A Taste of the Mediterranean Vegetarian Style

Description

172 pages
$16.95
ISBN 1-895292-17-4
DDC 641.59'1638

Publisher

Year

1993

Contributor

Photos by Ross (Hutch) Hutchinson
Reviewed by Greg Turko

Greg Turko is a policy analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and
Universities.

Review

Vegetarianism has grown in popularity as a result of such diverse trends
as health consciousness, environmental concerns, and an aggressive
animal-rights movement. More and more vegetarian cookbooks are being
published, and many of them go well beyond the tofu hamburger surprise
and nut rissole cuisine nonvegetarians usually associate with this style
of cooking. This one includes recipes from Egypt, France, Greece, Italy,
Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey. The author’s Lebanese roots,
however, give the book a predominantly Middle Eastern flavor.

The cookbook is well laid out, with attractive photographs and an
interesting “culinary profile” of each featured country. A section
is devoted to each course, and within each section cuisine from each
country is presented. The book opens with a short and informative
section dealing with “Spices and Herbs,” which is followed by a
“Helpful Hints” section, where, for example, readers are told how to
store herbs and how to keep peeled garlic on hand by storing it in oil.

Many recipes, such as hommous bi tahini, falafel, and various risottos,
will be familiar to vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. Other recipes
may not be as immediately recognizable to those not familiar with
Mediterranean cooking. In some cases, traditional meat-based recipes
such as paella, stuffed peppers, and moussaka have been adapted to
accommodate vegetarian requirements. All the soups have vegetable stock
instead of the more common chicken stock. Most recipes fall into the
simple- to moderate-difficulty categories. The author, who owns a
restaurant in Calgary, obviously does not consider healthy and tasteless
to be synonymous, for throughout her book is an emphasis on flavor.

Although a useful source for vegetarians looking for new and
interesting recipes as well as for nonvegetarians wanting to try this
style of cooking, this cookbook is unlikely to inspire many converts to
vegetarian cooking. Paella without meat or seafood is not widely
regarded as a culinary step forward.

Citation

Salloum, Mary., “A Taste of the Mediterranean Vegetarian Style,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14170.