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The essential cookery book shelf in 25 titles

Henry Turner
 
European Festival Food
European Festival Food
"Brilliant cultural/social history meets recipe book - fantastic Christmas recipes in particular."
How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
"Nigella's greatest gift to mankind. Don't be put off by Nigella's increasingly high camp media savvyness, this book is inspirational."
Roast Chicken and Other Stories: A Recipe Book
Roast Chicken and Other Stories: A Recipe Book
"Hopkinson cooks the eponymous dish with butter, lemon, garlic and tarragon. I can't imagine eating it any other way again. And his prose is a joy."
Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery
Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery
"The best primer to Indian cookery available in English."
From Anna's Kitchen: Plain and Fancy Vegetarian Menus (Penguin Cookery Library)
From Anna's Kitchen: Plain and Fancy Vegetarian Menus (Penguin Cookery Library)
"The most essential vegetarian cookbook that I know. Thomas's Californian-inspired recipes are delicious, innovative, stodge-free and plausibly healthy."
The Art Of The Tart
The Art Of The Tart
"A high cholesterol essential. Day Lewis is witty and authoritative and she takes the terror out of pastry-making. Own this book for the tomato and saffron tart alone."
Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book
Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book
"Everything you ever wanted to know about vegetables (and how to cook them) but were afraid to ask."
The Big Red Book of Tomatoes
The Big Red Book of Tomatoes
"Bareham's simple recipe for panzanella is my favourite summer meal. Among my most used cookery books."
The River Cottage Cookbook
The River Cottage Cookbook
"So much more than The Good Life with added recipes, this book is a real and passionate guide to good food and good living."
The River Cafe Cook Book
The River Cafe Cook Book
"Gray and Rodgers's writing style irritates the hell out out of me, but their recipes are unimpeachable. Some of the simple pasta recipes are a revelation and will fast become supper regulars."
The Man Who Ate Everything: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food, But Were Afraid to Ask
The Man Who Ate Everything: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food, But Were Afraid to Ask
"It's not a recipe book (though is does contain THE recipe for mechouia), but it is the most entertaining book about food and eating ever written..."
Thai Food
Thai Food
"OK, you won't find half the ingredients needed in your average supermarket, but this is a compelling read, an instant classic and (currently) a constant bedside companion."
Flavours of Greece
Flavours of Greece
"Don't be prejudiced about Greek food - just try the chicken with bayleaves recipe"
European Peasant Cookery
European Peasant Cookery
"Everything you need to know about cooking herrings and reindeer"
Cooking Like Mummyji
Cooking Like Mummyji
"Very practical, very delicious, no-nonsense Punjabi recipes."
Mediterranean Cookery (BBC Books)
Mediterranean Cookery (BBC Books)
"The most thumbed and grease-stained book on my shelf. Roden's recipes are authentic (she is no slave to modishness), her instructions lucid and foolproof, her knowledge 100% authoritative."
Rhubarbaria: Recipes for Rhubarb (English Kitchen)
Rhubarbaria: Recipes for Rhubarb (English Kitchen)
"Anyone for roast puffin and rhubarb jam? No, I thought not, but the recipes for rhubarb cakes are particularly good. Beautifully written and immaculately researched."
Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch
Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch
"Nigel Slater is a genius. His 2 Tender books are truly essential and endlessly practical. Real food."
Tender: Volume II, A cook's guide to the fruit garden
Tender: Volume II, A cook's guide to the fruit garden
"More Slater brilliance."
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
"Believe the hype. Great on cakes, salads and a fantastic roast pork dish with spicy plum relish."
Short and Sweet
Short and Sweet
"OK, my copy hasn't arrived yet, but Lepard's baking column in the Guardian is genius."
The Moro Cookbook
The Moro Cookbook
"You can probably live without Moro East, but the 2 earlier books offer a fantastic, inventive insight into Spanish and Moorish food. These are practical books ."
Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible
Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible
"I love Indian food and food with complex spicing. Jaffrey takes on a guide to the international curry. Top notch."
Kitchen Essays (Persephone Classics)
Kitchen Essays (Persephone Classics)
"It's unlikely that you'll actually end up cooking from this, but Agnes Jekyll's 1920s essays are a bit like a culinary PG Wodehouse."
Delia's Happy Christmas
Delia's Happy Christmas
"Don't be snobby about Delia (or Jamie). It was a toss-up between this or Jamie's Italy (surprisingly good)."