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Taste of Beirut: 175+ Delicious Lebanese Recipes from Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes and More

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Joumana Accad, creator of the blog TasteOfBeirut.com, is a native Lebanese, a trained pastry chef, and professional caterer. In her debut cookbook, The Taste of Beirut, she shares her heritage through exquisite food and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her Teta (grandmother) in Joumana Accad, creator of the blog TasteOfBeirut.com, is a native Lebanese, a trained pastry chef, and professional caterer. In her debut cookbook, The Taste of Beirut, she shares her heritage through exquisite food and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her Teta (grandmother) in their family's kitchen, Accad captures the healthful and fabulous flavors of the Middle East and makes them completely accessible to home cooks. Each recipe features step-by-step instructions, Accad's warm teaching style and breathtaking color photographs that will make mouths water. Divided into sections including Breads, Breakfast, and Sandwiches; Soups; Mezze Delights; Main Dishes (Stews, Kibbeh, Stuffed Vegetables, and Rice Dishes); plus Pastries and Drinks, here is just a taste of the recipes featured: Spinach turnovers (Fatayer bel-sabanegh) Meat pies (Sfeeha) Kibbeh tartare (vegan) Red pepper and walnut dip (Muhammara) Lebanese couscous (Moghrabieh) Red lentils and rice purée (Mujaddara Safra) Eggplant casserole with tomato, meat and yogurt sauce topping (Fattet al-makdoos) Meat loaf with potato slices (Kafta bel-saniyeh) Zucchini or cauliflower fritters Wings, Lebanese-style Fattoush salad Beet hummus (Mama dallou'a) Zaatar and tapénade bread Wheat berry and milk pudding (Amhiyet bel-haleeb) Sesame and pistachio cookies (Barazek) Lebanese semolina cheesecake (Knafeh) Baklava in a speedy ten-minute version! While The Taste of Beirut brings to life the rich, complex, and delicious flavors of the Middle East, each recipe is refreshingly easy to make. The author's passionate, conversational style will make readers feel like they have a friend from Lebanon right in their kitchen, teaching them everything from cooking techniques to how to stock a kitchen with the best ingredients. Even more than a fabulous Lebanese cookbook, The Taste of Beirut is a proud celebration of people, culture, and cuisine.


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Joumana Accad, creator of the blog TasteOfBeirut.com, is a native Lebanese, a trained pastry chef, and professional caterer. In her debut cookbook, The Taste of Beirut, she shares her heritage through exquisite food and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her Teta (grandmother) in Joumana Accad, creator of the blog TasteOfBeirut.com, is a native Lebanese, a trained pastry chef, and professional caterer. In her debut cookbook, The Taste of Beirut, she shares her heritage through exquisite food and anecdotes, teaching anyone from newbies to foodies how to master traditional Lebanese cuisine. With over 150 recipes inspired by her Teta (grandmother) in their family's kitchen, Accad captures the healthful and fabulous flavors of the Middle East and makes them completely accessible to home cooks. Each recipe features step-by-step instructions, Accad's warm teaching style and breathtaking color photographs that will make mouths water. Divided into sections including Breads, Breakfast, and Sandwiches; Soups; Mezze Delights; Main Dishes (Stews, Kibbeh, Stuffed Vegetables, and Rice Dishes); plus Pastries and Drinks, here is just a taste of the recipes featured: Spinach turnovers (Fatayer bel-sabanegh) Meat pies (Sfeeha) Kibbeh tartare (vegan) Red pepper and walnut dip (Muhammara) Lebanese couscous (Moghrabieh) Red lentils and rice purée (Mujaddara Safra) Eggplant casserole with tomato, meat and yogurt sauce topping (Fattet al-makdoos) Meat loaf with potato slices (Kafta bel-saniyeh) Zucchini or cauliflower fritters Wings, Lebanese-style Fattoush salad Beet hummus (Mama dallou'a) Zaatar and tapénade bread Wheat berry and milk pudding (Amhiyet bel-haleeb) Sesame and pistachio cookies (Barazek) Lebanese semolina cheesecake (Knafeh) Baklava in a speedy ten-minute version! While The Taste of Beirut brings to life the rich, complex, and delicious flavors of the Middle East, each recipe is refreshingly easy to make. The author's passionate, conversational style will make readers feel like they have a friend from Lebanon right in their kitchen, teaching them everything from cooking techniques to how to stock a kitchen with the best ingredients. Even more than a fabulous Lebanese cookbook, The Taste of Beirut is a proud celebration of people, culture, and cuisine.

