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From Shetland to Spain: The best new cookbooks

Here's our latest pick of new releases, from the vegan flavours of Spain to a culinary journey through Kolkata

From Shetland to Spain: The best new cookbooks

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Our pick

Shetland: Cooking on the Edge of the World by James and Tom Morton
Former Bake Off finalist James Morton and his journalist father, Tom, have penned a culinary homage to the islands where James grew up, and which Tom still calls home. Illustrated with photos of freckled locals and windswept landscapes, this isn’t a book of fancy dishes. Instead, single ingredients take centre stage — from ‘singing carrots’ to hot smoked salmon and the black potato — showcasing techniques born from necessity, like pickling and smoking. If recipes that require you to dig fire pits, or instruct you to ‘catch, gut and fillet the mackerel’ sound challenging, there are plenty of beautifully simple ones that will appeal, such as craft chicken, Eshaness lentil soup, poached salmon, and James’s granny’s perfect cake. Throughout, there’s a strong sense of the importance of community, with locals always ready to gather for a foy (celebration), or a Sunday tea, where the tea itself is strong and stewed, and trestle tables groan with bannocks. Fans of the BBC drama Shetland can fill in their own backstory of low-lit intrigue; the rest of us can breathe in the pure, salty air of this fresh and original book. Released 6 September; RRP: £25 (Quadrille).

Meat-free marvel

Vegan Recipes from Spain by Gonzalo Baró
‘Spanish’ and ‘vegan’ may sound an unlikely pairing, but photographer-turned-chef Gonzalo Baró combines the two neatly with these imaginative recipes. Alongside takes on classics like Andalusian gazpacho, there are exquisite combinations such as aubergine and apple mousse with asparagus, almonds and chilli oil. RRP: £18.99 (Grub Street).

Indian inspiration

Asma’s Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan
Having turned her supper club into a restaurant last year with an all-woman team, Asma Khan has now brought together recipes from her royal Mughal heritage with hearty dishes from her hometown of Kolkata. Keema mattar (fragrant beef mince with peas) is a family staple, while chingri bhaja (ghee-fried prawns) is a special-occasion dish. Released 4 October; RRP: £20 (Pavilion).

Fusion cuisine

CIBI by Meg and Zenta Tanaka
The Tanakas opened Cibi, their Japanese-fusion cafe, in Melbourne in 2008. Its name, meaning ‘little one’, was meant to reflect the delicacy, innocence and fun of their food. There are plenty of light and zingy recipes, such as beetroot and daikon salad with lime; while ‘Mum’s pork cha-siu’, and green tea muffins bring the flavours of Japan to the home cook. RRP £22 (Hardie Grant Books).

Fresh flavours

Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan
Food and travel writer Yasmin Khan’s collection of recipes and stories celebrates Palestinian cooking and food culture. Alongside zesty dishes such as a salad of fennel and apple with herbs and citrus, there are hearty, comfort-food classics like lamb meatballs. The 80 recipes are all accessible to the home cook — and beautifully photographed. RRP £26 (Bloomsbury).

Store-cupboard favourite

The Japanese Larder by Luiz Hara
Chef, food writer and Instagrammer Luiz Hara, aka @londonfoodie, provides a crash-course in Japanese cooking, by focusing on the cuisine’s essential ingredients. Dashi stock and soy are used to poach chicken, miso and tobanjan chilli sauce become a marinade for sirloin steak, and sesame paste brings depth and intense savouriness to charred hispi cabbage. An informative introduction to the defining umami flavours of Japanese food. RRP: £26 (Quarto).

Featured in Issue 2 of National Geographic Traveller Food.