The Turkish Cookbook – A flavour of history

Exploring the Food of a Timeless Cuisine

Turkish cookbookThe Turkish Cookbook by Ghillie Basan, and published by Lorenz Publishing, is a gastronomic stunner. Its launch aligns perfectly with the more pleasant weather and dreams of the lapping waves in warmer climes.

It’s easy to fall in love with the dishes of Turkey. There is that enticing combination of the exotic and familiar with the advantage that most of the ingredients can be found in one’s regular supermarket. The recipes here take advantage of fresh vegetables, moderate use of meat, simply cooked fish and just a few common spices.

This gift-quality volume is superbly illustrated with some first-class food photography. Any home cook would be delighted by this comprehensive guide to Turkish cooking, with its nod to its past empire and its influences.

The perfect alternative for non-meat eaters

There are so many ‘best of the book’ recipes here. If one is lucky enough to have a grape vine (yes, they grow really well in the UK) then Stuffed Vine Leaves is a cheap yet impressive buffet dish. Those same leaves can wrap sardines for Chargrilled Sardines in Vine Leaves. This is not only a delicious plate, but those versatile leaves help to keep the fish together while grilling. This looks so sophisticated when presented to guests, and a cut above the expected burger. The perfect alternative for non-meat eaters.

Vegetarians will be happy with so many of these recipes. Borlotti Beans with Tomato and Garlic is inexpensive and sustaining and works as a main dish or as part of a vegetarian spread. Potatoes Baked with Tomatoes and Feta would be perfect at any time of year. This would be lovely served with a simple roast chicken.

The Turkish Cookbook would be welcomed by any keen veg grower. Courgette Fritters will help with the usual glut and the kids will demand more. The book is worth buying just for the recipe of Runner Beans with Tomatoes. In fact, beans of every sort are here in abundance – both dry and fresh.

Christmas gift

There are some enticing desserts here, as one would expect, but jam-makers will love Dried Fig and Pine Nut Jam with Aniseed. This would be wonderful to give to friends for Christmas. It keeps for months, is addictive and who needs more socks?

The Turkish Cookbook – Exploring the Food of a Timeless Cuisine is a winner in every regard. Novice home cooks will find plenty of dishes which are easy to prepare. I would say most of them are ideal for a wannabe chef. Those with advanced culinary skills will find dishes new to them and will be fascinated by their historic context.

The Turkish Cookbook – Exploring the Food of a Timeless Cuisine
Author: Ghillie Basan
Published by: ‎ Lorenz Books
Price: £20.00
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0754835158