Book Review: The Modern Cook's Year by Anna Jones

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Title: The Modern Cook's Year
Author: Anna Jones
Publication Date: October 5th 2017

Synopsis: "An essential addition to every cook's bookshelf, The Modern Cook's Year will show you how to make the most of seasonal produce, using simple, hugely inventive flavours and ingredients.
Smoky mushroom and roast kale lasagne, Sri Lankan squash dhal, beetroot tops tast, tarragon-blistered tomatoes with green oil and chocolate and blood orange freezer cake are among the flavour-packed, easy dishes that celebrate the seasons in Anna Jones's kitchen. With a year's worth of one-pot meals, healthy breakfasts and the quickest suppers, this will become your go-to book time and time again whether in deepest winter, the first warm days of spring or the height of summer.
These simple yet special recipes by our best vegetable chef will take your cooking to a new level."

My thoughts: Okay, let me be clear up front: I adore Anna Jones and her cookbooks. I have both of her previous ones, and I cook out of them regularly. This one was highly anticipated by me and I have to say it actually exceeded my expectations.

The way this book is put together is wonderful. With an introduction that very nearly brought me to tears, and definitely gave me the warm fuzzies, to different sections depending on the weather, this book is beautifully laid out and absolutely wonderful to look through (and, yes, I do read cookbooks from front to back when reviewing. this one did not disappoint).

Jones hasn't just separated the book into clearly marked seasons - although they are here, too - but discusses how the year doesn't always get easily divided into four distinct parts. So, we have a chapter dedicated to the 'Start of the Year' (though I have to think about this in terms of 'Northern Hemisphere' rather than down here in the South, it is a fairly simple change to make in my mind); one dedicated to 'First Warm Days', and one towards the end that is simply titled 'Basics', for things that can be made basically (heh) year round.

The recipes are accompanied by simple yet tasteful (sorry) photographs that just help the book to shine, and Jones's trademark gentle touch and friendly introductions to each recipe are soothing to my heart. This book shines with the love and care that has gone into producing it, and I am so happy to have a copy on my shelves. Highly recommend to everyone - whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or just looking for some delicious recipes to introduce more vegetables into your diet (Meatless Monday perhaps?). Definitely check this one out.

[I received a review copy of this book from HarperCollins. Thank you so much!!]

A favourite recipe from the book: I am a big fan of healthy breakfasts, when I have the energy to make them, and so I am most intrigued by the 'Baked Apple Porridge with Maple Butter'. Sign me up!

You would like this book if: You have liked Anna Jones's previous cookbooks; you like delicious vegetarian/vegan food; you appreciate an absolutely gorgeously put together cookbook.

Tea to drink while reading this book: Jones has a whole section dedicated to 'Tonics and Teas for Cold Days' and, even though it isn't cold here in Aus at the moment, I do have a cold, so perhaps 'Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper Tea to Keep Warm'?

Rating:  10/10

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