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Best European Cookbooks

Best European Cookbooks

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We’ve already handed out awards for French and Italian books. This month, we recognize five winning books from the rest of Europe.

The Country Cooking of Ireland

The Country Cooking of Ireland By Colman Andrews, Chronicle Books, 2009. Hardcover. $50; 384 pages

Colman Andrews may not have rocked the food world with this tome as he did in 1988 with Catalan Cuisine, which made the case for a thrilling tradition that was flying almost entirely under the radar of American cooks. But The Country Cooking of Ireland proves that a delicious culinary landscape lies beyond soda bread and Irish stew. This is also one of those lovely, heavy, heartfelt cookbooks that is a good read and a worthy gift.

Most of us need to be reminded again and again that simplicity is important; the majority of recipes here do that. Turnip and Rosemary Soup with Honey contains only three ingredients beyond those mentioned in the name. The combination of butter, earthy turnips, and herbs, with sweet finishing honey, was fantastic (and I cut down on the amount of heavy cream, swapping in some whole milk—still delicious). Good old Colcannon—basically mashed potatoes with kale and scallions—defines comfort and is a perfect side to a leftovers-based dish like Ham in Whiskey Sauce. Offal recipes like Collared Head or Crubeens (Pig’s Feet) feel like they’re taking you back to the source: Nothing hipster is afoot here. Chefs are profiled here and there; the quality of Ireland’s land and produce is celebrated in prose and picture; and there’s a smattering of history. But none of it overthickens the stew. And there are modern touches, like a truly startling-sounding dish from “pioneering modern Irish chef Gerry Glavin”: Roast Pike with Lamb Sauce, Lovage, and Bacon.

As you will have detected and expected, meat, butter, and cream pitch in frequently, and not lightly, but the very simplicity of the recipes suggests that tinkering and reducing are not difficult or risky. This is a book not of culinary chemistry but country wisdom.

GIVE THIS TO: Anyone who gets teary on St. Patrick’s day, or who loves country cooking. —Scott Mowbray

The Food of Spain

The Food of Spain By Claudia Roden, Ecco, 2011. $45; 609 pages

Roden takes the same ambitious approach that made The Book of Jewish Food and The New Book of Middle Eastern Food modern classics, weaving together luscious cooking, local and national history, and charming slices of Spanish life shown through mini-essays on some of the country’s most fascinating cooks and food authorities.

The book begins with more than 100 pages of Spanish gastronomic history and a breakdown of regional cuisines. After that, Roden’s detailed recipe headnotes offer ample info to put each dish in proper cultural context. The food is a delectable mix of national standards—paella, tapas, gazpacho, flan—along with lesser-known regional and microregional specialties. Simple, rustic dishes like smoky and complex Potatoes with Chorizo or Braised Rabbit with Herbs and White Wine show just how much flavor can be coaxed from a handful of well-chosen ingredients.

GIVE THIS TO: Armchair travelers and cooks of all skill levels with an interest in Spanish food. —Tim Cebula

The Scandinavian Kitchen: 100 Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes

The Scandinavian Kitchen: 100 Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes By Camilla Plum, Kyle Books, 2011. $35; 272 pages

Following the wild success of Copenhagen’s Noma and a burst of inventive restaurants in that city, many cooks are taking a second (or first, in many cases) look at Scandinavian cuisine. That restaurant’s namesake cookbook, though, is exquisitely complicated, certainly not for any but the most ambitious home cook. Start here instead.

This book is organized by 100 ingredients, with accompanying recipes, plus sidebars explaining the ingredient’s place in Scandinavian culture. There is tons of helpful info on how each ingredient grows and tastes, how to buy and store, and how it is used. Gorgeous photos depicting the region abound, and the book maintains a sort of silvery-gray Nordic aesthetic.

The recipes walk the line between special occasion and home cooking. Chicken and Asparagus Stew is undoubtedly comfort food but also worthy of a casual dinner party. Mushrooms Pickled in Vinegar and Olive Oil are simple but exotic. Sugar-Salted Salmon with Seville Orange is an unfussy preparation with complex and rewarding results on the palate, and a bit of a wow factor (not every recipe is based on hyper-local foods, obviously). Recipes require basic cooking skills and little in the way of advanced techniques or specialty equipment. There are numerous recipes for preserving foods (pickling, salting, smoking, jam-making) for the larder.

GIVE THIS TO: Curious cooks who love playing with new flavors and ingredients. —Robin Bashinsky

Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition

Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition By Gerald Hirigoyen, Ten Speed Press, 2009. $25; 202 pages

Pronounced PEEN-chos, pintxos is the Basque word for tapas, celebrated here in luscious photography and delicious recipes. You’ll no doubt dog-ear or flag at least 10 pages when you browse the book—or more, as I did. The Basque region, from which Hirigoyen hails, spans France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. This food-of-the-place is happy food for entertaining. It’s easy, Hirigoyen says: “You need only to buy some good charcuterie and cheese, open a can or jar, and make one or two braised or grilled dishes and a salad and you will have a no-fuss, fast-to-assemble dinner for four, six, eight, or more.” Everyone gets to sample lots of different foods.

The recipes do not disappoint. Even something as simple as Griddled Ham and Cheese Bocadillos—basically a grilled-cheese sandwich made with a few exquisite ingredients—will knock your socks off. A bit more involved but certainly not complicated, Clams with Spicy Smoked Tomatoes rewards the effort of smoking the tomatoes by imbuing the whole dish with wonderful depth and lick-your-bowl deliciousness. There are also light and fresh salads, meat and seafood braises, skewers, and soups to round out your party. Be sure to pay attention to the wine suggestions for the recipes, as the experience is not complete without well-matched sippers.

