Books for cooks
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.