Monday, May 14, 2007

Peppery Bulgur Salad, Arabesque

My mom and I gave each other copies of Arabesque by Claudia Roden a little over a month ago. Silly, yes (effectively, we exchanged copies), but it's interesting to hear another person's comments on the same book, whatever kind of book it may be.

To date, I've enjoyed the recipes I've tried. The chicken with tomato pilaf went over very well with the kids. The orange, olive and onion salad is excellent (not, however, popular with my children). The mashed eggplant and tomato salad was lovely (and... not for my kids). The prawns in a spicy tomato sauce were... meh. Nice, but not all that special.

I enjoy the way that she divides up Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish cooking and highlights both the differences and similarities in the cuisines. Her commentary is interesting and clearly well-informed without being too nerdy. And I am a total sucker for glossy pictures in a cookbook. Even the cover of this is lovely. Almost everything I've tried so far: coincidentally has a lovely photograph in the book.

Tonight I made (it's really assembled more than it's cooked) the peppery bulgur salad (yep, it has an appealing picture in the book). It's an attractive salad, and that grainy-sour-soft feel of a bulgur salad was very appealing to me tonight. It'll be a good salad for summer, when 1) tomatoes are actually in season and 2) my house becomes stifling and the stove and oven do not get turned on after about 12pm.

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