Our pick:A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine
Skye McAlpine spent her formative years around a Venetian dining table with Verdi opera as a soundtrack. Having already won plenty of followers with her gorgeous food blog — From My Dining Table — McAlpine has created something a little more tangible in the form of her first cookbook. Offering a taste of life in her family’s little pink house located on a Venetian backwater, McAlpine has pulled together a beautiful collection of her most treasured recipes. Full of fresh, simple — and often indulgent — dishes, this book won’t be one to leave on the shelf gathering dust. Expect to return to it time and again, where it’ll become stained with passata from the numerous times you make the spiced meatballs, splashed with almond liqueur from the pumpkin and amaretti ravioli filling, and flecked with melted chocolate from the birthday cake — rich with mascarpone and butter, and destined to be repeated annually. In short, it’ll be the best kind of cookbook — one that gets used. These are the kind of recipes that are passed down through the generations and, as Skye proves, you don’t have to be Italian to pull them off. £26, Bloomsbury.
Spice trailFeasts from the Middle East by Tony Kitous
The man behind popular Middle Eastern restaurant chain Comptoir Libanais pays tribute to the food of his childhood, back in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, with a selection of dishes built for feasting. Recipes such as roasted aubergine, rose honey and labneh tart, artichoke and tahina soup, and his mum Zohra’s fried sardines are sure to become firm favourites. £20, HQ.
Taste of the seaPrawn on the Lawn: Fish and Seafood to Share by Rick & Katie Toogood
Named after their seafood bars in London and Cornwall, the husband-and-wife-team show how simple it can be to prepare fresh seafood at home; the key is seasonality, with flavours inspired by their travels. Highlights include rockling tempura with nam jim, and steamed mussels and cockles in a coconut and lemongrass broth. £18.99, Pavillion.
Comfort foodFeasting by Amanda Ruben
Jewish soul food is having its moment on the UK restaurant scene, with diners having developed a taste for the classics, such as chicken soup with matzo balls, chopped liver and challah. Author Amanda Ruben is the owner of Miss Ruben’s Canteen in Melbourne, where she serves up fresh takes on traditional Jewish fare — the focus of this book. £20.99, Hardie Grant.
Global inspirationHow to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry
With an anecdote to accompany each recipe, it’s easy to get lost in a Diana Henry cookbook — in fact, the stories are as much a part of the reason you buy one as the food itself. Inside this book’s playful peach-fuzz cover sits a bounty of recipes influenced by places Henry has visited, such as Italy, Turkey and Thailand — for all seasons and occasions. £25, Mitchell Beazley.