GIVE THIS TO: An avid entertainer looking to step up her repertoire. —Tiffany Vickers Davis

How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking

How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking By Michael Psilakis, Little, Brown, 2009. $35; 288 pages

Long Island–raised Psilakis, son of first-generation Greek immigrants—started his culinary career as a waiter at TGI Fridays, then moved on to long, grueling days at other restaurants as waiter, manager, restaurateur, and finally, because his chef didn’t show up for work one day, self-taught chef. This is a book by an extremely likable guy; you instinctively trust everything he says. And he writes recipes for the home cook, conceding, for example, that water can be the base for many dishes rather than a long-cooked stock. “It’s more important to me that you begin to cook Greek food than it is for you to spend hours making a stock,” he reasons. All throughout are helpful tips about ingredients, make-ahead instructions, and substitution suggestions.

Pastitsio, a sort of Greek lasagna, is one of the more labor-intensive dishes in the book but a huge success and well worth the time spent making it. A simpler recipe of Cucumber Salad, Celery, Leek, and Tsakistes Olives with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette had folks asking for the recipe; the bowl was empty in a flash. Both of these dishes rely on subrecipes (Greek Béchamel, Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette), but Psilakis makes sure they are building blocks of several dishes. Many recipes include an autobiographical note, tying the dish to a part of Psilakis’ life; you feel that you are being taken to dinner with him and his family, while also learning about Greek food. It’s a lovely approach in a book of truly inspiring food.

GIVE THIS TO: Cooks who enjoy zippy flavors and a personal touch. —Tiffany Vickers Davis

"Rose Petal Jam: Recipes & Stories From a Summer in Poland" by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target (Tabula Books, 2011) is a beautifully photographed book, which is as much travelogue as it is a cookbook. The recipes are traditional yet simple to prepare and are given in American and European measurements. The book won first place in the World Cuisine category of Eastern European cookbooks at the 2012 Gourmand International Awards. Here are three recipes from "Rose Petal Jam":​

"Polish Cookery: The Universal Cook Book" by Marja Ochorowiz-Monatowa (Crown Publishers Inc., 1979) was originally written in Polish ("Uniwersalna Książka Kucharska") and translated into American English and measurements by Jean Karsavina. There are no photos in this book but the recipes are comprehensive ranging from peasant fare to szlachta dishes. It's a standby in most kitchens in Poland.

Best European Desserts

This episode tours Europe in search of spectacular desserts. Milk Street Cook Erika Bruce teaches Christopher Kimball how to make German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen), which has a rich crumb thanks to almond paste and an elegant design from sliced apples. With inspiration from Belgium, Milk Street Cook Lynn Clark makes light and crisp Belgian Spice Cookies, also known as Speculoos. Then, Chris bakes a Danish Dream Cake with a buttery coconut-brown sugar topping that caramelizes under the broiler.

10 cookbooks to transport you to delicious European destinations

Exploring Europe from the comfort of your own kitchen is simple and seamless with a selection of suitable cookbooks.

The best cookbooks transport you, mind and soul, to a destination, vivid with colour and tangible flavour whilst capturing the essence of a people by what they put on their plate. More often than not, these are the same cookbooks that are the most-thumbed, sauce-splattered and the ones you reach for time and time again for a bit of a culinary excursion.

Here are ten cookbooks, each distilling the essence of different European destinations with their ingredients and dishes.

1. Ireland: JP McMahon The Irish Cook Book (Phaidon, 2020)

The cuisine of Ireland is a marriage of spoils of the land and sea, and Michelin-starred chef JP McMahon - based in Galway along the Wild Atlantic Way - has penned the ultimate tome on Irish cuisine. Through more than 450 recipes, the chef (also the creator of the food industry symposium Food on The Edge) documents the evolution of the food and flavours of the Emerald Isle across millennia in a refined yet thorough fashion. Those who understand bacon and cabbage as typifying the Irish plate will do a double take, page-after-page.

Recipes to try: Spelt with leeks Oysters with wild garlic butter Dingle (mutton) pies.

2. The Nordics: The Nordic Cookbook, Magnus Nilsson (Phaidon, 2015)

Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson (of the now-closed, formerly two Michelin-starred Fäviken in Jämtland, and also familiar from Netflix’s series Chef’s Table) has produced a true authority covering the breadth of Nordic cooking. Zoning in on ingredients, technique and locality, Nilsson’s 700-recipe book traverses the entirety of the Nordic region (encapsulating Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and both the Faroe Islands and Greenland) and his recipes run the gamut from the familiar to the lesser-spotted heralds of Nordic dining, peppered with his own travel stories and photography.

Recipes to try: Skagen salad Sienisalaatti (Finnish salted mushrooms) Tore Wretman’s Köttbullar (Swedish meatballs).

3. France: My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, 2014)

For chefs, Montagné’s La Rousse Gastronomique or Pierre Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire represent a pair of cookery bibles, but for the home cook French cuisine needn’t feel technical or fussy. American chef and writer David Lebovitz traded a lifetime in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and San Franscisco’s Bay Area for the 11th arrondissement and documents how to eat, shop and live like a Parisian in My Paris Kitchen.

