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June issue: Five of the best new cookbooks

From Mediterranean recipes to classics from the Mauritius and Indian Ocean, here are our picks

By Heather Taylor
Published 29 May 2019, 21:17 BST, Updated 22 Jul 2021, 15:16 BST
Pistachio orange tart, a recipe from Moorish
Pistachio orange tart, a recipe from Moorish

Our pick: Moorish by Ben Tish 

Despite Ben Tish being born in Skegness, the food of Spain and Italy has defined his career. The chef-restaurateur has travelled extensively through both countries, bringing back recipes that have shaped the menus at his London restaurants (he’s culinary director of The Stafford, having previously been chef director of the Salt Yard Group). In particular, he’s drawn to those regions where the Moors left their mark. In Moorish, recipes such as burrata with coriander and fennel seeds demonstrate how the fragrant spices the Moors brought with them — from caraway and cinnamon to saffron and sumac — were combined with local ingredients. The chapters span breakfast and snacks such as Sicilian olive oil-fried flatbreads piled with anchovy, fennel, dried tomatoes and pecorino, and barbecue feasts of blackened Ibérico pork with PX sherry. There are more familiar dishes, too, like salmorejo soup from Andalucia, which originated during the Moorish occupation and has since become a Spanish classic. There are also plenty of light plates — charred peaches with goat’s curd, or mackerel kebabs with tahini — that are ideal for balmy nights. £26, Bloomsbury Absolute

Tropical tastes: The Island Kitchen by Selina Periampillai 

Take a tour of the Indian Ocean with the debut cookbook from a London-based food writer and supper club host. Periampillai draws on her Mauritian heritage, as well as the food of the Seychelles, Maldives, Mayotte and Madagascar, for homely recipes such as coconut chicken with sticky rice; and tamarind, pineapple and chilli salt salad.  £26, Bloomsbury 



Coastal cuisine: California: Living & Eating by Eleanor Maidment 

Flicking through this beautiful book by food editor and stylist Eleanor Maidment, you can almost taste the sea-salty air of the West Coast. The pages are packed with vibrant salads, grain bowls and laid-back brunches such as whipped ricotta on toast with blackberry and juniper jam; and, of course, San Francisco-style sourdough. £22, Hardie Grant


Meze moment : Saffron in the Souks  by John Gregory-Smith

For his fifth cookbook, Gregory-Smith found his inspiration in Lebanon. Some of the recipes he brought back will feel familiar — mezes of smoked aubergine dip, fattoush and stuffed vine leaves, for example — while others, such as pillowy douma dumplings, aim to inspire readers to delve into the lesser-known side of the country’s food. £25, Kyle Books 


Burmese bites: Mandalay by MiMi Aye 

Burmese cuisine is little known in the UK, but food blogger and cook Aye is setting out to change that with this book. Alongside recipes there are ingredient guides and tales of the author’s Burmese travels and heritage. Discover dishes such as chicken curry laced with ginger, sweet paprika and shrimp paste; and crunchy noodle salads with papaya and a hit of chilli. £26, Bloomsbury


Published in the June 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller Food

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