Bring colour to the table with our round-up of the top books devoted to what really makes us happy – good food
Words Catherine Coyle
Street Food Scotland by Ailidh Forlan
Best known for her food review Instagram Plate Expectations, food critic and writer Ailidh Forlan has travelled all over Scotland, searching out the best street food the country has to offer. Rooted in her belief that food is as much about the people who make it (and eat it) as it is about the raw ingredients themselves, she celebrates cultural tastes by area, giving us a personal travelogue peppered with anecdotes, vendor profiles and a smattering of recipes to try out at home. This is one to inspire a road trip, featuring delicious pit stops.
£20, Black & White Publishing
Greenfrest by Nigel Slater
When it comes to simple, satisfying meals, Nigel Slater’s cookbooks, including his latest, Greenfeast, are crammed with the kind of seasonal and straightforward plates that even amateur cooks will be able to handle. Here, focused on autumn and winter, the award-winning writer has compiled 110 plant-based meals that stem from his own personal ‘little black book’ of daily dishes that he jots down religiously every single day. They are moreish and flavoursome and perfect fuel for the colder months of the year.
£22, 4th Estate
365: A Year of Everyday Cooking and Baking by Meike Peters
Embracing the seasons to determine what you cook is a pretty failsafe idea. Using ingredients that are available and in their prime, whether that’s summer berries or winter root veg, makes for fresher, healthier, more environmentally friendly meals. Meike Peters has made it simple, detailing a different recipe for every day of the year. With German and Mediterranean flavours running throughout the collection, this is hearty food that makes ‘homemade’ an easy, everyday option guided by nature.
Alpine Cooking by Meredith Erickson
Since spending seven years traversing the length and breadth of the Alps, Meredith Erickson has produced a cookery book that celebrates the wonderfully adventurous places, people and menus she encountered. The acclaimed food writer has collected 80 recipes, along with tales, wine recommendations and hot spots to hit, in this country-by-country guide that is both cookbook and travelogue. If you’ve ever wondered where to get the best schnitzel or how to knock up a quick fondue, you’ll find ideas and anecdotes here that will have you dreaming of heading for the mountain tops.
£40, Ten Speed Press
From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry
Diana Henry’s latest cookbook is a collection of recipes that exemplify what she claims is her favourite way to cook – filling a roasting tin with vegetables and letting the oven do the rest. There’s a little more to it than that, of course: Henry has a distinct aptitude both for flavours and for winning combinations, but her real skill here is in making these accessible to time-starved, hungry cooks in search of wintry, seasonal inspiration. There’s a wealth of quick post-work dinners, superlative suppers with friends and weekend ideas for when you’ve got a bit more time on your hands.
£25, Mitchell Beazley
Delicious Wintertime by Markus Sämmer
Split into sections that cover most wintry eventualities (campfire recipes, thermos fillers, trail food and at home options), the meals in Markus Sämmer’s appetising cookbook are as much about coming together with friends, family and nature as they are about hearty comfort food. Sämmer, a chef, author and former ski instructor, weaves adventure with tried-and-tested takes on classic winter fare such as dumplings, homemade liqueurs and slow-cooked stews that’ll warm you up whether you’re snow-bound in a chalet or just at home on a dreich January day.