Recipes to try: Steak with mustard butter and fries Dukkah roasted cauliflower Coffee crème brûlée

4. Greece: Smashing Plates, Maria Elia (Kyle Books, 2013)

Switching up the traditional surmising of Greek cuisine, chef Maria Elia pares back the flavours in Smashing Plates. Elia zones in on single ingredients (fava beans, olives, octopus, figs, etc.) that truly typify the Greek palate and are most natively used, then re-interprets Greek cuisine with her own unique twist.

Recipes to try: Slow-braised octopus with cherry tomato sauce Apricot and orange blossom meringues Seared scallops with watermelon.

5. Ukraine: Mamushka, Olia Hercules (Mitchell Beazley, 2015)

Set at the far-eastern reaches of the continent, Ukraine is Europe’s largest country by land (as its far-larger neighbour Russia stretches over two continents). Writer, chef and food stylist Olia Hercules hails from the south of the country, where she writes “our winters are mild, our summers long and hot and our food a cornucopia of colour and flavour when people suggest I must be used to the cold I realize how inextricably bound the Western vision of Ukraine is with that of Russia – vast, grey and bleak”. In her debut cookbook, Hercules details her own family’s recipes from her eclectically-cuisined region with wider geographical inspiration depicting the diversity, freshness and unexpected colour of the food of “the wild East”.

Recipes to try: Pampushky (garlic bread rolls) with Red Borsch Varenyky (stuffed Ukrainian pasta) Praz’kyy Tort (a decadent chocolate ‘Prague Cake’)

6. Belgium: The Taste of Belgium, Ruth Van Waerebeek with Maria Robbins (Grub Street, 2014)

Author Ruth Van Waerebeek muses on Belgian cuisine being Europe’s best kept secret, and writes on the inside cover: “With its hearty influences from Germany and Holland, herbs straight out of a medieval garden, and condiments and spices from the height of Flemish culture, Belgian cuisine is elegant comfort food at its best… As the Belgians say, since everybody has to eat three times a day, why not make a feast of every meal?” The recipes, peppered with Van Waerebeek’s own family traditions and methods, come accompanied by delectably rich and dramatic photography by Regula Ysewijn.

Recipes to try: Flemish-style white Asparagus, North Sea Bouillabaisse, Waterzooi Sugar waffles from Liège.

7. Spain: Sabor, Nieves Barragán Mohacho (Fig Tree, 2017)

Simply translated as ‘flavour’, this is a collection of hearty Spanish recipes that Michelin-starred chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho (formerly of Barrafina, now owner of Sabor restaurant in London) grew up cooking. The Bilbao-born chef colourfully and deliciously documents dishes from the Basque region and beyond, accompanied by her go-to home kitchen staples she serves up when not at the pass.

Recipes to try: Potato and Chorizo Stew Pork Belly with Mojo Verde Tortilla with Morcilla and Piquillo Peppers

8. Italy: Gastronomy of Italy, Anna Del Conte (Pavilion, 2013)

The doyenne of Italian cuisine, 95 year-old Anna Del Conte has for decades been revered for her encyclopaedic prolificacy on Italian cuisine. Breaking down methods, regional variations and the best of produce at the optimum time of year, Gastronomy of Italy has appeared on many bookshelves since its original publishing in the late 80s. More recently, a 2013 revamp and refresh features a simpler structure, contemporary photography and comes stuffed with additional recipes.

Recipes to try: Ragù Alla Bolognese Sarde a Beccaficu (baked stuffed sardines) Torta di Mandole (almond cake).

9. Portugal: Lisboeta: Recipes From Portugal’s City of Light, Nuno Mendes (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Having worked in New York, California and London throughout the last two-and-a-half decades, Nuno Mendes only opened his first restaurant in his home city of Lisbon (BAHR at Bairro Alto Hotel) within the last year. His 2017 book Lisboeta preceded this sort-of homecoming, and in it Nuno walks and talks the reader through a typical day in his city, pointing out his favourite places, and the incredible produce at each corner with recipes mixing classic and contemporary heralds of Portuguese cuisine.

Recipes to try: Pica Pau (fried beef fillet with pickles) Caldeirada (Portuguese fish stew) and of course Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts).

10. United Kingdom: The Complete Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking, Fergus Henderson (Bloomsbury, 2012)

A decade-on update to the 1999 original mixed with his sophomore offering The Whole Beast, Fergus Henderson’s The Complete Nose to Tail is a 400+ page tome which celebrates traditional approaches, heritage cuts and places peasant dishes on a pedestal, never to be forgotten. The chef and restaurateur, who opened St. John in 1995 in London, has transformed the way a generation of chef brigades cook and in this offering for the home cook, takes simplicity, thriftiness and respect for the whole animal to another level.

Recipes to try: Devilled kidneys Mince and Tatties Roast bone marrow and parsley salad.

Receipe: Asparagus, Flemish style

Asperges op VlaaAAmse Wijze / Asperges a la Flamande

In Belgium, this dish is prepared with white asparagus, a special variety planted in deep trenches to which more earth is added as the stalks grow, so that the plants are never exposed to sun or air. The top layer of soil is gently removed when the shoots are mature, and they are then cut out of the ground with a special, long bladed, chisel shaped knife. This white asparagus is a great speciality of the town of Mechelen, known as the vegetable garden of Belgium. The most authentic version of this dish must be enjoyed in Belgium, since not enough of the white asparagus is produced for export. I have made this dish using fresh green asparagus with satisfying results, and recently I’ve come across bundles of white asparagus exported from Holland, which are quite good.


