The Next Chapter·Holiday Gift Guide

3 new cookbooks for your kitchen this holiday

The Next Chapter columnist Aparita Bhandari recommends three cookbooks for the chef on your holiday shopping list.
Aparita Bhandari is a columnist with CBC Radio's The Next Chapter. (Rajesh Duggal)

The Next Chapter columnist Aparita Bhandari isn't just an avid reader, she's a fantastic home cook. Her household recently went vegetarian, so she's been hunting for some new recipes to help her kids with the transition. Below, she shares a few of her favourite cookbooks, which would make great presents this holiday season. 

Uncomplicated by Claire Tansey

Uncomplicated is a cookbook by former Chatelaine food director Claire Tansey. (Suech and Beck/Penguin Canada)

"Claire is a chef, a teacher and was also the former food director at Chatelaine. When I went through this book, I was impressed by how quick the recipes are, how sumptuous they are. There are a fair amount of vegetarian options. It's such a delightfully coloured book. It's a Canadian cookbook, and there are a lot of global influences. A simple Nepali daal is part of the Canadian meal somehow — I love this idea. I'm looking forward to exploring these ideas. Zucchini cheddar quesadillas is something that perhaps the kids might eat, who knows!"

Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi Simple is a cookbook of basic recipes by acclaimed U.K. chef Yotam Ottolenghi. (Pal Hansen/Ten Speed Press)

"I think this is on every cooking person's wishlist for the season. If you're looking for gifts, this might be one. Zucchini is one of those vegetables I don't quite get and there are a lot of zucchini options in this — steamed zucchini with garlic and oregano! That's sounds really cool. Stuffed zucchini with pine nut salsa! It's a vegetable that I've always seen at the grocery store and thought, 'Beyond pasta, what does one do with this?' Here are some recipes that I'm going to definitely be looking into. Of course, there's things like roasted whole cauliflower. The Middle Eastern approach to cooking is something I'm hoping to get more into. I can eat a tub of hummus if you give it to me."

Food52 Genius Desserts by Kristen Miglore

Food52 Genius Desserts by Kristen Miglore compiles 100 recipes that break the rules of baking. (Kristen Miglore)

"There are a lot of hacks in here. It's kind of scientific. There's this coconut fudge recipe in here and this is actually an Indian dessert that I have made on the odd occasion, but it takes ages. Most Indian sweets incorporate a lot of boiled down milk. You have to stand at the stove forever and keep on turning it so it doesn't burn. This particular recipe used condensed milk and came together in about 30 to 40 minutes, which is pretty crazy... There is also this 10-minute lime cracker pie by J. Kenji López-Alt, and the recipe uses Ritz crackers and condensed milk and lime. The end result looks fantastic, at least in the book."

Aparita Bhandari's comments have been edited for length and clarity.


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