The Jewelled Table: Cooking, Eating and Entertaining the Middle Eastern Way
By Bethany Kehdy
Photographs by Nassima Rothacker
This recipe book is a jewellery box of compelling and easy to follow recipes, illustrated with exquisite photographs of Lebanon and smattered with heart-warming anecdotes. Each recipe busts with fresh flavour and offers an insight into what Bethany Keydy refers to as ‘the cuisine of her heritage’ from Lebanon and further afield. Kehdy also gives a fascinating insight into the conventions involved in welcoming guests, traditions that are imbued with Middle Eastern warmth and which perfectly complement the nafas or ‘soul cooking’ which is so much part of the cuisine.
Kehdy was inspired to cook by her ‘body’s whispers of unrebukable cravings’; this enthusiastic appetite has inspired The Jewelled Table, which follows her highly successful book Jewelled Kitchen. Throughout the Middle East, the distinction between home cooking and street or restaurant food is not precise. At home the meal is often based around a central dish – a stew or roast meat – while outside the home the renowned mezze is more common. In Kehdy’s words the mezze is like a ‘procession’ of small, tempting dishes to enjoy while socialising. Both styles of cooking involve an array of side dishes and condiments, these dishes are the jewels of the title.
The Jewelled Table
opens with an affordable guide to store cupboard essential for the ingredients. The recipes are divided into six sections, broadly covering drinks, appetisers, starters, main dishes and desserts. Each recipe will offer scents and flavours that will fit easily into any kitchen and every occasion. Finally you will have the key to such secrets as a Persian Herb Frittata, Kishkamel Moussaka or the perfect Whipped Hummus.
Dimensions: H:25.7cm, W:19.9cm, D:3.2cm
Illustrated in colour