious expression of its author and Greekish is just that. As Hayden says, “These Greekish dishes are all me,” and that springs off every page. Published by and available from Bloomsbury; also available from Amazon (£26). Photographs by Laura Edwards.

Greekish by Georgina Hayden

I didn’t know that… I’ve been missing out on barbecued olives all my life.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Lamb shank fricassée with preserved lemon (below).

Lamb shank fricassee from Greekish by Georgina Hayden

 

The best of the rest

Tom Kerridge Cooks Britain

In his latest book, Kerridge takes us on a journey celebrating the best of British produce. The chapters on Vegetables, Dairy, Meat & Poultry and so on encourage us to embrace the best of the season: expect seasonal delights such as asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise, and peas with burrata and herb oil, with the emphasis on simplicity. As much as Kerridge is appreciated for his pub food, his ability to translate that cooking to recipes that suit our domestic kitchens is quite something: there’s not a recipe here I don’t want to cook. Published by and available from Bloomsbury Absolute; also available from Amazon (£25). Photographs by Cristian Barnett.

Tom Kerridge Cooks Britain

I didn’t know that... Turnips can make the most incredible gratin.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Red mullet with fennel, chorizo and chickpeas (below).

Red mullet from Tom Kerridge Cooks Britain

 

The Authentic Ukrainian Kitchen

Yevhen Klopotenko, winner of Ukraine’s MasterChef, shares 100 recipes that celebrate his country’s traditions and culture. Chapters include Borsch, with numerous variations reflecting its elevated status in Ukraine. The book is heavy with classic ingredients and intriguing combinations, including borsch with pork ribs and smoked pears; halushky (dumplings) with sour cherries; and lvivsky syrnyk, a cheesecake with chocolate glaze, while the introductions build a picture of modern Ukraine, its food culture, history and people. Published by Robinson and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£26). Photographs by Dima Bahta and Vladyslav Nahornyi.

The Authentic Ukrainian Kitchen by Yevhen Klopotenko

I didn’t know that… ‘How to cook buckwheat’ was the most common food-related search in the country in recent years.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Cherry torte with walnuts (below).

Cherry torte with walnuts from The Authentic Ukrainian Kitchen by Yevhen Klopotenko

 

Bethlehem

Franco-Palestinian chef and hotelier Fadi Kattan’s first book fully lives up to its subtitle, A Celebration Of Palestinian Food. Organised into seasons, recipes include classic ingredients such as lamb, chickpeas, yogurt, cumin and sumac – along with less familiar purslane and mastic. Essays introduce us to friends, family and Kattan’s life in Bethlehem, as well as, for example, the importance of bread in Palestine. Recipes such as manakish (flatbreads) with fresh and dried tomatoes, parsley cream and olive oil made my mouth water. A hungry-making book. Published by Hardie Grant and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£28). Photographs by Ashley Lima.

Bethlehem by Fadi Kattan
I didn’t know that… The Dead Sea has been dropping at a rate of over a metre a year.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Aubergines roasted with tahinia (below).

Aubergines roasted with tahinia from Bethlehem by Fadi Kattam

 

Verdura

The subtitle – 10 Vegetables, 100 Italian Recipes – tells you all you need to know about the structure and much about the simplicity of chef Theo Randall’s latest book. Potato recipes include celeriac, potato and turnip rosti; potato cjarson (like ravioli) with peas, asparagus and butter; and tomato, aubergine and potato al forno with mozzarella. With his celebrated CV, you’ll be unsurprised by the excellence of Randall’s recipes – a glorious mix of comforting (baked eggs with zucchini and spinach) and bright, such as zucchini, fennel and radish salad with walnuts and pecorino. Published by Quadrille and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£28). Photographs by Lizzie Mayson.

Verdura by Theo Randall

I didn’t know that… Ciambotta is a southern Italian vegetable stew.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Grilled marinated aubergines with chilli and mint (below).

Grilled marinated aubergines from Verdura by Theo Randall

 

Cold Kitchen: A Year of Culinary Journeys

There are few with Caroline Eden’s ability to convey the particularities of people, place and landscapes through food. In her fourth book, Eden uses a dozen recipes from her travels through Central Asia, Turkey, Ukraine, the South Caucasus, Russia, the Baltics and Poland to contemplate food’s perhaps unique ability to connect us to other cultures, communities and individuals. This honest, personal food memoir takes the reader from Eden cooking the recipes in her Edinburgh basement kitchen to a Russian railway for pies, Latvian capital Riga for dark beer and rye pudding, and much more besides. A special book to read, cook from and be transported by. Published by and available from Bloomsbury; also available from Amazon (£18.99). Unillustrated.

Cold Kitchen by Caroline Eden

I didn’t know that… Riga Central Market was constructed using former Zeppelin aircraft hangars.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Teahouse brittle with nuts and cherries.

 

Steak: The Whole Story

If anyone was going to write a love letter to steak, who better than food writer and broadcaster Tim Hayward. His book takes the reader on a journey through butchery and cuts to cooking techniques (traditional and new), and has plenty of recipes. The writing is characteristically lively, entertaining and full of love for the subject. In examining the historical, cultural and social significance of steak, Hayward doesn’t shy away from discussing issues of sustainability and how we might better source our meat. If you’re seeking an unashamedly nerdy guide to everything steak has to offer, this is it. Published by Quadrille and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£30). Photographs by Sam Folan.

