Avocado, Mushroom and Tomato Pilaf | Harem Pilav

Harem pilav (avocado, wine and mushroom pilau)

It’s likely this Avocado, Mushroom and Tomato Pilaf recipe from Arto der Haroutunian’s cookbook, Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East carries influences from French colonialism in the region, given the use of white wine in the recipe. There’s a pleasingly retro vibe to the suggested presentation, and it’s a straightforward recipe for a midweek meal. ... Read more »

Syrian Pasta with Garlic-Tahini Sauce | Macaroni bil Tarator

Macaroni-bil-tarator

Known as Macaroni bil Tarator in Syria, this recipe from Arto der Haroutunian’s cookbook, Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East is a simple but satisfying one, and can be ready in minutes if you make the tarator (garlic-tahini sauce) in advance. It can also be enjoyed hot or cold. We’ve adjusted quantities given for the ... Read more »

Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian

Vegetarian Dishes of the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian

Our love affair with Middle Eastern food began at Uni with a Manchester Asian sweet shop that inexplicably also sold Lebanese dishes. It was affirmed by Lebanese buffet lunches of amazing quality, freshness and value, discovered at the Phoenicia restaurant just off Kensington High Street. Although now closed, memories of the tantalising fragrance of garlic, ... Read more »

Onion, Chilli & Mint Marmalade (Muraba-e-Murch-e-Surkh wa Piaz)

Onion, chilli and mint marmalade

This Onion, Chilli and Mint Marmalade features a hefty kick of chilli that adds extra punch to its rich sweet and savoury flavours. The recipe is from Sally Butcher’s Veggiestan cookbook, now republished as a new edition for its 10th anniversary. It pairs equally well with soft and salty cheeses such as feta or goats cheese, ... Read more »

Herby Rice with Saffron Vegetables (Sabzi Pulao)

Herby rice with saffron vegetables

This herb-laden, golde -baked rice dish hails from Persia and comes to us via Peckham thanks to Sally Butcher’s Veggiestan cookbook , now republished in a special 10th anniversary edition. The crisp, saffron-tinted surface of the rice, known as tahdik, is enormously prized by Persians and definitely the star of the show. The generous volumes ... Read more »

Veggiestan by Sally Butcher

Veggiestan by Sally Butcher

This 10 year anniversary green and gold clad edition of Veggiestan by Sally Butcher comes at an opportune time: vegan and vegetarian cookbooks almost outnumber the omnivore cookbooks publishers are currently offering, as climate consciousness encourages us all to reduce our meat intake and increase the production quality (and hence cost) of the meat we ... Read more »

Middle Eastern Courgettes Baked in a Cheese Sauce

Homebaked Courgettes baked in a cheese sauce (kousa bi gebna)

Courgettes (zucchini) baked in a cheese sauce (kousa bi gebna) may sound like a very basic dish and yet this recipe was the surprise winner of all the food we cooked when reviewing Ghillie Başan’s The Lebanese Cookbook. Described as a typical family dish, it consists of sliced courgettes baked in cheesy egg mixture reminiscent ... Read more »

Palestinian Upside-Down Rice, Lamb & Aubergine

Whole Rice with aubergine (maklubeh bajinjan) turned out on a serving plate

Palestinian Upside-Down Rice, Lamb & Aubergine (Maklubeh Bajinjan) is an impressive dish to serve – a turned-out-from-the-dish dome of rice and lamb wrapped in slices of silky aubergine – and a delight of really simple flavours that adds up to far more than the sum of its ingredients. The recipe is from Ghillie Başan’s The ... Read more »