The Lebanese Cookbook

The Lebanese Cookbook: Exploring the food of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan is another well-written and beautifully illustrated volume from author Ghillie Basan.  It truly is a Middle-Eastern culinary journey which offers surprisingly accessible recipes.

This oft-war-torn region has a rich and colourful culture and that includes its cuisine. Ghillie has penned this Gourmand World Cookbook Award-winning book to reflect both traditional and contemporary expressions of some outstanding dishes. There are Muslim and Christian, Jewish, Armenian, Palestinian, and Arab offerings, and the author puts these into the historic and geographic context with consideration of the customs and celebrations of all those communities.

lebanese cookbookTransformed into true temptations

This collection of 150 classic recipes reflects a delicious tapestry of foods which we can all enjoy. The vast majority of ingredients are available at one’s local supermarket. Familiar vegetables are transformed into true temptations and the common-or-garden into dinner party fare. Plates are wonderfully photographed, making this a gift-quality volume which any enthusiastic cook (or eater) would be delighted to own.

The Lebanese Cookbook is worthy of any smart coffee table but it’s more likely to spend its life in the kitchen where it will become smeared with tomato juice and honey, and I suspect Ghillie would be delighted if such was the case. This is a book to use!

My picks-of-the-book are numerous and include Spinach Pastries which use ready-made puff pastry so no need for filo drama; Lamb Kibbeh which is made as a tray bake rather than filled croquettes; delicate little Walnut Cakes which are perfect for afternoon tea; Butter bean Stew doesn’t sound enticing but will be loved by all who have enjoyed similar dishes served at room temperature in Greek tavernas. Yes, these dishes have travelled and been adapted throughout the world. Roast Leg of Lamb with Lamb rice could transform Sunday dinner.

That unmistakable flavour of the Middle East

The Lebanese Cookbook: Exploring the food of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan takes the reader to a private cookery school in their own kitchen. Most of the dishes are economic but with that unmistakable flavour of the Middle East. Nothing over-taxing for even a novice cook but so many recipes will be inspiring to the more confident as well.

The Lebanese Cookbook: Exploring the food of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan
Author: Ghillie Basan
Published by: Lorenz Books
Price: £20.00
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0754834694