Steak by Tim Hayward

I didn’t know that… In the US a sirloin steak is known as strip steak or New York strip.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Steak diane (below).

Steak diane from Steak by Tim Hayward

 

Brunch in London

Brought together by OnePlate, a charity working with the hospitality industry to fund sustainable food projects for children across Africa and Asia, this book includes 100 brunch dishes from restaurants including St John, Hoppers and Pophams, and by chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi and Angela Hartnett. Whether it’s french toast by Nopi or Hoppers’ omelette curry, you’ll not be short of exceptional midmorning inspiration. This beautiful window into London’s brunch scene is available via OnePlate’s website, with 100% of the profits funding food security projects for children. Published by and available from OnePlate (£34.95). Photographs by Georgia Gold.

Brunch in London by OnePlate

I didn’t know that… More than 70% of Cambodians survive on less than $3 a day.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Anna Jones’ turmeric dal eggs (below).

Anna Jones' turmeric dal eggs from Brunch in London by OnePlate

 

Pocha

In her second book, food writer Su Scott explores the street food of Seoul, where she grew up. A pocha (short for pojangmacha) is a small, tarpaulin-covered cart serving simple Korean food, which Scott invokes in the 80 recipes that span the entire day, from breakfast treats to late night snacks. The food and location photography are as vibrant as the recipes, together conveying the spirit and distinctiveness of Seoul’s 24/7 street food scene. I loved the fresh kimchi, turmeric pickled radish and candied sweet potato – the latter from the genius 4pm Slump chapter. So much is simple yet utterly appealing. Published by Quadrille and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£27). Photographs by Toby Scott.

Pocha by Su Scott

I didn’t know that… According to Korean folklore, the colour red is feared by ghosts.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Corn cheese with chilli and lime (below).

Corn cheese with chilli and lime from Pocha by Su Scott

 

Easy Wins

Once again, bestselling author Anna Jones shows us how deliciously pleasure-giving thoughtful modern vegetarian food can be. Taking 12 ‘hero’ ingredients (lemons, tahini, olive oil and so on) Jones offers us 132 ‘easy win’ recipes for 365 days of the year. Simplicity is a seam that runs through the book, as is helpfulness. Tips, tricks and rules build confidence over the pages: the importance of ‘the final layer’ (crispy sage, salsa verde, herbs) is one of many. Somehow Jones makes even the simplest recipes, such as lemon soda bread, miso rarebit, and leeks and peas with spiced mustard butter, taste special.
Published by and available via 4th Estate; also available from Amazon (£28). Photographs by Matt Russell.

Easy Wins by Anna Jones
I didn’t know that… Homemade mustard tastes so good.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Hot lemon and bay pudding (below).

Hot lemon bay pudding from Easy Wins by Anna Jones

 

Sebze

Food writer Özlem Warren’s second book is a warm, joyful celebration of Turkish food that happens to be vegetarian (sebze is Turkish for vegetable). I loved the street food recipes so much, I ate enough of the nohut dürümü – spiced chickpea wrap with piyaz salad – for two. The casseroles and rice dishes look so good too, but I was particularly lost to the meze and salads. Warren’s love for the food of her home comes through as much on the plate as in her words. Published by Hardie Grant and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£28). Photographs by Sam A Harris.

Sebze by Özlem Warren

I didn’t know that… Anatolia, comprising most of today’s Turkey, is regarded as the home of wheat, as it was first cultivated here.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Cevizli, yoğurtlu, sarımsaklı havuç ve kabak – garlicky courgettes and carrots with walnuts in yogurt (below).

Cevizli, yoğurtlu, sarımsaklı havuç ve kabak – garlicky courgettes and carrots with walnuts in yogurt from Sebze by Özlem Warren

 

Italian Coastal

Amber Guinness’s second book explores the food of Italy’s west coast. Expect plates of pasta (the buttery spaghetti with bottarga, dried cured fish roe, was simple but delicious), mouthwatering salads, joyous desserts and more. You’ll also find stories, history and plenty to stir the imagination, all inspired by the area Guinness knows so well from growing up here. I loved the menu ideas and short recipes (beer and lemon granita shandy…), as happy-making as the long ones. The book is a pleasure for the eyes too. Published by and available from Amazon and Thames & Hudson (£29.99). Photographs by Saghar Setareh.

Italian Coastal by Amber Guinness

I didn’t know that… Anchovies are particularly prevalent off the coast of Campania.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Lemon, mozzarella and thyme pizzette (below).

Lemon, mozzarella and thyme pizzette from Italian Coastal by Amber Guinness

 

I’ll Bring Dessert

When I met my mum for lunch last month, she asked if I could recommend a book of desserts, with recipes that dazzled without being tricky. Food stylist, author and former Bake Off contestant Benjamina Ebuehi has created exactly that. I love tarragon with plums but had never thought of pairing them in a cobbler; the halva and smoked salt chocolate cookies were so good, yet so simple; the brown sugar and burnt butter rice pudding tasted every bit as good as I’d hoped. Whether you need a dessert for a relaxed supper or to really push the boat out, you’ll find it in this beautifully photographed book. Published by Quadrille and available from Amazon and Bookshop.org (£24). Photographs by Laura Edwards.

I'll Bring Dessert by Benjamina Ebuebi

I didn’t know that… I can eat a surprising amount of hot fudge peanut butter sauce on its own.
Recipe I can’t wait to make: Salted honey sesame tart (below).

Salted honey tart from I'll Bring Dessert by Benjamina Ebuehi

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