SABRINA GHAYOUR, OCTOPUS BOOKS, $49.99
There’s a touch of sunshine and the first hint of spring as I browse this book and, boy, do I crave it. That yearning whisks me straight to Sabrina’s generous platters of exuberant salads and lively flavoured vege dishes promising pops of Middle-eastern tartness and bright and bold freshness. Not that meat-andfish eaters are forgotten: far from it with the likes of crispy lamb sticky with harissa, and barberry butter basting pan-fried salmon. This is Sabrina’s seventh book brimming with her trademark fabulously flavourful recipes, and over the years the dishes have become simpler and more accessible without losing their authenticity. Some of the dishes are Middle Eastern classics such as Persian soup e jow with milk and barley, gloriously golden-crusted dampokhtak (rice with broad beans) and sabich, an Iraqi-jewish aubergine breakfast sandwich with mango chutney and lime yoghurt. Other times see how Sabrina breathes a hint of Persian, Turkish or Iraqi flavours into dishes from elsewhere such as a bacon and haloumi sandwich with sweet harissa ketchup, or tamarind, orange and pomegranate giving bursts of sweet and sharpness to a prawn noodle salad. It’s that combination of salty, tart, sweet, spicy and sour elements that make Sabrina’s dishes so popular, and her warmth and enthusiasm draw you into every page and make you want to cook. I’ve spent a record amount of time poring over this book – now the sun has gone down and there’s the crisp chill of nighttime still, so maybe there’s just enough of winter around to enjoy the Turkish tastes of a slow-cooked chicken tavuk güveç for dinner tonight.
Slick & Sassy Media Ltd