This Is Summer: Books

Keen cooks will want to add these kitchen classics and new titles to their collection – summer inspirations that can last beyond the end of August.

The Fish Store, by Lindsey Bareham
(Michael Joseph, £20)

A masterwork from one of our finest food writers, this wonderfully informative cookbook was inspired by the Cornish fishing village of Mousehole, where Bareham's sons inherited a home in a former pilchard plant. Unsurprisingly, 150 pages of this richly rewarding work are devoted to fish recipes. Almost all are fine summer food but Star Gazy Pie, the most famous local dish, is traditionally eaten on 23 December.

Amaretto, Apple Cake & Artichokes, by Anna Del Conte
(Vintage, £12)

Adored by Delia and Nigella, Anna Del Conte has done more than anyone else to bring the true taste of Italian cuisine to the British kitchen. Ranging from a 15th century recipe for roast leg of lamb in saffron and balsamic vinegar sauce to spaghetti with squid stew, this collection of her crème de la crème should inspire an endless banquet of the warm south whether you're summering in San Gimigiano or Solihull.

Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, by Arto Der Haroutunian
(Grub Street, £14.99)

White bean salad, stuffed vine leaves, walnut and chickpea soup, spicy aubergine with cheese, rice and courgette pilav, pumpkin with apricot and rice... I found myself wanting to eat everything in this collection of tasty veggie dishes. First published in 1983, this book is a reminder that the late Arto Der Haroutunian, who was born in Aleppo but lived in Manchester, banged the drum for Levantine cuisine years before it became fashionable.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
(Ebury, £25)

For those of us who do not live adjacent to branches of this fashionable eatery (Notting Hill, Islington, Kensington, Belgravia), this ultra-stylish cookbook shows what we're missing. Aiming to create "a feast of bold colours and generous gestures", the authors Ottolenghi (Jewish) and Tamini (Palestinian) specialise in intensive Mediterranean flavours. Lamb cutlets with walnut, fig and goat's cheese salad are typical.



Reggae Reggae Cookbook, by Levi Roots
(Collins, £14.99)

Though the peripheries of this Jamaican feast, from Caribbean chicken soup ("put the chicken in a duchy") to sweet potato pudding ("no one will ever guess this has any vegetables in it"), will suit the pallid European palate, the main courses are made of sterner stuff. Licha fish requires two red snapper and two Scotch bonnet chillies. Roots' "juice jerk seasoning" demands four of these phosphoric blighters. Still, if you can't stand the heat...

Delizia, by John Dickie
(Sceptre, £8.99)

Packed with nutritious nuggets, this history of the Italian passion for food ranges from the obscure, such as the Florentine lampredotto, to dishes that have become worldwide staples. Sicilians were eating pasta a century before Marco Polo's trip to the Orient, though fondness for pizza was long delayed by fear of cholera germs. This book may be enjoyed everywhere but, like spaghettini alla puttanesca, it will be best consumed in Italy.

A Late Dinner, by Paul Richardson
(Bloomsbury, £7.99)

Though not a cookbook, this culinary ramble is essential reading for anyone heading for Spain this summer. From the introductory account of Madrid ("tin platters of prawns alla plancha, juicy steamed mussels..."), via the seafront at Benidorm ("The snails... were so good that I decided to stay put"), to the supernatural titbits offered at the legendary El Bulli near Barcelona, Richardson's eloquent descriptions are graphic to the point of pain.

The New English Table, by Rose Prince
(Fourth Estate, £25)

A beacon of talent and intelligence, Prince has generated a devoted and appreciative following without benefit of a TV series. Writing in a tone that is all her own, her recipes are moral, healthy, economical and (in case this sounds too uplifting for words) extremely tasty. Summer treats in this year-round treasure trove include green celery, crayfish and potato salad and the irresistible "melted cheese with ale to eat with bread".

How to Cook without Recipes, by Glynn Christian
(Portico, £12.99)

For poolside reading, food-lovers should grab this profoundly well-informed work of culinary theory. Christian explains how our perception of five primary tastes can be used in revelatory combinations that he calls "flavour trails". His suggestions include a few drops of Tabasco in chocolate ice cream ("a restrained and elegant sensation") and white fish in a sauce of white wine, dried mushrooms and chocolate: "seems so perfect to me".

The Big Oyster, by Mark Kurlansky
(Vintage, £8.99)

The story of oysters in New York may not sound a compelling holiday read, but if you are heading there, this is the book to take. It has been estimated that the harbour once "contained half the world's oysters". Kurlansky's account of both consumers (native Americans left small mountains of shells) and consumed is utterly fascinating: "If the oyster is opened carefully, the diner is eating an animal with a working brain and a still-beating heart."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week