Oddball cookbooks abound these days, many of them with limited audiences. Not so this thick, beautifully-illustrated guide to using mideast ingredients in everyday cooking. Concentrating on salads, author Sally Butcher (of Persepolis, a south London Persian food heaven), you'll add ingredients to your pantry that you might never have considered. This book isn't really for the newbie, although adventurous new cooks will get a lot out of it. The accomplished or at least confident cook will enjoy the twists on salads and their ingredients, used or combined in new ways, some of them super-healthy. For American cooks, sourcing some of the ingredients will be the problem (lupini beans? freekeh?), but most mideast groceries should suffice.The bulgar salad recipe on page 135 ought to reward you enough to consider the book a bargain purchase. It's a 5.
Butcher's Persia in Peckham tweets are fun, too. You may find her at www.veggiestan.com, also the title of another Butcher cookbook. But finding a cover to put in here was impossible.
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