1.35kg/3 pounds white asparagus or the freshest local asparagus you can get
100g/8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons/¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to remove the thick woody skin of each white asparagus stalk from just below the tip to the stem end. If you are using very thin green asparagus, just trim the lower part of each stalk.

Bunch the asparagus spears together and trim them to about the same length. Tie the bundle together with kitchen string.

When the water boils, lower the heat, add the asparagus, and simmer until they are tender, 15 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness. Cover the pot only if you are cooking white asparagus do not cover the green as it will lose its fresh colour. Remove the asparagus bundle and drain on a kitchen towel. Be careful not to break the delicate asparagus tips.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. If the hard-boiled eggs are completely cold, plunge them for 1 minute into the asparagus cooking water to reheat and then peel.

In a small mixing bowl, mash the eggs with a fork. Add the melted butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to mix.

Best European Cookbooks - Recipes




September 24th | BERLIN | Hotel de Rome
– In conversation with Cynthia Barcomi –

September 30th | MALTA | The Phoenicia

October 2nd | LONDON |Corinthia Hotel
– In conversation with Helen Goh –




“To live a year in Meike Peters’ life! In 365, Ms. Peters, who won a James Beard award for her 2016 book, Eat in My Kitchen, offers a meal for every night from January to December. The recipes are largely European in focus (Ms. Peters lives in Berlin and Malta), skew seasonal and, rare for a cookbook, tend to serve two. There’s some repetition, but isn’t that real life, where sometimes you’re eating alone, or making variations on a favorite dish? Weekends are earmarked for more time-consuming recipes: cakes and tarts, cookies and jam. Dinner, they’re not. But sustenance for the week ahead? Definitely.“ – The New York Times ‘The 13 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2019’

“If you want to change how you cook—to learn new tricks—I heartily recommend “365.” You may find some of her combinations challenging, but your everyday cooking will never be the same. Hey, life’s short it’s time to try dates in your meatloaf!” – Christopher Kimball / Milk Street

“Peters’ recipes are flavorsome, wholesome and deceptively simple.“ – Town&Country Magazine 𔃶 of The Best Seasonal Cookbooks 2019’

”Inspiration to get even the most jaded cook back in the kitchen.” – Independent ’11 Best Cookbooks 2019’

“With a recipe for each day of the year, you’ll never run out of inspiration here. Running through the entire calendar year, beginning in January, 365 concentrates on seasonal availability… Her recipes have a unique European and Maltese spin, filled with vibrant color and flavor.“ – Inquirer 𔃵 of The Best Cookbooks 2019‘

“A fantastic collection of delicious and easy-to-make recipes.“ – Country&Town House Magazine

� is filled with a year’s worth of recipes and stunning photography. Meike’s goal is to take the pressure off cooks and bakers with seasonal recipes that are approachable and provide variety.“ – Eat Your Books

“Every home cook faces the dilemma of trying to work out what to cook tonight. Thankfully, Meike Peters has made life a little more simple with her cookbook of 365 recipes for every day of the year. It’s a genius idea, and not only that, but the book is packed with mouthwatering ideas that we can’t wait to cook.“ – House&Garden Magazine

“The book offers tons of ideas and suggestions for quick, creative weeknight dinners for colorful salads for long-simmering weekend stews and for delicious desserts.“ – Epicurus

“After cooking from Peters’ 365 I’m reminded that everything about cooking—from being in the kitchen, choosing ingredients, consulting recipes, singing along to the radio — is all about enjoying… Peters’ reminds us that each and every day of the year is about celebrating mealtime.“ – Shipshape Eatworthy

“Her first book, Eat in My Kitchen, was a sensation. This volume is better and bigger.“ – Cooking by the Book

“Don’t be surprised if this roast butternut squash with feta and pistachios (recipe no. 302 in 365) steals everyone’s attention from everything else on the table. It’s hard not to be completely smitten with the sophisticated edge that a sprinkling of pistachios along with some baked feta and a drizzle of cumin oil lends these comfortingly familiar roast squash wedges.“ – Leite’s Culinaria

“If this is the year of “cook more homemade meals,” then “365: A Year of Everyday Cooking & Baking” from James Beard Award winning author Meike Peters may be just the ticket. This cookbook helps you resolve to cook every day in 2020 and provides the approachable recipes that every home cook needs … I’m considering “365” as the antidote to a no-contest resolution like “cook more homemade meals.” Herald

The New York Times ‘The 13 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2019’ (print and online)

Town&Country ‘Six of the Best Seasonal Cookbooks’

Milk Street / Christopher Kimball’s Book Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer ‘The 5 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2019’

What’s Cookin’ Today Show CRN (radio)


To Cook, to Bake, to Eat, and to Treat

(English and German)

EAT IN MY KITCHEN – To Cook, to Bake, to Eat, and to Treat Meike Peters captures the way people like to eat now: fresh, seasonal food with a variety of influences. It combines a northern European practical attitude, from the author’s German roots, with a rustic Mediterranean-inspired palate, from her summers in Malta. This highly anticipated cookbook is comprised of 100 recipes that celebrate the seasons and are awash with color. Followers of Meike Peters will be thrilled to have her exquisitely photographed recipes in print in one place, while those who aren’t yet devotees will be won over by her unpretentious tone and contagious enthusiasm for simple, beautiful, and tasty food. – Prestel Publishing, 2016

