John Julian’s Top Five Cookbooks for Quick and Delicious Meals

When you’re hungry and are looking for supper inspiration, sometimes nothing beats rifling through the pages of a cookbook with enticing images and stumbling over a recipe that will make your mouth start to water. We’ve picked out some of our favourite cookbooks which have quick, delicious and interesting meals that you can rustle up quickly.

Gill Meller Gather cookbook front cover

1. Gill Meller – Gather

Gill is a chef, food writer and cookery teacher at River Cottage and Gather is his first solo book.

Separated by landscape and season, Meller’s recipes take you on a journey across the British countryside.
His interesting pairings of flavours make a refreshing read especially for those looking for new ideas.

Recipes include blackcurrant greens with chilli, ginger and garlic; Goat’s cheese with rhubarb and lovage; beef shin with smoked dulse but our favourite is probably the Chocolate rye brownies with bay and almonds.

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 Meera Sodha - East recipe book cover

2. Meera Sodha – East

East by Meera Sodha features vegan and vegetarian recipes from east and south-east Asia. Nearly all the recipes are quick to make without long lists of ingredients, making them perfect for delicious mid-week meals.
Sodha wrote East soon after becoming a mum so was unable to travel for months on end as she normally would when researching a book. Instead she went on a ‘food safari’ around London and the rest of the UK asking chefs for their secret recipes for tom kha ghai soup, Sarawak laksa and walnut miso. “I found that I could travel to Asia without travelling very far at all,”
Our favourite recipes from this book include Mouth-numbing noodles with chili oil and red cabbage; tomato curry; and quick coconut dal with tomato sambol.

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Sabrina Ghayour - Simply recipe book cover

3. Sabrina Ghayour – Simply

As the title suggests, Ghayour’s book is full of delicious and easy to cook recipes for ‘maximum flavour with minimum fuss’ which is music to our ears.
Her recipes are inspired by her Middle Eastern heritage and include Pomegranate molasses & honey-glazed meatballs; Yoghurt and spice roasted salmon; Courgette & oregano pancakes with feta and honey.

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Nigel Slater - Greenfeast autumn, winter book cover

4. Nigel Slater – Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter

We couldn’t write this list without including Nigel Slater. A stalwart figure on the British food scene, he’s one of the country’s best loved food writers and chefs. His back catalogue of cookbooks and popular TV series have provided inspiration for meals across the country. You can also catch him using the John Julian Bowl Pestle and Mortar in his programmes!
It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite to include in this list but if we really have to, we’d go for Greenfeast Autumn and Winter. Slater’s lyrical and gentle writing make reading this book a pleasure before you even start cooking.

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5. Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage – Flavour

The culinary powerhouse that is Ottolenghi is well known for his love of vegetables. As with Plenty and Plenty More, his latest book co-written with Ixta Belfrage puts vegetables at the centre stage once again. Boasting more than 100 innovative recipes that pull a flavour punch, it’s difficult to know where to start but we advise just diving right in!
From the much loved Corn Ribs of his ROVI restaurant to Chaat Masala Potatoes with Yoghurt and Tamarind, every recipe will get your taste buds tingling.

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