Cookbooks take up a lot of kitchen real estate in my house – here’s a few that won’t be moved on. My favourite cookbooks for 2022.
We’re about to wrap up the year in the Lambs’ Ears Cookbook Club, and what a fun year it’s been. There have been some stand-out months in the club, and heaps of amazing dishes featured by our members, but today I want to share some of my favourite cookbooks of 2022.
A lot of cookbooks come across my desk, and I make every effort to feature nearly all of them on my social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram), but it’s fair to say that I fall in love with some of them quite deeply.
Of course, there’s lots of different reasons why one cookbook may be better than another, or resonate more than another, and end up with more stained pages and bookmarks. Sometimes it’s as simple as seriously tempting presentation, an appreciation of the thought, love and care that has gone into a cookbook, a favourite culinary tradition or style, or I’m feeling like cooking that particular style of food, or maybe it helps me to discover a technique or style of dish I hadn’t tried before – whatever.
For reasons of brevity, this list won’t include all of the cookbooks that I’ve happily cooked from and enjoyed getting to know during 2022 – just the ones that will find a permanent place on my (already overloaded) cookbook shelves.
With the above in mind, and in no particular order, here’s my favourite cookbooks for 2022. Each of these has inspired me in some way and successfully fulfilled my requirements – in general, they’ve basically done what it says on the tin, giving me a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
- More Fish, More Veg by Australian chef Tom Walton (August 2022 Murdoch Books) does exactly what it says on the tin – it encourages us to look at more sustainable ways to cook and eat, without scaring the horses too much. This is fresh, seasonal veg-forward food that is also tasty, family-friendly and, incidentally, healthy. Most of these recipes lend themselves easily to weeknight cooking, helping home cooks to gradually change their focus for family meals. It’s really made me rethink some of our regular meals, substituting them for much fresher dishes – and he’s big on a tray-bake, which is one of my favourite, lazy ways to get a meal on the table.
- Salamati by Hamed Allahyari with Dani Valent (September 2022 Murdoch Books) came with a blurb saying it “is a gateway to Persian culinary culture”, which is all I needed to see to know I was going to love it. I adore all Middle Eastern food, and Persian (or Iranian) food is amazing. It is incredibly delicious, rich in fresh herbs and the spice palate of the region, very versatile and healthy to boot. In the 10 years since Hamed arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iran, he has made it his mission to connect with both other refugees, and his new country-people with food, using his rich culinary traditions. This is comfort food, family food and/or celebratory food and that’s just one of the reasons I love it – it is food for every occasion.
- Catherine Phipps’ Modern Pressure Cooking (March 2022 by Hardie Grant) was a wonderfully timely eye-opener for me. I have, and adore, my multi-cooker but had rarely ventured into the pressure cooking properties of this versatile machine. Pressure cooking food can reduce cooking time by around 70% and energy use by up to 90% so it’s definitely an appliance for our time. I’ve always been a little afraid of my pressure cooker, but this results-driven cookbook drags these energy efficient and time saving devices right into the 21st century. The range of modern recipes is interesting and exciting, making me want to use the appliance in this mode more often. Phipps demystifies the pressure cooker and shows how to cook properly and speedily from scratch, all while maintaining high nutrient levels and the vibrancy of both food colours and flavours. Time considerations, energy costs, ease of meal preparation and a commitment to flavour are all important to me – and this book delivers on all fronts.
- Green Kitchen Quick + Slow by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (June 2022, Hardie Grant). This is the sixth book from this Stockholm-based couple who also publish a very popular blog called Green Kitchen Stories. I’ve not really been a vegetarian devotee, but this book and, as I subsequently discovered their others, are full of joyful, tempting, accessible food that I actually want to cook and eat. I was sent this book as a review copy by the publishers and use it regularly – it has yet to be put on the shelf – and I have since purchased a couple of their earlier books. That, from someone who is regularly sent cookbooks, is a fairly high recommendation.
YOU CAN BUY ANY OF THESE COOKBOOKS AT ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS, OR ONLINE AT BOOKTOPIA USING THE LINKS IN THIS POST. (IF PURCHASED VIA THESE LINKS, YOU WILL GET A GREAT PRICE AND I WILL RECEIVE A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE COST.)