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The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook

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2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards Winner: Vegetable Cooking A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen, also published by Phaidon. A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salm 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards Winner: Vegetable Cooking A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen, also published by Phaidon. A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salma Hage’s new book is in line with the current Western trends of consciously reducing meat, and the ancient Middle Eastern culture of largely vegetarian, mezze style dining. Traditionally, the Middle Eastern diet consisted largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, pulses, grains and legumes. Salma simplifies this fast becoming popular cuisine with easily achievable recipes, many with vegan and gluten-free options. Drawing inspiration from ancient and prized Phoenician ingredients, from grassy olive oil to fresh figs and rich dates, this book offers an array of delicious breakfasts and drinks, mezze and salads, vegetables and pulses, grains and desserts. Salma shows how to easily make the most of familiar everyday fruits and legumes, as well as more exotic ingredients now widely available outside of the Middle East, with nourishing recipes so flavourful and satisfying they are suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.


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2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards Winner: Vegetable Cooking A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen, also published by Phaidon. A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salm 2017 James Beard Foundation Book Awards Winner: Vegetable Cooking A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen, also published by Phaidon. A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salma Hage’s new book is in line with the current Western trends of consciously reducing meat, and the ancient Middle Eastern culture of largely vegetarian, mezze style dining. Traditionally, the Middle Eastern diet consisted largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, pulses, grains and legumes. Salma simplifies this fast becoming popular cuisine with easily achievable recipes, many with vegan and gluten-free options. Drawing inspiration from ancient and prized Phoenician ingredients, from grassy olive oil to fresh figs and rich dates, this book offers an array of delicious breakfasts and drinks, mezze and salads, vegetables and pulses, grains and desserts. Salma shows how to easily make the most of familiar everyday fruits and legumes, as well as more exotic ingredients now widely available outside of the Middle East, with nourishing recipes so flavourful and satisfying they are suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

30 review for The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Phaidon always publishes beautiful books, and this one fits right in, although it's the first cookbook I've ever seen where the food's already been eaten on the cover! There are a lot of great sounding recipes in here, the photos are really nice, and the layout is simple and uncluttered. It has a few quirks, though. Just flipping through it I caught a number of typos, and sometimes it seems like how recipes are placed within the book is strange; for instance, there are four or five recipes for k Phaidon always publishes beautiful books, and this one fits right in, although it's the first cookbook I've ever seen where the food's already been eaten on the cover! There are a lot of great sounding recipes in here, the photos are really nice, and the layout is simple and uncluttered. It has a few quirks, though. Just flipping through it I caught a number of typos, and sometimes it seems like how recipes are placed within the book is strange; for instance, there are four or five recipes for kibbeh, but they're spread out in at least two different sections, and even within the same section, they aren't together. Then also, sometimes Hage will talk in the notes beginning each recipe, discussing the origin of it, or why it's special to her family, but that introduction will come after several other variations of that recipe have already appeared, so it feels out of sequence chronologically. Things like that felt strange to me, and make the cookbook a little harder to use. And as another reviewer mentions, there are no indications of sizes for vegetables that can vary widely, like zucchini and eggplant. That said, there are a number of things I want to try, namely all those kibbeh recipes (I used to get the beef kibbie at our old favorite Mediterranean restaurant, and I've missed it since I went vegetarian), and lebneh and ful medames, which that restaurant doesn't serve anymore (these are also several of the reasons that we don't love that restaurant as much as we used to!). A lot of the dips and mezzes look really good to me too. I don't think there's enough in here that I would realistically make to justify purchasing it, but if you're looking for a thorough mostly Lebanese vegetarian cookbook, this could be the one!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Erwin

    This book is phenomenal. As a person who's not quite vegetarian but doesn't cook much meat anymore, it's really wonderful to lay hands on recipes that have this much flavor and dishes that vary from light salads to hearty stews and baked main courses. Plus the sauces and the interesting herbal teas, the cheeses and breads... One of the things I particularly love about this book is something that appears to have dissuaded some other reviewers. I'm one of those cooks who likes it when a cookbook wr This book is phenomenal. As a person who's not quite vegetarian but doesn't cook much meat anymore, it's really wonderful to lay hands on recipes that have this much flavor and dishes that vary from light salads to hearty stews and baked main courses. Plus the sauces and the interesting herbal teas, the cheeses and breads... One of the things I particularly love about this book is something that appears to have dissuaded some other reviewers. I'm one of those cooks who likes it when a cookbook writer avoids instructing me to use an eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon and precisely three small pinches of salt in whatever recipe. One of my other favorite cookbooks, Italian Food by Elizabeth Bard, does just that--assumes you're smart and treats you accordingly. Some of the techniques, as the book notes in the beginning, are more advanced, but there are plenty of recipes for cooks of every level. Every recipe I've made has turned out just like in the photos, and tasty as all get-out. This is so rare for a cookbook! Can't rave enough about it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    What an excellent book. It’s biblical in contents, and I’m very excited to try a whole range of the dishes. Particular standouts include the variety of kibbeh and falafel, the avocado and tahini dip, chilli chickpea crackers, eggplant and pomegranate salad, fennel and celery root slaw with sumac, buckwheat and fava bean salad, stuffed mushrooms with lebneh and za’atar, zucchini turnovers, vegan moussaka, stuffed baby eggplants, green split pea soup, and pinto beans on toast. The sweet section is What an excellent book. It’s biblical in contents, and I’m very excited to try a whole range of the dishes. Particular standouts include the variety of kibbeh and falafel, the avocado and tahini dip, chilli chickpea crackers, eggplant and pomegranate salad, fennel and celery root slaw with sumac, buckwheat and fava bean salad, stuffed mushrooms with lebneh and za’atar, zucchini turnovers, vegan moussaka, stuffed baby eggplants, green split pea soup, and pinto beans on toast. The sweet section is a great blend of tradition an creativity, and I’m keen to try the spiced apple and date crumble, coconut and ginger cake, tahini and pomegranate cookies, sesame seed bars, pistachio walnut halva, and the orange plum and almond cake. The author Salma Hage has peppered the book with lovely familial details and plenty of tips, tricks and substitutions. Despite the immense number of recipes, there are common ingredient threads throughout and it never feels disjointed. There is a sense of calm here as well, so you should feel in safe hands when you take to the kitchen yourself. The way the recipe photographs have been shot is great too. Often instead of a photo per dish they have been shot laid out feast-style on a table so you can see how these dishes may be served together. It reflects the traditional way of eating and makes me far more excited about some of the plainer, “filler” dishes. I also loved the cover - a dish so good the photographer devoured it before he had the chance to snap it? Must be onto a winner.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marleene

