Felicity O’Driscoll of Cook the Books picks her favourite of the latest crop of summer cookbooks. Visit the shop at 78 Kelmarna Ave, Ponsonby, Auckland or go to cookthebooks.co.nz

VEG-TABLE
NIK SHARMA, CHRONICLE BOOKS, $80

I’ve absolutely loved Nik’s first two books and Veg-Table is the one of the new season cookbooks I’m most looking forward to getting stuck into. Nik takes a scientific approach to vegetable cookery, with origin, plant family and biology all taken into account in the recipes. While this is a book with big vegetable flavours it isn’t strictly vegetarian. Yet even where meat is used, vegetables are the star ingredient.

RESTAURANT GORDON RAMSAY
GORDON RAMSAY, HODDER & STOUGHTON, $110

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant has been the holder of three Michelin stars for 22 years, where he delivers fine dining with a pedigree that is hard to argue with. With personal reminiscences and recipes for 40 exquisite signature platings, this is a truly beautiful book, from the deep grey linen cover to the heavy paper stock and the evocative images. Perhaps it belongs on the coffee table, rather than risk getting the pages splattered in the kitchen.

PEINÁO: A GREEK FEAST FOR ALL
HELENA & VIKKI MOURSELLAS,SMITH STREET BOOKS, $60

Greek food is a cuisine that seems made for sharing: the food of sunny islands and ocean breezes; of vine- ripened tomatoes that burst with flavour; seafood so fresh it glistens. Peináo translates as ‘I’m hungry’ in Greek, and you will be as you read! This is the food that Greek families feast on, that they gather round the table and share. I’m pretty sure the Greek salsa verde is my new summer condiment.

A TABLE AT TANGLEBY VOL. I & II
SUE HEAZLEWOOD, AUCKRAM PUBLISHING, $65 EACH

Sue Heazlewood doesn’t do things by halves, she does them in double! There’s little Sue hasn’t achieved in life and when it came to sharing her massive repertoire of recipes she realised there were too many for one book, so rather than cull she wrote two. Each stands alone as a complete collection of recipes for seasonal eating and entertaining, and I can’t pick a favourite. This is the food she shares with friends and family at home at Tangleby, her acreage near Christchurch.