Good Mediterranean/Persian Cookbooks
September 13, 2005 7:58 PM   Subscribe

What are some good Mediterranean/Persian cookbooks? Is there a Madhur Jaffrey for this kind of cuisine?
posted by namespan to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

She's superb. Paula Wolfert
posted by Keith Talent at 8:19 PM on September 13, 2005

The New Food of Life Has become a standard reference for my persian immigrant aunts (and mother) even though they'd all been cooking fine without it for 40 years.

I've been happy with the recipies, though I generally only ever use them as guides rather than strict formulas (which is generally how I use any cookbook).
posted by Good Brain at 9:16 PM on September 13, 2005

Second Paula Wolfert.
posted by Vidiot at 10:08 PM on September 13, 2005

I can recommend Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry.
posted by misteraitch at 10:25 PM on September 13, 2005

For Persian, I second The New Food of Life--it's excellent. I also like Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights, by Nesta Ramazani, but I'd get The New Food of Life first.

A sidenote--Persian cuisine isn't really Mediterranean. I think it's more similar to Afghani cuisine.
posted by lobakgo at 10:40 PM on September 13, 2005

Arabesque: Modern Middle Eastern Food by Greg and Lucy Malouf.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:54 AM on September 14, 2005

If you're looking for the symbiosis of meditteranean and North African/Middlep-Eastern cooking, then you can't go wrong with Sam & Sam Clarke's The Moro Cookbook. (And if you're ever in London, visit Moro, the restaurant, on Exmouth Market - one of the best restaurants I've ever visited...)
posted by benzo8 at 2:34 AM on September 14, 2005

I have another book by Najmieh Batmanglij, called A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking. It's not as in depth as New Food of Life, but it's got recipes for most of the stuff you're going to find yourself wanting to cook.
posted by kuperman at 6:04 AM on September 14, 2005

In a Persian Kitchen is an interesting read, part book about the food, part cookbook. The recipes are a tad salty for my taste and the fesenjun does not have enough anar in it (I like it mom's way, tart and tangy!). Anyway, its got a good basis with which to go on your own.

I also use recipe source for inspiration, and it's free!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:35 AM on September 14, 2005

A second for Taste of Persia, which is packed with recipes, pictures, and even some history of the cuisine and descriptions of how it has changed, what special ingredients can be added. It may seem like a small book, but you'll never run out of things to do with it. Turns out it's also a favorite of my Persian downstairs neighbor...
posted by whatzit at 6:57 AM on September 14, 2005

My mom has some dusty, old, lentil stained tome she keeps in a secret hiding place. I'll ask her what it is. She uses it when she cant remember just how many cups of x go in some dish she hasn't made in 30 years but decided to make for thursday's dinner. It also has a weight conversion chart that she uses to go from stuff like chenica to tablespoons and so forth.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2005

Response by poster: Sweet. Hidden, old, lentil-stained tomes sound perfect.

And thank you very much everone else. This is a great list for me to start with.
posted by namespan at 6:17 PM on September 14, 2005

Claudia Roden is excellent - try her Middle Eastern Food
posted by kitschbitch at 6:34 AM on September 15, 2005

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