Lebanese is a cuisine which is only starting progress in British consciousness; if you’re not within easy distance of a Lebanese restaurant, but have a yen for some Lebanese cooking, then Bethany Kehdy has come to your rescue with The Jewelled Kitchen. After growing up between the Lebanon and Texas, she’s now UK based and spreading the word via this book and her blog, Dirty Kitchen Secrets, as well as organising Food Blogger Connect, Europe’s premier food blogging conference.
The book begins with a very personal and well written introduction; which made me feel I knew Bethany far better than I already did. Chapters are on mezze, poultry, meat, seafood, vegetarian and desserts. Spinach and sumac turnovers, jewelled rice, chargrilled sweet pepper & walnut dip, baba ghanouj (aka mutabal batinjan), chicken basteeya, chicken and preserved lemon tagine, tamarind & herb mackerel stew, and ma’amoul shortbread cookies were all recipes that we particularly noted., in addition to the broad bean, pea and fennel tagine which we tried and really enjoyed. The sweetness of the peas with the savoury broad beans and the aniseed of the fennel combine to a rounded whole that earned a big tick from us.
What I do love about this book is that it’s a wide ranging sprint through Lebanese cuisine, making finding inspiration a simpler task than if we were faced with a great tome containing the definitive collection of every traditional recipe. This is aided by the layout of chapters by main ingredient. There are one hundred and nine recipes, many of which have full page photographs – the book has 224 pages, and planning is helped by giving details of serving size and preparation and cooking times. At the end of the book there is a very useful section on the Middle Eastern Pantry, followed by some basic recipes and methods.
For fans of the blog, or people dipping their toe into the food of the Lebanon, then buying this book is a simple yes.
Fuss Free Rating
The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy: *****
The Jewelled Kitchen is published by Duncan Baird, cover price £20
Fuss Free Flavours received a complimentary copy for review, we are also friends with the author. All opinions are our own, we were not required to write a positive review