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A Middle Eastern Pantry: Essential Ingredients for Classic and Contemporary Recipes

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by Lior Lev Sercarz
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If you’re the sort of cook who takes inspiration from an ingredient and concocts your own dish around it, A Middle Eastern Pantry may speak to you.

Author Lior Lev Sercarz, who runs La Boite, a Manhattan spicery favored by many serious cooks, wants to put you at ease with spices and spice blends, condiments, pickles, other preserves, and assorted staple ingredients which will allow you to experiment with and get to know foods and flavors such as sumac and baharat, dried lime and sesame seeds, and the vibrant yellow-orange sauce known as amba, which combines mango and fenugreek.

To get you started, though, there are recipes, many of which showcase Middle Eastern food in fresh light.  For instance,

  • Aysh el-Saraya, an unbaked Lebanese bread pudding with lemon, rose water, and pistachios
  • Sekanjabin, a vinegar-based drink from Persian cuisine made with mint and cucumber
  • Goat cheese, grape and walnut salad with grape molasses dressing
  • Pomegranate-roasted leg of lamb

You can find familiar standbys such as hummus and tabbouleh here—perfectly well executed—but we think the excitement lies in the more distinctive parts of the book.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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