Saturday, 10 March 2012


I am fortunate to have a good collection of cook books. I love vegetarian food which is reflected in the titles above. There are more around the house somewhere, but these thirty books are special. Some are well used and recipe-stained as a result. Madhur Jeffrey's World Vegetarian is probably my most used book, its also a good read with her wonderful anecdotes. Rose Elliot and Cranks cook books represent the more traditional vegetarian fayre - I have the original Cranks cook book somewhere and I baked my first wholemeal bread from its recipe. truth be told it was a bit of a house brick but it was home-made and still tasted good. River Cottage Veg is currently my favourite every day cook book but the cuisine that excites me most is to be found in Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty and Sally Butcher's Veggiestan. I love the Middle-Eastern flavours.  An honourable mention for David Scott's Simply Vegan too (out of print alas, but at the time of writing you can pick up a second hand copy on amazon for £0.01 - bargain!). I own a few vegan cookbooks and I love vegan food too. Of course, there are many, many vegan recipes within the books above, but I have not found that many vegan cookbooks that have continued to inspire me. I have a battered copy of Rose Elliot's Vegan Feasts. Any recommendations?

I've listed my bread books here. In addition I have The River Cottage Handbook No. 8 - Cakes and Dan Lepard's Short & Sweet but I have not baked from them myself. My wife is the patisserie star in our kitchen whilst sourdough is my realm. She has lots of baking books. We share pizza making duties :)

I have a few non-vegetarian books too. Darina Allen's book complements my Deborah Madison's vegetarian tome in providing a comprehensive guide to cooking techniques. Nigel Slater writes for the Guardian and Observer newspapers and treats vegetarian food with respect. Elisabeth Luard's books are always a good read and her seasonal work A cook's year in a Welsh farmhouse has a good number of simple vegetarian dishes.

I get a lot of enjoyment simply reading these books even if I don't always get a chance to try all the recipes out. my main focus at present is of course the bread books and therefore I am drawn to recipes that complement the bread.


  1. Very nice collection. But am I the only person who gets annoyed by how Nigel Slater's Tender books look on the shelf? The text on the spine is just the wrong way round!

    1. :) Nope! My wife used to be a bookseller and it irks her too. She thought it had been a publishing error when she first saw it! Lovely books though. Again more than just a bunch of recipes, he writes well.