30 review for Taste of Beirut: 175+ Delicious Lebanese Recipes from Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes and More

  1. 5 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    I love to read cookbooks and especially those on food from another culture. I have had Lebanese food before but know nothing about it. This book provided a wonderful introduction to Lebanese food. The glossary provided details on all the different food I did not know anything about. To me, what make a great cookbook is pictures and this book had pictures for just about every recipe. I enjoyed the section in the beginning on the do's and on't of Lebanese cooking and eating. I am vegan but found s I love to read cookbooks and especially those on food from another culture. I have had Lebanese food before but know nothing about it. This book provided a wonderful introduction to Lebanese food. The glossary provided details on all the different food I did not know anything about. To me, what make a great cookbook is pictures and this book had pictures for just about every recipe. I enjoyed the section in the beginning on the do's and on't of Lebanese cooking and eating. I am vegan but found so many recipes that are suited for vegans and many for my meat eating husband. I also enjoyed the mezze and dessert sections especially. This one is going to be in regular rotation in my house. Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aleece

    While I love foods from other cultures I never thought that some of the recipes could be so easy. The background that is provided is a wonderful addition, as well as, the do's and don'ts, the basic terminology and staples of Lebanese cooking is so easily explained and explored which makes this cookbook wonderful to experience. This is a great cookbook that does not need exotic spices or anything fancy but the food is full of life nonetheless. The photographs are absolutely wonderful and the comm While I love foods from other cultures I never thought that some of the recipes could be so easy. The background that is provided is a wonderful addition, as well as, the do's and don'ts, the basic terminology and staples of Lebanese cooking is so easily explained and explored which makes this cookbook wonderful to experience. This is a great cookbook that does not need exotic spices or anything fancy but the food is full of life nonetheless. The photographs are absolutely wonderful and the comments with each recipe are great too. There is something for everyone in this cookbook. I received this advanced copy from HCI Books through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lora Milton

    The book starts with a brief background of the author's childhood in Lebanon and her efforts to mesh her background with her adult life in America. She then explains details about food and attitude towards food in her native country and provides ideas for how to prepare authentic Lebanese food in less that an hour, by doing things like sautéing onions in olive oil and freezing them for fast use. I was especially interested in the spices and primary flavors of Lebanese food, which she made very si The book starts with a brief background of the author's childhood in Lebanon and her efforts to mesh her background with her adult life in America. She then explains details about food and attitude towards food in her native country and provides ideas for how to prepare authentic Lebanese food in less that an hour, by doing things like sautéing onions in olive oil and freezing them for fast use. I was especially interested in the spices and primary flavors of Lebanese food, which she made very simple. This is something I've been looking for in cookbooks; how to achieve the flavor of the country with use of spices that are common in ethnic foods. The detailed information about different grains and how to prepare them was very enlightening and presented in an east to follow style. I was particularly interested in learning about Mahlab (Orchid powder), and decided that I must source some. The book had me basking in thoughts of fragrant spices, floral waters and nutty tahini long before I got to the recipes! The recipes themselves cover a vast array of interesting sounding food, including soups, finger foods, salads, main courses, sides, stews and desserts. A lot is done with nuts, both as a protein substitute and in desserts. Apparently in Lebannon, meat is only eaten once a week so many of the recipes are vegetarian or use a little fat of the lamb or sheep to add protein and flavor. Eating customs and especially the use of pita bread are explained as well as what to find in a typical Lebanese larder. The book finishes with a comprehensive glossary and an index, so that everything is easy to find. Overall an excellent book for learning all about food of a specific country and one I will enjoy trying out recipes from very soon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda

