Books for cooks

BBC Good Food - - Update -

Solo Food by Jan­neke Vreug­den­hil (£16.99, HQ)

After sep­a­rat­ing from her hus­band, Jan­neke, a food writer from the Nether­lands, found her­self strug­gling to find the mo­ti­va­tion to cook and lived off ‘pasta with gloop’. De­ter­mined to start tak­ing care of her­self, she re­dis­cov­ered the joy of cook­ing. Her healthy and in­ter­est­ing recipes – from soft po­lenta with mush­rooms & spinach to warm lentil salad with grilled goat’s cheese – and hon­est, funny writ­ing make this a bril­liant book for any­one cook­ing for one. Must-try recipe Quick aubergine & lamb curry with warm naans.

At My Ta­ble by Nigella Law­son (£26, Chatto & Win­dus)

Nigella is adamant that she’s a home cook, not a chef, and this book is a cel­e­bra­tion of good, sim­ple food. To em­pha­sise the un­fussy feel, there are no chap­ters, just Nigella’s beau­ti­ful food writ­ing and recipes you want to cook im­me­di­ately, like salt & vine­gar pota­toes and spiced lamb. Must-try recipe Hake with ba­con, peas & cider.

Bangkok by Leela Pun­yarata­bandhu (£28, Ten Speed Press)

This will give you a true taste of the vi­brant food scene in Thai­land’s cap­i­tal. An eclec­tic mix of Leela’s fam­ily recipes (Bangkok­born, she now lives in Chicago), street-food favourites, and her own recipes cre­ated in the US. The spicy, colour­ful cur­ries, noo­dles, snacks and soups are an ex­plo­sion of flavours – the per­fect an­ti­dote for tra­di­tional food at this time of year. Must-try recipe Braised chicken in co­conut galan­gal cream sauce.

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