    The photography is beautiful and generous - each recipe has an accompanying full page photograph. The author has modified some traditionally meat based recipes to make them vegetarian or has changed ingredients to make them gluten free, creating a book that should appeal to a wide variety of people. There is a great variety of foods presented as well, but the chapters are a bit jumbled. For example, one is labeled "Breakfast" but another is labeled "Vegetables". Many of the breakfast presentatio The photography is beautiful and generous - each recipe has an accompanying full page photograph. The author has modified some traditionally meat based recipes to make them vegetarian or has changed ingredients to make them gluten free, creating a book that should appeal to a wide variety of people. There is a great variety of foods presented as well, but the chapters are a bit jumbled. For example, one is labeled "Breakfast" but another is labeled "Vegetables". Many of the breakfast presentations could just as easily fit into "Legumes and Grains" I agree with some other reviews that the organization of the recipes could be better. For example, all eggplant recipes were not grouped together nor were the kibbe recipes. These jumped around within the chapter. Typically, variations are grouped together. For readers living in areas where ingredients may be more difficult to source, a mail order guide would have been helpful. But overall, this was a beautiful book, obviously written with love and a desire to share a cuisine that is delicious and often unfamiliar to many Americans.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diann

    If you are vegetarian and looking for ways to add variety to your diet, this is a good cookbook to add to your collection. Recipes are easy to follow, with fairly common ingredients. I did have to add some spices to my collection, but they were easy to find. Beautifully illustrated.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    Some delightful sounding recipes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Easy to understand, beautiful pics and a wide variety of recipes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Excellent!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bundt

    Respected Lebanese cook and author Salma Hage’s sophomore release for Phaidon caters to vegetarians, but everyone will enjoy these dishes. Lebanese cuisine tends to be very vegetarian-friendly in general, featuring numerous preparations of grilled, braised, and pureed vegetables as meze. I loved the vegetarian versions of kibbeh, salads (especially the freekeh, pomegranate, and feta salad), and lighter takes on desserts (fresh fruit salad with mint syrup, pomegranate-yogurt ice pops). Recipes ar Respected Lebanese cook and author Salma Hage’s sophomore release for Phaidon caters to vegetarians, but everyone will enjoy these dishes. Lebanese cuisine tends to be very vegetarian-friendly in general, featuring numerous preparations of grilled, braised, and pureed vegetables as meze. I loved the vegetarian versions of kibbeh, salads (especially the freekeh, pomegranate, and feta salad), and lighter takes on desserts (fresh fruit salad with mint syrup, pomegranate-yogurt ice pops). Recipes are labeled as vegan and/or gluten-free where applicable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Lots of great recipes and beautiful photos of every dish. But with all that gorgeous food, why would anyone put a photo of a dirty plate on the cover? Thankfully, none of the photos inside the book show dirty dishes or half-eaten food. All of the recipes sound and look delicious; there aren't any I wouldn't try. The instructions are occasionally a little vague though. For instance, a recipe for Rose Plum Jam says to continue cooking until "the jam reaches setting point on a candy (sugar) thermom Lots of great recipes and beautiful photos of every dish. But with all that gorgeous food, why would anyone put a photo of a dirty plate on the cover? Thankfully, none of the photos inside the book show dirty dishes or half-eaten food. All of the recipes sound and look delicious; there aren't any I wouldn't try. The instructions are occasionally a little vague though. For instance, a recipe for Rose Plum Jam says to continue cooking until "the jam reaches setting point on a candy (sugar) thermometer" but never divulges what that temperature is. An alternate (but still very vague) method for determining when to stop cooking is given but it's not very helpful either. Some ingredient amounts are given in cups, ounces and grams, but not the ingredients that really need a definitive measurement such as a zucchini. One zucchini or 3 eggplants can range in size from a few ounces to several pounds. Most of the recipes are vegan and many are gluten-free, both of which have symbols used to denote this for each recipe. Those points aside, this is a great cookbook. The layout is clear and easy to read with recipe instructions on one page and the book lies flat when opened making it easy to work from. And those photos do make me want to try every recipe.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Pritchard

    Another good cookbook with some terrific recipes. I wish so many didn't rely on butter, oil and sugars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Robertson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate W

  15. 5 out of 5

    LR WILLIAMS

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susannah McAlwey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen Doll

  19. 4 out of 5

    Farien

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joyful Stoves

  21. 4 out of 5

    S SUCHAK

  22. 5 out of 5

    carissa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma Ashley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mairi

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky K

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  29. 4 out of 5

    Benazir Barlet-Batada

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alia

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