    I have been following Jumana Accad's blog for many years, so when I heard that she had her own book published, I didn't waste any time and I bought it straightaway. Needless to say, this book is fantastic and it gives you an insight into the Lebanese table culture and explains all recipes in detail. I use it all the time whenever I want to try a recipe or discover a new gem. I recommend this wonderful book to whoever wants to learn to cook textbook perfect Middle Eastern dishes. Thank you, Jouma I have been following Jumana Accad's blog for many years, so when I heard that she had her own book published, I didn't waste any time and I bought it straightaway. Needless to say, this book is fantastic and it gives you an insight into the Lebanese table culture and explains all recipes in detail. I use it all the time whenever I want to try a recipe or discover a new gem. I recommend this wonderful book to whoever wants to learn to cook textbook perfect Middle Eastern dishes. Thank you, Joumana, for your inspiration and wonderful stories and recipes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jillyn

    As I'm sure a lot of you know by now, I am always looking to broaden my cooking horizons. I honestly know next to nothing about Lebanese food, other then the family of a girl I went to high school with own a Lebanese restaurant. This book was a great introduction to the cuisine, and I'll be using a lot of the recipes from this book in the future. It's easily navigated, as it's sorted by course. I was really surprised (in a good way) how short but concise the recipes were. Accad gives clear, step As I'm sure a lot of you know by now, I am always looking to broaden my cooking horizons. I honestly know next to nothing about Lebanese food, other then the family of a girl I went to high school with own a Lebanese restaurant. This book was a great introduction to the cuisine, and I'll be using a lot of the recipes from this book in the future. It's easily navigated, as it's sorted by course. I was really surprised (in a good way) how short but concise the recipes were. Accad gives clear, step by step instructions, but very rarely was there a recipe that was longer than one page. This worked out great for me because it allowed more room for pictures, which are a "must have" for me when buying a cookbook. On top of that, the photographs are visually appealing. It definitely made me more excited to try these recipes out. I appreciated that the author gave tips on how to change recipes when needed, and offered a lot of varieties to some dishes. This was a bit redundant at times, but it was no doubt useful. My only concern is that there are quite a few ingredients I don't think are offered by me- but that's where the variants come in handy. There are a wide range of dishes in this book, so that meat lovers and vegetarians alike can benefit from having this book. The three dishes that I am most excited to try are Shrimp in a Pineapple Boat, Breaded Scallops with Mango Sauce, and Pomegranate & Milk Pudding. I recommend this book to anyone interested in spicing up their repertoire, regardless of skill level or dietary restrictions. It's approachable and well detailed so that any home cook can learn a thing or two. Thanks to Netgalley & Health Communications for my copy in exchange for my honest review. This review can also be found on my blog, Bitches n Prose

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    "A culinary masterpiece of authentic dishes from the Mediterranean and Middle East." Firstly, a big thank you to the Publisher via NetGalley for allowing me access to a digital review copy of 'A Taste of Beirut' by Joumana Accad. Although this absolutely has got to be bought in hard copy to appreciate fully, the digital copy was a welcome tease taster. The recipes are divided into sections including, breads, breakfast, sandwiches, soups, mezzo delights, main dishes, pastries and drinks. All the re "A culinary masterpiece of authentic dishes from the Mediterranean and Middle East." Firstly, a big thank you to the Publisher via NetGalley for allowing me access to a digital review copy of 'A Taste of Beirut' by Joumana Accad. Although this absolutely has got to be bought in hard copy to appreciate fully, the digital copy was a welcome tease taster. The recipes are divided into sections including, breads, breakfast, sandwiches, soups, mezzo delights, main dishes, pastries and drinks. All the recipes have easy to follow instructions making them attractive to a beginner to Middle Eastern cuisine as well as the novice. Joumana has created a stunning debut cookbook with over 150 fabulous recipes inspired by her grandmother, 'Teta' on how to recreate authentic, mouth watering Lebanese dishes. The photographs took me right back to when I lived in the Middle East and experienced the fantastic Lebanese pastries and Lebanese bread. This is a definite 'must have', hard copy cookery book to add to my collection and I highly recommend it. I can't wait to get making my own fresh bread and make more use the fragrant sumac my friend gave me as a leaving present ! Joumana Accad is the creator of the blog 'TasteOfBeirut.com' which features Lebanese recipes for home cooking.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eva Müller

