I tend to buy cookbooks more frequently than I can ever possibly cook my way through them. However, I don’t feel entirely bad since one, they’re often beautiful books that I find enjoyment from simply through browsing their pages and two, they won’t ever spoil and are there whenever I want them. I’ve added quite a few to my collection over the last year and thought a roundup plus review post was in order.
The North End Italian Cookbook by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane
I absolutely loved the time I spent in Boston’s North End last September on my food tour. The city’s Little Italy is a vibrant place full of the most amazing locally owned eateries and stores (and it really puts Pittsburgh’s Little Italy to shame). So when I saw The North End Italian Cookbook, I knew this was one I’d like to own, especially since I’ve always wanted to delve into the more traditional side of Italian cuisine (i.e. less Italian-American fare). While I’ve only made one thing from it so far, I can’t wait to try more recipes in the future like the fried zucchini blossoms (I’ve always wanted to cook with these, I just don’t know where to get them from), eggplant in caponata, and even the fresh figs stuffed with prosciutto (that just seems so countryside Italian). As Buonopane has lived in the North End all her life, she often includes memories of the neighborhood which I enjoyed reading as an outsider.
Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
If there was ever such thing as a coffee table cookbook, Jerusalem would be it. The beautiful color photographs could be straight out of a National Geographic or any other travel magazine as they contain scenes of one of the world’s oldest cities, showcasing both its people and its food. I’m not going to lie, many of the recipes are more on the challenging/time consuming side (a major reason why I’ve only made two items from it). But as Ottolenghi is one of the most famous chefs in the world, this should come as no surprise. Some of the recipes I’d like to make in the future are the burnt eggplant and mograbieh soup (mograbieh is a type of giant cous cous) and a clementine and almond syrup cake.
Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell
After I returned from my trip to Scandinavia last year, I became more interested in Scandinavian cuisine (pickled herring is still a hard no). While there are a decent number of Scandinavian cookbooks available, I ultimately settled on Scandi Kitchen as I liked how the book was broken down and also found the recipes I perused to definitely be on the simpler side. I really was pleased that there is a whole chapter devoted to fika, the Swedish-style coffee break which is apparently quite the big cultural deal in Sweden (similar to the Spanish siesta). I’ve only made the Nordic fish cakes from it but in the future would love to try making the Danish rye bread, Swedish meatballs, and the strawberry summer layer cake.