Winner of the 2017 James Beard Award General Cookbook of the Year

“Ms. Peters, a blogger who lives in Berlin, draws on a mix of German and Mediterranean influences. That includes Malta, where she has family, inspiring the addition of orange peel in a bittersweet chocolate Bundt cake and blood oranges in a steaming bowl of mussels. Her sandwiches … including one made with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic: easy for lunch, suitable for hors d’oeuvres on little toast rounds, and alluring when assembled on long ciabatta breads for a party.”
The New York Times (‘Best Cookbooks 2016’)

“Eat In My Kitchen is an incredibly beautiful book. I’ve made several recipes from Meike’s book – the Pasta with Orange Butter, the Potato and Sauerkraut Latkes and the Bavarian Pork Roast – all incredibly delicious. The photographs are gorgeous in this title, taken by the author herself, and the recipes truly are crave-worthy. This will be a well-used tool in my kitchen for years and I’m hoping for much more from this talented writer.”
Eat Your Books (‘The Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016’)

“Food blogger Meike Peters’s premiere cookbook celebrates the seasons with 100 tasty recipes that celebrate fresh, seasonal dishes. It’s worth the purchase even if just for her exquisite food photography …”
InStyle USA (‘Best Cookbooks 2016’)

“Eat in My Kitchen,” by Berlin blogger Meike Peters, provides home entertaining tips as well as fastidiously written recipes that make everything from Maltese pastry to pork shoulder roasted in Bavarian beer seem breezily attainable. While Eat In My Kitchen is not purely vegetarian, Peters provides a wealth of everyday plant-centric menus in which meat is an accent, not the centerpiece.”
USA Today (‘The 16 Best Food and Beverage Books of 2016’)

“Sometimes a single recipe can encapsulate an entire cookbook. Eat in My Kitchen is filled with bold ideas reflecting Meike’s unbound imagination. The recipes here are most definitely NOT 1-2-3 simple. You can easily accomplish any of them, but you are going to need some time. The dishes are delightful because of their complexity: multiple ingredients unexpectedly combined into layers you’ve never, never seen before”
The Huffington Post

“Peters excels at making simple recipes special, often with a dash of spice or a drizzle of dressing. A gorgeous cookbook to carry readers through all four seasons.”
Library Journal

“For all its historical influence, Berlin hasn’t borne much reputation as a gourmet capital. With her internationally admired food blog and now book of the same name, Peters may well change that. Although Peters’ cooking style has its foundation in German cuisine, she has spent much of her life in Mediterranean climes, so her cooking owes much to the influence of islands such as Malta and its neighbor, Gozo. Peters’ cooking liberally uses fresh ingredients, particularly herbs, which play a prominent role even in her cheese-stuffed meatloaf. She proudly promotes decidedly German dishes such as schnitzel, both of veal and pork. Oranges perfume many of her dishes, whether in a pork-roast crust, in salads, or in an uncommon spaghetti sauce with wild mushrooms. She pays homage to the lowly sandwich, which she elaborates with vegetarian options as well as meat-based versions. Color photographs help guide anyone wanting to reproduce Peters’ perceptive cooking.”

“Blogger Meike Peters is a fan of all things in moderation, and her debut book strikes a balance between healthy and indulgent. Try Mediterranean-inspired spiced salmon or feta, artichoke and zucchini casserole―then finish with chocolate-olive oil cake.”
Self Magazine

“The winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for food writing, Eat in My Kitchen grew out of Meike Peters’ recipe blog of the same name. Peters, who is German, has a Maltese boyfriend, which helps to explain the strong pan-European flavour present in both the blog and the book. Sauteed Belgian endive wrapped in prosciutto di Parma is one such recipe … The New York Times recommends the delicious cod in parchment with wild leeks and red onions.”
The Week UK (‘The Best Cookbooks of 2017’)

“Eat in my kitchen is a wonderful selection of recipes, bursting with colour, beauty and flavour. Each page offers a new temptation”.
Sami Tamimi, head chef, Ottolenghi restaurants, co-author of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Jerusalem

“I was totally blown away by the recipes and Meike’s photography – a true labor of love. Eat in My Kitchen is glorious – it engaged me from the first line “My food is in my hands” and kept me interested until the last chapter.”
Jenny Hartin, Sunday Supper

“Great food like great art speaks the truth. Meike’s recipes and photos are pared down, honest and revealing – I love what she does! She goes right for the sensory jugular leaving you wanting and needing more. Void of superfluous detail, Meike’s all about delicious food – brava!”
Cynthia Barcomi, pastry chef, founder of Barcomi’s, and author of six cookbooks

“Meike’s food combines the vibrant colors and flavors of her German home as well as her Maltese home-away-from-home. Her Pretzel Buns from the book are perfect examples. They are based on a German recipe, but use Maltese salt.”
Design Sponge

“This collection of 100 dishes is a must-read for anyone looking for a cooking lesson with inimitable charm.”
Food Republic

“Meike Peters’ new cookbook Eat in My Kitchen has our food-loving hearts beating fast and crushing hard.”
Honest Cooking

Joan Nathan’s Guide to Essential Jewish Cookbooks

Matt Taylor-Gross

Glance at the cookbooks in most Jewish American households and you will probably spot at least one by Joan Nathan. It may be the white and golden jacket of her Jewish Holiday Cookbook, a matzo meal dusted copy of her seminal Jewish Cooking in America, or her newest King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World, which came out this spring and includes recipes as diverse as defo dabo, an Ethiopian Sabbath bread, and t’beet, a Sabbath chicken and rice dish from Baghdad.