    I fear it'll sound like a terrible worn-out cliché when I say that this isn't just a cookbook but a love-letter to Lebanese food but it really is. Many of the recipes are introduced by a short text that talks about the author's memories connected to that food or explain more generally on which occasions it is eaten. The recipes in general are very great and diverse: you will find things that are quick to make and stuff that needs to be prepared a day beforehand, recipes with meat/fish and (quite I fear it'll sound like a terrible worn-out cliché when I say that this isn't just a cookbook but a love-letter to Lebanese food but it really is. Many of the recipes are introduced by a short text that talks about the author's memories connected to that food or explain more generally on which occasions it is eaten. The recipes in general are very great and diverse: you will find things that are quick to make and stuff that needs to be prepared a day beforehand, recipes with meat/fish and (quite a lot) of vegetarian ones and even though it is of course a book that deals with exotic cuisine many recipes have ingredients that are relatively easy to get. Those that need more exotic ingredients come with suggestions from the author where to get them (though that might only help you if you're in the US) and occasionally with what it could be replaced. One small drawback is that you need quite a well equipped kitchen. Several recipes require meat-grinders, food-processors etc. which not everybody might have at hand. Still: if you can read this book without getting incredibly hungry you must have lost all your taste-buds. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    My first "taste of Beirut" was many years ago, in a tourist resort on one of the Canary Islands. As a vegetarian, it is often difficult to find suitable and delicious food in tourist areas - although the situation is improving, 20 years ago it was hard to find anything apart from the standard fare offered to British tourists - egg and chips, pizza and chips. and omelette. So stumbling across a small Lebanese restaurant was a godsend for us, and we ate there several times during our holiday. And My first "taste of Beirut" was many years ago, in a tourist resort on one of the Canary Islands. As a vegetarian, it is often difficult to find suitable and delicious food in tourist areas - although the situation is improving, 20 years ago it was hard to find anything apart from the standard fare offered to British tourists - egg and chips, pizza and chips. and omelette. So stumbling across a small Lebanese restaurant was a godsend for us, and we ate there several times during our holiday. And there began my love for Lebanese food. This cookery book provides a wide range of recipes for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. As a vegetarian I am not too phased at the meat recipes, as I can easily replace the meat with quorn, seitan, soya, tofu or pulses. to turn them into vegetarian dish. There are plenty of helpful descriptions of ingredients used in Lebanese cookery and how best to prepare, store and use them. For those unfamiliar with the cuisine this will help them understand and replicate the recipes. I've already tried several of the recipes, with great family acclaim: and have many more listed to try. I was unaware that the author had a food blog, but I'm now a follower and looking forward to trying out many more of her recipes in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    This cook book is extensive and beautiful and now im ravished! 4.5 Hummus Stars You know my favorite part of Lebanese food is.. eating with bread!! Forget a fork and give me that pita. As a child I grew up with a bevy of different foods and we would all gather in the livingroom and eat Lebanese food when I was around 11 years old so the memories are fond. Lebanese food is amazing and it is also a combination of common pantry items. Whats also great is this is tailor to be feeding around 4 pe This cook book is extensive and beautiful and now im ravished! 4.5 Hummus Stars You know my favorite part of Lebanese food is.. eating with bread!! Forget a fork and give me that pita. As a child I grew up with a bevy of different foods and we would all gather in the livingroom and eat Lebanese food when I was around 11 years old so the memories are fond. Lebanese food is amazing and it is also a combination of common pantry items. Whats also great is this is tailor to be feeding around 4 people. The intro portion before the recipes is a really good reference because it teaches you about the ingredients and the people Let me tell what is delicious: Cilantro pesto..holy heavens Pine nut sauce Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf ( this is 100 % better than any box rice meal and cheaper) Beef Schwarma amazing… better with lamb great with chicken! Tarator Sauce ( this is mayo but better!) Turnip pickles ( I used the recipe and did it with radishes and once with celery perfect pickling liquid) Im hard to please when it comes to dips but their classic hummus is great.. I do not like meat hummus and their baba ghanouj is good too! Things I will try later Yogurt Chesse ( I love home made cheese) Taro in Citrus-Tahinin ( Taro is quite hard to find right now ) Semolina Cheesecake ( I used all my semolina on some pasta )

