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Mediterraneo: Delicious Dishes from the Mediterranean by Clare Ferguson, with photography by Martin Brigdale (Ryland Peters and Small) Mediterranean food is everyone’s favorite – pasta and pizza from Italy, bouillabaisse from the South of France and the delicious honey-soaked pastries of Greece. The outdoor markets encapsultate the quality of Mediterranean food and cooking, and the extremes of climate, terrain, and local tradition make the cuisine interesting as well as healthful. Some of the choices in Mediterraneo include:

  • Appetizers such as Catalan Chickpea Salad, Spanish Tortilla (omelet) de Patata, and Greek Saganaki (pans of melted cheese with crusty bread).
  • Entrees such as La Cassola (a fish soup from Sorrento), Camargue Chicken with Red Rice, Spanish Paella, Spanish Duck with Olives, and Pork Tenderloin with Marsala.
  • Pasta, Bread, and Pizza, such as Fougasse, Neapolitan Pizza, Pesto alla Genovese with pasta or gnocchi, Penne with Tomatoes and Mozzarella, or Pappardelle with Basil Oil.
  • Salads and Vegetables such as Insalata Misticanza, Pickled Bean Salad from Provence, Salade Niçoise, and Greek Papoutsakias (baked eggplant with cheese).
  • Sweet Things such as Tarte aux Citrons (lemon tart), Kourambiedes (Greek shortbread), Semifreddo al Tiramisu, Panna Cotta with Rose Petal Syrup, or Bitter Chocolate and Hazelnut Gelato.

A useful list of websites and mail order sources help readers track down interesting suppliers of ingredients, herb seeds, and other Mediterranean items.

Written by Clare Ferguson, a well-known London food stylist, editor, consultant, and television chef-presenter, and photographed by award-winning cookbook photographer, Martin Brigdale, Mediterraneo is an irresistible collection of some of the best dishes from Italy, Spain, Greece, and the South of France.

The Middle Eastern Kitchen by Ghillie Başan, with photography by Jonathan Başan (Hippocrene Books, Inc.) This beautifully illustrated book describes recipes using more than 75 ingredients common in Middle Eastern cooking. The cuisines included in The Middle Eastern Kitchen are those of Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries’ culinary traditions have been influenced by the Persian, Islamic, and Ottoman empires, with a sprinkling of the Byzantine and Roman empires.

Each ingredient is broken down in sections on appearance and taste, historical background, and cultivation or manufacture methods. Each is illustrated with location, ingredient, and recipe photographstaken by food and travel photographer Jonathan Başan. The book is organized around categories of ingredients with recipes using both the usual and the unusual. The flavors of the Middle East are brought to life in the kitchen:

  • Meat and Fish – chicken, fish and shellfish and lamb
  • Fruit – including quince, fig, dates and pomegranate
  • Pulses, Cereals, and Grains – including chickpeas and fava beans
  • Nuts and Seeds – including chestnut, hazelnut, poppy seed and pistachio
  • Flavorings, Herbs, and Spices – including carob, nigella, orchid root, mastic, sumac, tamarind and fennugreek
  • Vegetables – including melokhia, okra and artichoke

Among the recipes are classics like Tabbouleh, Kibbeh (Bulgur and Lamb Patties) and Baklava, along with Carrot Rolls with Apricots and Pine Nuts and Persimmon Pickles. Other recipes include Grilled Fish with Dates, Roasted Stuffed Lamb, Iraqi Dumplings, Egyptial Chicken and Lemon Broth,, Meatballs with Cinnamon and Cherries, Duck with Walnuts and Pomegranate Syrup, Carrot and Green Lentils in Olive Oil, and Stuffed Date Fudge Cake.

Written by Ghillie Başan, Le Cordon Bleu-trained food journalist and restaurant reviewer, the insightful text takes readers and cooks into the history and diversity of these ancient cultures, while the 150 recipes allow them to put their knowledge of these ingredients to practical use. Filled with authentic recipes, The Middle Eastern Kitchen is the definitive guide to middle-eastern cuisine, providing insight into the customs and cultures of the region.

The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook (Everything Series) by Dawn Altomari Rathjen & Jennifer M. Bendelius (Adams Media Corporation) The cuisine of the Mediterranean evokes thoughts of luscious grains, pasta, vegetables, fruits, and, of course, olive oil. But did you know that current research also indicates that people who reside in these regions have low rates of chronic diseases and high life expectancies?

From Roasted Garlic Served on Crostini and Oven-Dried Tomatoes to Mushroom Ravioli with Walnut Parsley Pesto, The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook helps cooks of all levels bring the Mediterranean into the comforts of their own homes.

  • Some featured recipes include:

  • Acorn Squash Bake

  • Frittata

  • Red Lentil Lasagna

  • Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • Braised Okra with Tomato

  • Vegetable Samosas

Whether you’re cooking for one or having a full dinner party, The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook will have your guests begging you for the recipe!

 

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