Threading them all together is Nathan’s exhaustive research, drawing on time spent in Jewish kitchens from Israel to India, digging through archives, and reading the countless books in English, Hebrew, and French, many of them now out of print, that line the shelves of her home. “That’s what I’m interested in. The history and continuity,” she says, using cookbooks as a way to step back into moments in Jewish history and communities that no longer exist.

Of all the books, she whittled the collection down to 10 for this recommended Jewish cookbook reading list.

The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York by Claudia Roden

The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York Amazon

“When I first started writing, I remember looking at her book of Middle Eastern food and I thought it was so cool that she had gone looking for the original sources,” Nathan explains. But the book of Roden’s that Nathan returns to most often is her tome on Jewish food, with its 800 recipes gathered from more than a decade of travels and her Egyptian and Iraqi heritage.

The Israeli Cookbook: What’s Cooking in Israel’s Melting Pot by Molly Lyons Bar-David

The Israeli Cookbook: What’s Cooking in Israel’s Melting Pot Amazon

By the time Nathan lived in Israel in the 1970s she says most people had “Israelified,” that is, developed a national Israeli identity distinct from their former homes. She admits that she’s always been a touch jealous of Lyons Bar-David who went to Israel shortly after it was founded to capture a rare moment where Jewish immigrants were flooding in from different parts of the world with their local Jewish traditions and recipes still intact.

“When I’m looking to learn about Jewish customs, I go to that cookbook. She talks about all kinds of customs. Libyan, Moroccan…every recipe has something above it,” that illuminates its history or story.

Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks

Encyclopedia of Jewish Food Amazon

The late Jewish food authority Marks intersperses recipes among hundreds of entries that trace the origins of Jewish dishes from matzo balls to h’raimi (a Libyan dish of fish cooked in spicy tomato sauce). “It’s a brilliant book,” Nathan comments. “For many people it’s a bible of Jewish cooking.”

Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews by Poopa Dweck

Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews Amazon

In a time of intense conflict in Syria, this stunning cookbook is particularly poignant. Dweck dug to find answers to questions about the once flourishing Jewish community that lived there. “She’s telling the story of a civilization that’s no more,” Nathan says. In that digging, she also unearthed recipes that the community and its descendants clung to, such as sour meatballs with cherries and tamarind.

The Way to a Man’s Heart: The Settlement Cook Book by Mrs. Simon Simon Kander

The Way to a Man’s Heart: The Settlement Cook Book Amazon

“I grew up on it and even my mother—who died at 103—instead of using my 11 cookbooks would use The Settlement Cookbook. It was the cookbook her mother gave to her when she got married,” she goes on.

Her mother wasn’t alone. This book, originally published in 1903 and reprinted as recently as 2006, was a guidepost for many Jewish cooks through the 20th century, with chapters on household rules, outlines of menus, and recipes for everything from borscht to chicken chop suey.

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Solomonov, a James Beard Award winning chef, “goes to the heart of Israeli cooking” in this book, breaking down Jewish food in a way that no other chef cookbook does, Nathan says. Along with business partner Cook, the two share their personal stories from times spent in Israel and working at their acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant by the same name.

The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews: Traditional Recipes and Menus and a Memoir of a Vanished Way of Life by Edda Machlin

The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews: Traditional Recipes and Menus and a Memoir of a Vanished Way of Life Amazon

The traditions and recipes of the Jewish community of Italy are little known to most American Jews. Machlin, who grew up in the Tuscan town of Pitigliano, shares some of them including remembrances of the town’s communal matzo oven. Recipes from the community, like lingua salmistrata (pickled beef tongue), are traditional, but as Nathan says, “you wouldn’t think of all of it as Italian food.”

Sephardic Cooking: 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India by Copeland Marks

Sephardic Cooking: 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India Amazon

Like Machlin’s book, this guide to Sephardic cooking (the food of Jews or descendants of those who lived on the Iberian peninsula) is transportive, Nathan says. Marks traveled as far east as India, learning Jewish customs by spending time in homes and capturing recipes from cooks in Greece, Yemen, Turkey, and beyond.

Jewish Cookery Book by Esther Levy

Jewish Cookery Book Amazon

Originally printed in 1871, The Jewish Cookery Book is technically called Jewish Cookery Book on the Principles of Economy, Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers, with the Addition of Many Medicinal Recipes, and Other Valuable Information, Relative to Housekeepers and Domestic Management. While it’s been reprinted since, it’s most notable for being the first Jewish and kosher cookbook published in America. The book has a “lot of these old Sephardic recipes,” says Nathan, as it came out before the first major wave of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, who brought with them the building blocks of the modern American Jewish culinary canon.

The Jewish Manual: Practical Information in Jewish and Modern Cookery with a Collection: of Valuable Recipes & Hints Relating to the Toilette by Lady Judith Co

The Jewish Manual: Practical Information in Jewish and Modern Cookery with a Collection: of Valuable Recipes & Hints Relating to the Toilette Amazon

Written by Moses Montefiore’s wife in 1846, this was the first kosher cookbook published in England. “I am constantly amused and learning things from what she did in her book,” Nathan says. As Nathan puts it, “It’s like an English woman’s take on Jewish food.”


The SAVEUR Cookbook Club

Each month, our Cookbook Club digs deep into a cookbook and shares our progress online.

