Here is a collection of cookbooks I have on my own bookshelf. They allow me to play in the kitchen and help me to understand techniques, pairings and ingredient uses. Cooking is all about personal taste and creativity, so I simply use them as a reference to help me discovering the ingredient’s profile – a source of inspiration to create new recipes.
Wild Food – A Complete Guide for Foragers – by Roger Phillips
This is more a recipe book than a foraging guide, loaded with plenty of ideas to get you experimenting in the kitchen. It’s suitable to intermediate level foragers and includes many species of plants, fungi and seaweeds. The photographs look a little bit dated and the layout is quite chaotic, but still one of the must have in your bookshelf.
Foragers Kitchen – by Fiona Bird
This is a cookbook full of recipes you can do with the most commonly foraged ingredients. The photography is great and the book is full of interesting facts, including folklore, history and tips.
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine – by Pascal Baudar
An advanced level foraging book exploring the concept of local terroir in California. It combines the experience, research and knowledge of plants to help top chefs create unique recipes for ferments, infusions, spices, and other preparations. This book is mind-blowing and the techniques used are truly fascinating and really innovative.
River Cottage Handbook no12 Booze – by John Wright
A very enjoyable book to get started on brewing your own booze based on personal experiences of a professional forager. The handbook is divided into herbal infusions, wine, cider and beer. There is also a chapter dedicated to the main principles you must know before embarking a new adventure into homemade brewing.
Booze for Free – by Andy Hamilton
The very essential book you must have on your shelf, used to aid identification at home. Packed with full colour detailed photographs, precise descriptions, and information on habitat and edibility, this is the result of over 30 years work on fungi. Academic writing and technical data suitable for intermediate-advanced level.
Self-sufficiency: Preserving – by Carol Wilson
This book is part of the self-sufficiency series, in which the author goes though preserving the wild food we forage for, together with some allotment staples. The book covers jams, jellies, marmalades, butter cheese, chutneys and pickles.
River Cottage Handbook no2 Preserves – by Pam Corbin
This handbook comprises up to 75 recipes for jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, liqueurs and sauces to make with local produce and wild plants. Every recipe suggests tempting variations and comes with full colour photographs.