Everyone finds inspiration in cookbooks

cookbooks on shelf

Sometimes it is difficult to find inspiration for your next meal. You might stare blankly into the refrigerator or pantry, hoping something will fall off the shelf and hit you in the head--in a figurative sense, of course, but if you're desperate enough you might accept a literal bump on the noggin. You might also surf the internet or turn to your cookbook collection for ideas. If that last option is the one you turn to first or that you find the most satisfying, you aren't alone. Even the biggest food bloggers use their cookbooks for inspiration.

Ed Smith of rocketandsquash.com discusses how he uses cookery books for inspiration in his latest Guardian piece. Says Smith, "I tend to scan for ideas first, then dive in deeper when elements of a dish or a particular paragraph catch my eye. Sometimes I'll follow a recipe exactly. But more often than not (and I can't be alone in this), that recipe triggers an idea and I'll go off at a tangent; though I'll remember and note the source." Ed, you are most definitely not alone.

He goes on to explain how the two recipes that follow his ode to cookbooks owe much to classic works. The first, a tomato tart, is a riff off a recipe from Rowley Leigh. Smith notes that the second recipe, a baby aubergine tart, was inspired by books from Claudia Roden, Sam and Sam Clark, Diana Henry and Yotam Ottolenghi. He says "why else would I add honey, cinnamon and cumin to what would otherwise have been a more intuitively Mediterranean mix?" 

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