Or at least my favourite three so far…
I’M FORTUNATE TO OWN FOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA AND BOOKSHELF HEAVYWEIGHT LAROUSSE GASTRANOMIQUE, CULINARY CLASSIC AND ALTOGETHER GOOD READ MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING AND A THICK STACK OF NIGEL SLATER’S KITCHEN DIARIES BUT IT IS MY VEGETARIAN COOKBOOKS THAT ARE THE MOST LOVINGLY SPLATTERED AND LEAFED THROUGH. HERE ARE MY FAVOURITES.
This is the cookbook to call upon if you have carnivores coming for dinner. Don’t let the lengthy lists of ingredients put you off too much, the aubergine, leek and tofu parcels with gingered pumpkin sauce were some of the best things I’ve ever made and the way he spices hallumi with cumin seeds, lime zest and chilli is a stroke of genius. I love the descriptions too. ‘Love Soup’; an ode to his partner maureen and an exercise in making the very best tasting soup from bendy leftover veg. I recommend!
This cookbook is such a pleasure to use, the ingredients are easy to get hold of and the methods are easy to follow. Meehra has managed to make me confident in my ability to cook a curry from scratch, something which can be daunting and to be honest hard to achieve. She puts seasonal vegetables at the heart of each recipe and the flavours are so fresh, bold and exciting. My favourites so far are the pumpkin and black eyed bean curry (which also works well with green lentils and vegetables like green beans and courgette) and her aubergine and pea curry. I love how all of the recipes are vegetarian and most are protein rich, plus she includes drinks too! I’m almost looking forward to my next cold so I can make ‘mum’s turmeric tea’, promising to give us a boost when we’re under the weather.
Plenty is, in my opinion Yotham Ottolenghi’s best book although I also own Plenty More and Nopi (too many meat dishes for me to make much use of). I love how he has divided the book into chapters dedicated to single vegetables like aubergine (please try the burnt aubergine with tahini and pomegranate, it’s crazy good) and a whole chapter on‘funny onions’! I love the stuffed onions braised in stock and filled with herby breadcrumbs, so delicious and unusual. You really can’t go wrong with these although bulk buy the pomegranate molasses when you buy the book!
Other good reads are Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Veg Everyday (try the Corner Shop Spanakopita) and those from Deliciously Ella who has some fantastic ideas from her creamy coconut porridge to her tahini quinoa method.
I’d love to hear about the veggie/vegan cookbooks you love. Let me know on my social channels, links below!