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I always read good cookery books like novels. Immersing myself into the heart of the country and drooling over authentic dishes. This book is simply stunning and is very special. I am already planning what dishes I am going to be trying out first, a hard job as there are so many really great mouth-watering ones to choose from. I’m also already scheduling a Lebanese themed meal for the Meal Prep & Cooking class that I teach. This book is a very practical book whether a complete novice or a highly I always read good cookery books like novels. Immersing myself into the heart of the country and drooling over authentic dishes. This book is simply stunning and is very special. I am already planning what dishes I am going to be trying out first, a hard job as there are so many really great mouth-watering ones to choose from. I’m also already scheduling a Lebanese themed meal for the Meal Prep & Cooking class that I teach. This book is a very practical book whether a complete novice or a highly skilled cook and the addition of the author’s anecdotes and stunning photography only serves to enhance the book further. I personally eat very little meat or dairy products, but there is still plenty of choice in here. A winner through and through. Many thanks for Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Critterbee❇

    'Taste of Beirut' is an incredibly comprehensive introduction to preparing Lebanese cuisine, basically a 'Lebanese Cooking 101' class. I learned a lot about the cuisine. Although there are a lot of meat dishes, some of the desserts and breads really looked delicious. Included are thorough explanations and translations of ingredients, essential dos and don'ts, and helpful notes with almost every recipe. Also included is how to prepare and store commonly used ingredients to make cooking quicker and 'Taste of Beirut' is an incredibly comprehensive introduction to preparing Lebanese cuisine, basically a 'Lebanese Cooking 101' class. I learned a lot about the cuisine. Although there are a lot of meat dishes, some of the desserts and breads really looked delicious. Included are thorough explanations and translations of ingredients, essential dos and don'ts, and helpful notes with almost every recipe. Also included is how to prepare and store commonly used ingredients to make cooking quicker and easier. Recipes are straightforward, and dishes look very flavorful. Overall, even with the meat dishes, the meals seemed light and fresh. Great photographs. **eARC Netgalley**

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I had a Lebanese friend in my 20's and her mom was an amazing cook. I loved everything she made. This book is like sitting down with a Lebanese grandma. I liked all the stories and explanations with the recipes and each had a gorgeous photo. I was able to find most of the ingredients to make a few recipes. I made a favabean stew, hummus, and rice pilaf. All were easy and tasty. I look forward to trying more. This was a very readable cookbook. I had a Lebanese friend in my 20's and her mom was an amazing cook. I loved everything she made. This book is like sitting down with a Lebanese grandma. I liked all the stories and explanations with the recipes and each had a gorgeous photo. I was able to find most of the ingredients to make a few recipes. I made a favabean stew, hummus, and rice pilaf. All were easy and tasty. I look forward to trying more. This was a very readable cookbook.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    A fun cookbook that is filled to the brim with Lebanese dishes from utterly traditional yogurt-based cheese labne to the inventive Sfoof pancakes. The Sfoof pancakes alone sold me on this book, the exotic comfort food of semolina pancakes delicately spiced with anise and turmeric. The book features simple yet very helpful photos of many dishes - I can't wait to try the roast turkey on a bed of rice and glistening chestnuts - yum! Thanks Netgalley for lending me the early proof copy. A fun cookbook that is filled to the brim with Lebanese dishes from utterly traditional yogurt-based cheese labne to the inventive Sfoof pancakes. The Sfoof pancakes alone sold me on this book, the exotic comfort food of semolina pancakes delicately spiced with anise and turmeric. The book features simple yet very helpful photos of many dishes - I can't wait to try the roast turkey on a bed of rice and glistening chestnuts - yum! Thanks Netgalley for lending me the early proof copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wyldrabbit

