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."

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
people
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
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
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

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape