Everyone knows that Ebbers’ favourite cookbook is the cult 1914 classic Le Répertoire de la Cuisine. Everyone knows that it’s also the normals’ least favourite cookbook. However, we don’t believe (and feel free to disagree with us) that it’s the easiest cookbook to cook from…
Instead, we asked our chefs and the rest of the team for the cookbooks they actually use on a regular basis. Here are 9 cookbooks we keep going back to, whether for ease, speed, or just because they’re really darn good. Not up for Le Répertoire? Pick up one of these instead.
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East is a must-have for any vegetarian, vegan… or anyone who likes food, actually. Meera Sodha’s collection of 120 Asian-inspired vegetarian recipes includes classics like black dal and bibimbap, as well as surprises like salted miso brownies. We can’t get enough of this cookbook, and we recommend that you give it a go too.
Ottolenghi is notorious for using lots of exciting but complicated ingredients you’ve never heard of. Simple is a welcome departure from some of his other cookbooks, offering readers recipes that are S – short on time, I – 10 ingredients or less, M – make ahead, P – pantry, L – lazy and E – easier than you think. And they are simple – try the pappardelle with rose harissa, black olives and capers for a guaranteed win.
3. Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson
Branded ‘the most useful cookbook of all time’ by Waitrose Food Illustrated, Simon Hopkinson’s 1994 classic is an absolute must for home cooks and chefs alike – in fact, it’s one that our chefs consult on a weekly basis! It’s simple, unpretentious, and contains recipes you’ll cook again and again.
4. The Roasting Tin: Simple One Dish Dinners, Rukmini Iyer
Iyer’s The Roasting Tin may be just about the easiest cookbook out there. As the name suggests, it’s based on a very simple premise – one dish dinners that you can make using just one roasting tin – and it works. With dishes ranging from pasta bakes to chicken traybakes to desserts, this one covers pretty much all bases. Check out The Green Roasting Tin and The Quick Roasting Tin for more.
5. Poppy Cooks: The Food You Need, Poppy O’Toole
Potato fiend Poppy O’Toole was one of our favourite guest chefs on the show last year. And just like Poppy, The Food You Need delivers on food and fun in a big way. We love how each chapter is organised from Core to Fancy AF, giving you options for how to take a dish from basic to really special. Even better? There’s always a Potato Hero option too!
Another SORTEDfood chef favourite, How To Eat has been garnering praise since its first publication in 1998. This cookbook is full of the kind of recipes you really want to cook, with classics like coq au vin, lemon chicken and macaroni cheese all making the cut. Do yourself a favour and get hold of Nigella’s finest right now.
You didn’t think we’d miss a chance to push one of ours, did you?! You Are Sorted might just be the most cookable cookbook we have. It’s crammed with simple cooks, family classics, monster sharing plates and everything in between. Look out for the handy annotations throughout the book for tips and tricks for upping your food game.
Is there any cuisine more comforting than Italian? We think not. The Silver Spoon is the original Bible of Italian cooking, first published back in 1950 and containing over 2,000 hearty recipes that are so much more than just pizza and pasta. Master the likes of epic lasagnes, crisp croquettes and fresh frittatas with the help of this classic compendium.
9. River Cottage Veg Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
If you like vegetables, you’re in for a treat. Veg Every Day is a spellbinding compendium of over 200 exclusively vegetarian dishes, with everything from soups to stews to salads. The recipes are easy and accessible, and they’re so good that even die-hard meat-eaters might be convinced…
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