Kitchen Stuff: The Best Middle Eastern Cookbook

cooking bible2

In a small kitchen, you don’t need a lot of equipment to cook great food. Still, you do need some pots, pans, utensils, and dishes–obviously. In the BGSK book, you’ll find a bare bones list of necessary tools, but I’ve long wanted to bring you a similar resource on the web.

So we’re going one by one, stocking up our virtual pantries and maybe our real ones too.

When you embark on a new cooking project–or really on learning to cook altogether–it helps to have a good reference book on hand. In fact, you can skip culinary school altogether if you’ve got an encyclopedia like Mastering the Art of French Cooking: think, of course, of Julie and Julia.

So when I embarked on my Middle Eastern Flavor Journey, I knew I would need a bible. I bought a bunch of Middle Eastern cookbooks and added them to my tottering pile, and in the last few months, I’ve paged through them, reading and cooking my way to a true appreciation of the region’s cuisine, and sharing my findings with you.

There’s been one standout among the books, Claudia Roden’s, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, originally published in 1968. All the chapter and recipe introductions convey serious knowledge from Roden to the reader, not just about the food but also about the cultures, and about the changes in how Westerners have come to view the food of Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria in the passing decades. In Roden’s pages, I’ve discovered new flavors and flavor combinations, gotten a sense of the flow of a Middle Eastern meal, and come to appreciate the true simplicity of the best Middle Eastern dishes. If you’re interested in the region, I can’t recommend the book highly enough–and I’ve barely cracked the surface.

Here are three of the amazing recipes I’ve made from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food:

This sponsored post is part of an ongoing collaboration with Sargento, called Flavor Journey. Throughout the year, with the support of Sargento, I’m exploring Middle Eastern cuisine–at home, in Brooklyn, at cooking classes, and wherever the flavors may take me. You can see the whole series here. Sponsored posts let me do some of my best work on this blog, and I only ever work with brands whose values and products mesh with the content I love to produce for you. Here’s my affiliate disclosure.

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