    This book had my mouth watering from start to finish. Who knew there was so many dishes that I need to make !!!! I want a paper copy of this one for my kitchen. The photos are .. just wow.. I have Lebanese neighbors and I am planning on giving this to them as a gift when it comes out. * I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank You!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I've loved Middle Eastern food since I was first introduced to it in college. I was lucky, living near Dearborn, MI, and all their amazing Middle Eastern restaurants. Since then I've moved around and have always wanted to find great recipes since I no longer have access to that food. This is the perfect book. The recipes for hummus and toom alone make it worthwhile. Highly recommended! I've loved Middle Eastern food since I was first introduced to it in college. I was lucky, living near Dearborn, MI, and all their amazing Middle Eastern restaurants. Since then I've moved around and have always wanted to find great recipes since I no longer have access to that food. This is the perfect book. The recipes for hummus and toom alone make it worthwhile. Highly recommended!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I am a foodie. I read cookbooks and imagine I am making all these recipes and eating them (or modifying them and eating them). These recipes sound amazing and I want to chow down.

  17. 4 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: Taste of Beirut - 175 Delicious Lebanese Recipes From Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes & More Author: Joumana Accad Publisher: HCI Books Published: 9-2-2014 Pages: 320 Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, Sub-Genre: Cookbooks, Regional & International Cuisine, Lebanese, Middle Eastern ISBN: 9780757317705 ASIN: B00NIVT5TK Reviewed For NetGalley and HCI Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.75 Stars Delicious Dishes that show off the taste of traditional Lebanses Cuisine. Also are a few tips on the culture and Title: Taste of Beirut - 175 Delicious Lebanese Recipes From Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes & More Author: Joumana Accad Publisher: HCI Books Published: 9-2-2014 Pages: 320 Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, Sub-Genre: Cookbooks, Regional & International Cuisine, Lebanese, Middle Eastern ISBN: 9780757317705 ASIN: B00NIVT5TK Reviewed For NetGalley and HCI Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.75 Stars Delicious Dishes that show off the taste of traditional Lebanses Cuisine. Also are a few tips on the culture and an explanation on the do and don'ts for Lebanese Cooking and Eating. Rcipes are concise with easy to follow instructions. Joumana Accad gives us small glimpses into her life through memories. The clear, beatiful photos shoe some savory dishes, but do not lose hope there are more than a few recipes for sweet and tempting dishes as well. My rating of "Taste of Beirut - 175 Delicious Lebanese Recipes From Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes & More" is out of 5 stars. Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NIVT5TK/... B&N Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tast... Books-A-Million Link: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Taste-... Google Play Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/d... Indigo Link: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/... GoodReads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tast... The Reading Room Link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph... Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/DelAnne531/status...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gaele

