It has been a long time since I bought a new cookbook but today I splurged on two:
The Sprouted Kitchen by Sarah Forte
and Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi
My reasons for purchasing these two are completely different: the first book reminds me of what I already do well and the second pushes me to extend my thinking. I checked both books out of the library before buying them. That's what I always do with cookbooks to make sure that it isn't just one recipe that I've seen featured on a blog that I like.
I didn't learn anything radically new in The Sprouted Kitchen but leafing through the recipes, I kept getting jolts of "Oh yeah! I haven't made something like that in a while!" It looks like a perfect book for when I'm too tired to try anything particularly challenging and can't think of what to cook. Recipes like walnut crusted salmon with edamame mash, honey mustard broccoli salad and toasted millet salad with arugula, quick pickled onions, and goat cheese all sound pretty easy and like they'd get me out of a rut when I'm burned out. And I like that while the recipes are healthy, they aren't excessively so--there's no scolding or preaching and plenty of recipes include cheese or a small amount of meat and suggestions like "grilled flank steak would go well with this salad."
Yotam Ottolenghi's book pushes me a little out of my comfort zone. The only recipe that I've actually cooked from the book was a delicious spice cookie at Christmas time, but I've made some of the recipes from his previous book, Plenty, and from his Guardian column like this parsley, lemon and bean salad and this herb soup, both of which produced intensely flavorful dishes. I don't know if I could eat Ottolenghi's food everyday but his recipes are a great shake up for when I'm really sick of what I usually cook. In Jerusalem, I'm looking forward to trying the hot yogurt and barley soup, pureed beets with yogurt and zaatar, lemony leek meatballs and saffron chicken and herb salad.
If you've cooked from either of these books, let me know your favorites (or duds!)