For our Summer reading list, Ultimate Library drew our inspiration from expert this month Joanna Preston, who writes her very own food blog Larder Saga. In her blog, Joanna creates simple, sumptuous recipes that are suitable for all the family and her stunning photography and wealth of knowledge is certain to get you excited about food. Cooking has been a great way for people to relax and slow down during lockdown.

Joanna chose some of her favourite cookery books, from French classic cookery to new and exciting Italian culinary adventures, this list will inspire you to pick up your wooden spoon and get stirring. These books contain some of the best recipes to get your culinary juices flowing. With delicious salads and vegetarian dishes, traditional meat recipes and perfect sweet treats, this list is ideal for any avid food lover to get stuck into.

1. “Dinner in French” by Melissa Clark

Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so Melissa Clark brings some of the French classics into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their summers in search of food and culture so it’s near to her heart. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.

2. “From the Oven to the Table” by Diana Henry

Diana Henry’s favourite way to cook is to throw ingredients into a dish or roasting tin, slide them in the oven and let that do the magic. Most of these easy-going recipes are cooked in one dish but more importantly they prioritise flavour. From quick suppers to full feasts for friends and family, Diana Henry’s recipes are vibrant and modern and focus on getting the very best out of ingredients.

3. “A Love of Eating: Recipes from Tart London” by Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones

The authors of this fabulous book are the minds behind Tart London – boutique caterers, pop-up kitchen pros and ES Magazine columnists who have been bringing bold and bright food to the London scene since they first started in 2012. This book is about their approach to cooking and eating – creating colourful, fresh and wholesome meals to share and enjoy, always with a fun and fuss-free attitude that’s delicious.

4. “Savour” by Peter Gordon

Internationally acclaimed chef and one of the fathers of fusion cooking, Peter Gordon, encourages you to throw away any preconceived ideas about what makes a salad and to instead create inventive, mouth-watering dishes that you’ll want to make time and again. Chapters are easily identified by a core ingredient, whether it’s meat, fish, grain, cheese or vegetable!

5. “Polpo” by Russell Norman

Tucked away in a backstreet of London’s Soho district, POLPO is one of the busiest restaurants in the UK’s capital. Critics and food aficionados have been flocking to this understated bàcaro where Russell Norman serves up humble dishes from the streets of Venice in this book. This is the kind of cooking that has kept Italy’s food reputation throughout the centuries, it’s unfussy, innovative and exuberantly delicious.

6. “The Geometry of Pasta” By Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kennedy

There are said to be over 300 different types of pasta, each of which has a history. These shapes have evolved alongside the flavours of local ingredients, and the perfect combination can turn an ordinary dish into something sublime. This book includes over 100 authentic recipes from critically acclaimed chef, Jacob Kenedy, alongside award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand’s stunning black-and-white designs to reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from all over Italy.

7. “Artisan Ice Cream” by Various Authors

Richly illustrated, told in a whimsical style, and filled with invaluable, easy-to-follow techniques and tips for making old-fashioned ice cream at home, The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Book includes captivating stories–and an explanation of the basic science behind these delicious creations. Enjoy these irresistible artisanal delights anytime–The Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Book shows you how.

8. “The Modern Cook’s Year” by Anna Jones

Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book Award and OFM Best New Cook Book 2018. This is an essential addition to every avid cook’s bookshelf. It shows you how to make the most of seasonal produce, using simple, hugely inventive flavours and ingredients. 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.

9. “Bitter Honey” by Letitia Clark

Chef Letitia Clark invites us into her home on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea – Sardinia in this stunning culinary adventure. The recipes in this book are simple, but you can taste the ethos behind every one of them – they invite you to slow down, enjoy time with your family and unwind. The importance of eating well is even more pronounced here on this forgotten island.

10. “River Cafe 30″ by Various Authors

With River Cafe 30, Ruth Rogers and her two head-chefs, Joseph Trivelli and Sian Wyn Owen, invite you to join them in marking 30 years of memories and good food at London’s The River Cafe. Since 1987, it has famously championed good quality Italian cooking. The chefs revisit the best dishes and introduce 30 new favourites from the menus today in a vibrant, new format.