5 Must-Have Cookbooks to Elevate Your Summer Cooking

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This selection of outstanding cookbooks is sure to inspire and delight both novice and seasoned chefs. Each book offers a unique culinary journey, transporting readers to different corners of the world through vibrant recipes, captivating stories, and stunning visuals. Get ready to embark on a flavorful adventure with these top picks for your summer cookbook collection.

  1. Malta: A Sun-Kissed Mediterranean Escape by Simon Bajada

Hardie Grant, £26

Escape to the sunny Mediterranean with Simon Bajada’s latest masterpiece, Malta. Although rooted in Australia, Bajada’s Maltese heritage is beautifully woven throughout this cookbook. Alongside his own captivating photography showcasing the country’s breathtaking coastlines, produce, architecture, and people, you’ll find a treasure trove of recipes and intriguing insights into Malta’s politics, geography, and colonial past. Discover the essence of Maltese cuisine with its strong umami flavors, abundant seafood like tuna and anchovies, and signature ingredients such as olives, capers, and kunserva (tomato paste). From everyday delights to showstopping centerpieces, this book has it all, including mouthwatering dishes like swordfish carpaccio with crispy fried capers, timpana (rigatoni with chicken livers and pork ragu encased in shortcrust pastry), and a fragrant bay leaf and mulberry pannacotta. Don’t worry if you’re new to Maltese cooking—the Mediterranean Pantry section provides a helpful guide to essential ingredients.

  1. Plentiful: Vibrant Plant-Based Caribbean Cuisine by Denai Moore

Hardie Grant, £24

Enter a world of mouthwatering flavors and colorful dishes with Denai Moore’s Plentiful. Celebrating plant-based Caribbean cuisine, this cookbook will take you on a culinary journey filled with vibrant ingredients and exciting combinations. Divided into creatively titled chapters like “Sides that Have Main Event Energy” and “Dessert as a Lifestyle,” Moore’s recipes will tantalize your taste buds and expand your culinary repertoire. Indulge in delightful dishes like plantain and lentils with hot pistachio and corn nut dressing, and explore the richness of Caribbean flavors like never before.

  1. Pomegranates & Artichokes: A Gastronomic Journey from Iran to Italy by Saghar Setareh

Murdoch Books, £26

Join Saghar Setareh as she embarks on a gastronomic exploration through her captivating book, Pomegranates & Artichokes. This culinary voyage takes you from her homeland of Iran to the Levant and all the way to Italy, uncovering the interwoven culinary traditions of these regions. Through a combination of cherished family recipes, engaging essays, and enticing photos, Setareh transports you to the heart of each culture. While you savor recipes like fried polenta bites and syrupy baked quince, her evocative writing will evoke a deep appreciation for the rich history and flavors that connect these diverse cuisines.

  1. Yiayia: Unveiling Greece’s Hyper-Regional Cuisine by Anastasia Miari

Hardie Grant, £27

Inspired by her own beloved yiayia (grandma), Anastasia Miari takes you on a culinary odyssey through Greece’s hyper-regional cuisine in Yiayia. Immersed in the country’s local traditions, Miari cooks alongside grandmothers from different regions, unlocking the secrets of Greek culinary heritage. Explore family favorites like karavides yiouvetsi (crayfish orzo) and kolokithopita strifti (sweet pumpkin pie) while learning about the distinctive flavors and techniques that make Greek cuisine so beloved. This cookbook is a heartfelt homage to the grandmothers and their recipes that have shaped the Greek food culture.

  1. The Syrian Kitchen: Authentic Recipes from Imad’s Syrian Kitchen by Al Arnab

HQ, £26

Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Syrian cuisine with The Syrian Kitchen by chef-restaurateur Imad Al Arnab. Born in Damascus and later finding refuge in the UK, Al Arnab shares 120 authentic Syrian dishes, adapted for the home cook. From beloved classics like baba ghanoush to indulgent treats like eawaama (doughnuts in date molasses), this book offers a delightful culinary experience. Let Al Arnab guide you through the intricacies of Syrian cooking, transporting you to the bustling streets and aromatic markets of his homeland.

Discover these remarkable cookbooks in the summer 2023 issue of Food by National Geographic Traveller (UK). To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, click here (available in select countries only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about cookbooks

What types of cuisines are covered in these cookbooks?

These cookbooks cover a diverse range of cuisines including Mediterranean, Caribbean, Iranian-Italian, Greek, and Syrian cuisines.

Are these cookbooks suitable for beginners?

Yes, these cookbooks cater to both novice and seasoned chefs, providing a variety of recipes ranging from simple everyday meals to more elaborate celebration centrepieces. They also offer helpful sections and insights to guide newcomers through essential ingredients and techniques.

Can I find vegetarian or plant-based recipes in these cookbooks?

Yes, there are cookbooks that specifically cater to plant-based and vegetarian diets. For example, “Plentiful” explores plant-based Caribbean cuisine, offering creative and flavorful dishes without meat.

Are there any cultural insights or stories included in these cookbooks?

Absolutely! These cookbooks go beyond recipes by incorporating cultural insights, personal stories, and stunning visuals. They provide a deeper understanding of the culinary traditions, history, and regional influences associated with each cuisine.

Where can I find these cookbooks?

These cookbooks are published by various publishers and can be found in bookstores, online retailers, and possibly in the National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine. Please check the respective publishers’ websites or search for them using the book titles and authors.

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1 comment

FoodieFanatic July 14, 2023 - 7:20 pm

wow, dis article got me droolin’! d cookbooks covr a variety of cuisines frm all ovr d wrld. i lik dat dey hav simple recipes 4 beginners & mor fancy 1s 4 special occasions. gotta get my hands on “Yiayia” 4 sum tasty Greek dishes!

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