Best European Cookbooks - Recipes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, it is for cookbook enthusiasts, at least. That’s because fall is traditionally the season when publishers release their A-Listers, and this year, things seem to be on overdrive — maybe because they know we might be hunkering down even more than usual over the next few months. Here are nine books I can’t wait to dive into on cozy, fire-in-the-fireplace kinda days…

Ottolenghi Flavor
By Yottam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage
Why I’m Excited: Sure, his recipes famously require many ingredients, but here’s the thing: the result is almost always extraordinary and stretches you to learn and expand your pantry. This book focuses on high-impact ingredients (black lime, cascabel chiles, mango pickle) and techniques (charring, infusing, browning) for boosting cooking with high-intensity flavor. I’m choosing to think of these dishes as projects or Saturday night adventures, a nice stand-in for the restaurants we probably won’t be able to go to this winter.
What’s Up First: Roasting Pan Ragu (made with mushrooms, harissa and lentils), Black Lime Tofu, Miso-Butter Onions

East 120 Vegan and Vegetarian recipes from Bangalore to Beijing
By Meera Sodha
Why I’m Excited: I’ve been a big fan of Sodha ever since she wrote the weeknight-friendly vegetable-forward Fresh India. Here, The Guardian‘s vegan columnist (and mom of a toddler) applies her same no-fuss style to East Asian and South Asian home cooking. She’s just the hand you want to be holding if you are going down the fermenting-and-pickling road to flavor-boosted plant-based eating. And you gotta love her mission: “I love vegetables, and I want you to love them, too.”
What’s Up First: Aubergine (Eggplant) Katsu Curry (above), Forbidden Rice Salad with Blistered Broccolini, and Miso, Pea and Coconut Chutney

In Bibi’s Kitchen The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers From the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean
By Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
Why I’m Excited: The two authors — Hassan, a Somalian refugee, former model, and business owner and Turshen, a cookbook author and collaborator — join forces to share the stories and the recipes from African grandmothers who hail from Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar and Comoros. “It’s not about what’s new and next,” they write. “It’s about sustaining a cultural legacy and seeing how food and recipes keep cultures intact.” Many of the recipes were transcribed from videos of the Bibis cooking dishes they’ve never written down. How great is that?
What’s Up First: Digaag Qumbe (chicken stew with coconut and yogurt, Somalia), Ndizi Kaanga (fried plantains, Tanzania), Malva Pudding Cake (South Africa)

Pie for Everyone: Recipes and Stories from Petee’s Pie, New York’s Best Pie Shop
By Petra Paredez
Why I’m Excited: I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to up my Thankgiving game, pie and otherwise, any way I can this year. (It’s called controlling the controllable.) Paradez’s gorgeously photographed, meticulously written book will play a central role in that strategy: The uber-popular Lower East Side pie maker shares hits from her sweet and savory collection in the most stylish way. How ’bout that cover?
What’s Up First: Her signature Chocolate Chess Pie, Pork Chili Verde, Honey Chèvre, Cornmeal Pecan Crumb

Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico
By Mely Martinez
Why I’m Excited: Because it’s authentic Mexican home cooking from The Mexico in My Kitchen blogger, who started writing about food a decade ago because she wanted her teenage son to someday cook the family recipes for his children. With influences from Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Veracruz, Puebla, Estado de México, Tabasco and Yucatán.
What’s Up First: Steak Tacos, Mole Poblano, Pozole Verde, Chiles Rellenos

The Rise Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food
By Marcus Samuelsson with Osayi Endolyn
Why I’m Excited: Because I’ve been a Marcus Samuelsson fan ever since eating at Aquavit, his first big restaurant in New York in the 󈨞s. Samuelsson’s story has been well-documented — the TV star and New York-based restaurateur was born in a hut in Ethiopia, adopted by parents in Sweden, and trained as a chef in Europe, before opening the iconic Red Rooster in Harlem. With this book, he asks himself “What does it mean to be a Black chef in America” and answers it by sharing the stories and recipes from the Black food diaspora, from Junebaby’s Eduoardo Jourdan to author-food writer Toni Tipton-Martin. Co-authored by Osayi Endolyn recipes by Yewande Komolafe.
What’s Up First: Salmon Rillettes with Injera, Flaky Andouille and Callaloo Hand Pies, Grilled Piri Piri Shrimp with Papaya and Watermelon Salad (above)

Snacking Cakes Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings
By Yossy Arefi
Why I’m Excited: Anyone who’s even spent a little amount of time on this blog knows about our beloved Yossy! She’s one we call when we need someone to do it all — make the food, plate the food, photograph the food. (If you’ve ever cooked a recipe from CoJ, it’s likely because she’s the one who made it look so enticing.) With Snacking Cakes, she’s right there in her wheelhouse, delivering 50 easy, comforting, everyday cake recipes — many of which, like the Buckwheat Banana I made yesterday, you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
What’s Up First: Salty Caramel Peanut Butter, Buttered Walnut with Coffee Glaze, Chocolate Peanut Butter

Coconut & Sambal Recipes From My Indonesian Kitchen
By Lara Lee
Why I’m Excited: Because Lee, the daughter of an Australian mom and Indonesian-Chinese dad, journeys across the country, learning from both experts and home cooks along the way, paying particularly beautiful homage to her Indonesian grandmother “Popo,” a onetime baker who lived with Lee’s family in Sydney. It’s a celebration of a cuisine I don’t know very much about — Indonesian — and Lee’s voice and style make it look so enticing.
What’s Up First: Beef Rendang, Gado-Gado, Chicken Nasi Goreng (above)

Chaat Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook
By Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy
Why I’m Excited: Because it’s as fun to read as it is to cook from. You’ll travel with James Beard-Award winning Chauhan as she trains her way through India, stopping at each station to sample the regional chaat — the iconic snacks of Indian cuisine that she describes as “tangy and sweet, fiery and crunchy, savory and sour all in one topsy-turvy bite” fashioned for her by vendors she calls “flavor alchemists.” I love cookbooks that aren’t exclusively shot in a studio with controlled lighting and professional stylists. You’re on the street here, you meet the vendors, you’re completely transported. And how good does that sound right now?
What’s Up First: Fresh Lime Sodas (Rajasthan), Dal Baati Churma Chaat (Lentils with Wheat Rolls, Jaipur), Idli Chaat (South Indian-style steamed breakfast pancake)

What cookbooks have you recently been into? What have you made from them? I’d love to know.

