Summer’s Lease: How to Cook Without Heat

Thom Eagle, Quadrille, RRP£16.99

Thom Eagle’s second book covers the fashionable arts of “cooking without heat”, in a contemplative and occasionally poetic manner. You may never get round to fermenting or salting your own food but you’ll never regret letting Eagle describe, beautifully, how it’s done.

Babette’s Feast (BFI Film Classics)

Julian Baggini, BFI Publishing, RRP£11.99

Baggini, the most readable of philosophers, has written brilliantly on food in The Virtues of the Table and The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and now digs in to every food-lover’s favourite film. This slender treat nourishes with every page — with never a hint of a recipe.

Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How to Cook with Vegetables and Other Plants

Gill Meller, Quadrille, RRP£27

Meller’s books get better and better. His recipes are not just enchanting but seductive and with each book he paints a fuller picture of his own enviable lifestyle, committed to the union of nature and good eating.

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

Bill Buford, Knopf Publishing Group, RRP$28.95/Jonathan Cape, RRP£16.99

Buford has created a unique brand of immersive food writing that channels some of the greatest ever American investigative journalism. In Dirt, he “embeds” his entire family in Lyon, to uncover the heart of French cuisine, its glory, its glaring insecurities and uncertain future.

Japanese in 7

Kimiko Barber, Kyle Books, RRP£25

Japanese cuisine, ingredients and techniques have become increasingly influential in western cooking but Barber cleverly takes it back to the surprisingly simple roots. Each recipe uses seven ingredients to produce dishes of heartbreaking beauty and austere elegance.

Summer Books 2020

All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too

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