For a limited time we have bookplates signed by Reem Assil.
For Arab families displaced from their native lands and often experiencing bigotry in the portrayal of Arabs in American and world culture, food has been a restorative, a means of connecting to traditions and relationships.
In Arabiyya, Reem Assil, daughter of a Palestinian mother and Syrian father, offers detailed, carefully written recipes for the food her family brought with them and the food they have created in their new homes.
Assil, who worked as a political activist before becoming a baker and a chef, respects tradition, but she also has a good eye for interesting innovation. Her version of dukkah, a spice mix that originated in Egypt, incorporates cocoa nibs. To her baklava rolls she adds hazelnut praline. And her shawarma mexiciyya connects the Arab technique of marinated, spit-cooked meat to the al pastor method of Mexican cooking.
Traditional foods predominate, though, their names rendered in Arabic script and Romanized as well as presented descriptively in English. Not surprisingly, her breads chapter is substantial and thorough.
You're in the hands of a serious cook with Arabiyya, and Assil's approach assumes you are interested in the most flavorful version of a dish, not necessarily the quickest. Think of this as a book to spend serious time with.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.