(Photos: Aubergine by David Loftus. Steak tacos by Mely Martinez. Chicken Nasi Goreng by Lara Lee. Pies by Victor Garzon.)

Best European Cookbooks - Recipes

In his 1.7 million copy bestseller How to Cook Everything, award-winning, bestselling author Mark Bittman makes the difficult doable. Now, after six years of globe-spanning travel, he brings readers the most authentic and the BEST recipes from around the globe. In The Best Recipes In the World: More than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook At Home. Mark's methodical zeal and boundless curiosity makes the "exotic" accessible.

The Best Recipes In the World will not only teach the most traditional American cook how to prepare global cuisine, it will expand tastes and ingredient choices as well. This is the first international cookbook to give equal emphasis to European and Asian cuisine&mdashAsian food now rivals European fare in popularity&mdashwith easy-to-follow recipes for Stir-fry from Japan, Black Bean and Garlic Spareribs from China, and Tandoori Chicken from India. Other less familiar cuisines are explored in depth as well such as Turkish, Spanish and Mexican.

Mark teaches us how to shop locally and cook globally: If you wanted to cook Vietnamese food tonight, but have never done so before, it is possible with recipes from this book, ingredients from the grocery store around the comer, and with the simple (or fancy) tools you have in your kitchen. With Mark's easy to follow, quick (or largely unattended) recipes, and detailed instructional drawings, you could be enjoying a delicious, homemade caramelized shrimp dish for dinner in about the same amount of time it takes for your take out order to arrive at your front door.

Mark Bittman makes it so easy:

  • Many recipes can be made ahead or prepared in under thirty minutes
  • More than one hundred line drawings
  • Sidebars and instructional drawings make unfamiliar techniques a snap
  • Fifty-two international menus, information on ingredients, and more make this an essential addition to any cooks shelf

The Best Recipes In the World is the destination for home cooks looking to explore the best the world has to offer. Like all of our finest cookbooks, it will not only help us put dinner on the table, but it will change the way Americans think about everyday food.

About the Author

Best-selling cookbook author Mark Bittman is the creator and author of the popular New York Times weekly column, "The Minimalist," and one of the country's best-known and widely admired food writers. This past spring his PBS series "How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America's Chefs" debuted. In the series, he pits his home cooking against the ultra-style of the best known chefs in the country (

How to Cook Everything won both the Julia Child general cookbook award and the James Beard general cookbook award for 1998 and spent a record 130 weeks on the L.A. Times Cookbook Hot List&mdashan unprecedented feat. Mr. Bittman created a best-selling collaboration with the internationally celebrated chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Their classic, Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef won a James Beard award, and is widely considered to be among the most accessible chefs cookbooks ever published. And Mr. Bittman's first book. Fish&mdashThe Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking, currently in its eighth printing, is the best-selling book on the subject. Mr. Bittman also produced the award-winning Minimalist Cookbook series: The Minimalist Cooks at Home, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner, and The Minimalist Entertains.

Mr. Bittman is a regular guest on the "Today Show" and NPR's "All Things Considered" and has appeared on countless national and local radio and television shows.

In Bibi's Kitchen

A book dedicated to the cooking of grandmas? Written by model-turned-recipe-developer-extraordinaire Hawa Hassan, with the incomparable Julia Turshen? We were sold on this book before it was ever published, and once we got the book in our hands, we were delighted at our good judgment.

The book's recipes and stories are siloed into eight chapters, each focusing on the cuisine of African countries (Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, and Comoros) that lie along the coastline of the Indian Ocean. These countries also share a common language, Swahili, which also provides the operative word in the book's title: "bibi," which means grandmother.

Hassan and Turshen have written an intimate, revealing, and, above all, educational book. Not only is it a pleasure to read, but it's even more rewarding to cook out of, to experience the privilege of tasting recipes that have been handed down for generations, all made possible by the diligence and care Hassan and Turshen have amply demonstrated elsewhere.

Best Vegan: Vegetable Kingdom

Bryant Terry is a food justice activist, and this collection of recipes—presented in a casual style approachable for families—is great for vegans, the vegan-curious, and omnivores alike. Terry’s specialty is Afro-vegan cooking, and his book of more than 100 recipes use fresh produce for dishes that consider spices to be essential and put flavor on a pedestal. Think recipes like millet roux mushroom gumbo, citrus and garlic-herb-braised fennel, and jerk tofu. Cleverly, the book’s organized by ingredient (which is great if you want to use up something in the fridge), and he also covers basic techniques—like how to assemble a stunning salad and how to cook soups—so anyone can get cooking.

Watch the video: Burak Özdemir Turkish Chef Cooking Amazing Traditional Turkish Food 2019 (December 2022).