The best cookbooks of 2020
Got a foodie in your life? Sick of making the same seven meals? Just a sucker for pictures of food? If any of the above apply, we’ve got you covered.
The Modern Cook’s Year – Anna Jones
Not new, per se, but a classic that every cook worth their salt (sorry) would want to have on their bookshelf. Anna Jones (who you’ll know as a food writer at The Guardian) spent seven years at Jamie Oliver’s 15, before launching herself and her excellent vegetarian cookery into the world. This book includes 250 veggie recipes using seasonal ingredients that will keep you inspired all year long.
Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories – Nigella Lawson
She’s been back on the tellybox of late, and that often means one thing: the cookbook is hot on the TV series’ heels. The latest entry in Nigella’s literary canon is a mix between a memoir and cook book, with a series of essays interspersed with favourite recipes, that gives the reader an insight into the kitchen rhythms of Chez Lawson.
The Slow Cook Book – Heather Whinney
Again, something that every frantic parent should have on standby: a slow cooker and a copy of this timeless book. Nothing in the history of mankind is more soothing to the soul than a hot, pre-prepared meal just waiting for you as you come home after a long winter’s day. Buy now, cherish forever.
FLAVOUR – Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T HAVE SUMAC IN THE CUPBOARD? Yes, with Ottolenghi there always is an expectation of ingredients that even residents of London’s most cosmopolitan areas struggle to find – but don’t let that put you off. This book – co-written with Ixta Belfrage, his test kitchen chef – informs the forward-thinking cook how to get the most out of vegetables. You think that sounds dull? What if I said Hasselback Beetroot with Lime Leaf Butter. You’re on board now, aren’t you?
The Hand and Flowers Cookbook – Tom Kerridge
The two-Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers opened in 2005 and yet it’s taken 15 years for the first cookbook to arrive. Put that down to the fact Tom Kerridge’s flagship Marlow pub is usually booked up months in advance – I’m guessing there hasn’t been a lot of down time. The book includes recipes for the best dishes that have ever appeared on the menu: 70 of them, no less. Salt cod Scotch egg, anyone? Burnished creme brulee? The mouth waters.
Nadiya Bakes – Nadiya Hussain
Ah, the title says it all. Everyone’s favourite Bake Off winner is going back to the cake tin. On the back of her 2020 BBC series of the same name, this book is surely top of the list for fans of a sweet, baked treat. Expect over 100 recipes for cakes, biscuits, traybakes, desserts and even bread. Your oven won’t know what’s hit it.
7 Ways – Jamie Oliver
Jamie has always been great at delivering simple, punchy and nutritious food for time-strapped families and his latest book – 7 Ways – is no different. He’s picked 18 standard ingredients – mushrooms or mince, say – and then given us seven different ways to cook each one. Traditional spag bolognese: your days are numbered.
One Tin Bakes – Edd Kimber
Another Bake Off alumnus here, Edd is appealing to those of us who love a home bake but seriously cba with purchasing strangely specific kitchenware and the faff of endless washing up. The idea: buy one tin and this book, and open up your life to a glorious gamut of buns, traybakes, pies and bars.
Speedy MOB – Ben Lebus
Online cooking platform MOB kitchen is back with its next book Speedy MOB that promises 12-minute meals to feed four people. As the unwilling head chef of my family unit, I am unequivocally sold but this is also a great gift for the foodie student in your life – who wouldn’t want to knock up a chorizo cauliflower fried rice in the time it normally takes to heat up the oven?
Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes – Sabrina Ghayour
Not many of us got beyond UK borders this year but had we managed it, the taste of the south Med and Middle East would no doubt bring us back to those glorious warm nights eating dishes such as Sabrina’s Kabab Koobidah and Chorizo and Goats Cheese Borek. This is the book to make you feel that you might be in Cyprus rather than Slough (if only for a minute).