    If there’s one thing that I MUST have in my house, it is cookbooks. And when I can mix up meals with a new dish, or discover spice combinations that I’ve never tried before, I’m all in. Joumana Accad’s debut cookbook, A Taste of Beirut, provided everything I wanted and more than I could hope for. Organized into sections that make it easy to add a side, entrée or even nibbles or bread, the recipes are also given context that helps to ‘personalize’ dishes with stories and histories that make this If there’s one thing that I MUST have in my house, it is cookbooks. And when I can mix up meals with a new dish, or discover spice combinations that I’ve never tried before, I’m all in. Joumana Accad’s debut cookbook, A Taste of Beirut, provided everything I wanted and more than I could hope for. Organized into sections that make it easy to add a side, entrée or even nibbles or bread, the recipes are also given context that helps to ‘personalize’ dishes with stories and histories that make this not only a go-to on my shelf for dinner options, but a lovely read. From the sweet fritters (Uwaymate) to adding the Arooss Labneh, a veggie and yoghurt-cheese roll up sandwich, to the more familiar fatayer bi-sabanegh (spinach turnovers – similar to spanakopita), and the combinations of spices – ordinary dinners are far more creative and tasty. And with the clever substitution options using nuts, beans and lamb or goat fat instead of the meat itself for protein, I also have used options and recipes found in this book to cut back on meat as a main course, in considering making the weekly dinners healthier and lower in fat. Grab this book – learn and experiment with it. Most of the recipes I’ve tried are simple and take less than an hour with only a few ingredients that wouldn’t necessarily already be in your pantry. And, with the increase in products in international aisles in grocers, and with good options available for on-line sourcing, there are few, if any ingredients difficult to source. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    Although a basic introduction - 101 type - into the Lebanese cuisine, Taste of Beirut offers a comprehensive list of recipes that will create delicious meals, within budget and without a demand of specific cooking skills. The key to achieve is to keep doing dish after dish, learning the texture of dough and the perfect matches between spices and various ingredients for your Lebanese table. The recipes are easy and the directions are clear enough to help you succeed in your cooking adventure. Mos Although a basic introduction - 101 type - into the Lebanese cuisine, Taste of Beirut offers a comprehensive list of recipes that will create delicious meals, within budget and without a demand of specific cooking skills. The key to achieve is to keep doing dish after dish, learning the texture of dough and the perfect matches between spices and various ingredients for your Lebanese table. The recipes are easy and the directions are clear enough to help you succeed in your cooking adventure. Most ingredients can be easily found. Specific details are provided in case there is a need to clarify a further taste match or even a cultural/historical connection. And when words are not enough, there is plenty of great pictures to convince you for a recipe or another. From syrups and sauces to pickles, breads and pastry, there is hardly something missing from the list. All you need now is plenty of time to try at least once every single recipe featured in this book. Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  20. 4 out of 5

    roxi Net

    I am so excited that this cook book is coming out! I'm normally skeptical of cookbooks but the recipes here include some of my favorite meals from a nearby Lebanese restaurant - I've tried out a few so far and I'm thrilled at the outcome (still trying to get the picture perfectness of the book!). I've learned so much more about this cuisine that I've come to adore. It's brought me back to the kitchen after a hiatus to cook for family and friends. Not only are the recipes great, but I had stopped I am so excited that this cook book is coming out! I'm normally skeptical of cookbooks but the recipes here include some of my favorite meals from a nearby Lebanese restaurant - I've tried out a few so far and I'm thrilled at the outcome (still trying to get the picture perfectness of the book!). I've learned so much more about this cuisine that I've come to adore. It's brought me back to the kitchen after a hiatus to cook for family and friends. Not only are the recipes great, but I had stopped cooking for quite some time after a state-to-state move - I am so grateful that Taste of Beirut was able to bring me back to cooking!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Standeven

    I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This book is a nice introduction to Lebanese cooking that starts with a run down of the main constituents of Lebanese cuisine, and the range of ingredients you will need in your kitchen to cook the recipes. The recipes begin with the basics such as cooking bulgar wheat, sauces and pastes that are used in more complex recipes. And then on to the main recipes – divided into sections corresponding to different cou I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This book is a nice introduction to Lebanese cooking that starts with a run down of the main constituents of Lebanese cuisine, and the range of ingredients you will need in your kitchen to cook the recipes. The recipes begin with the basics such as cooking bulgar wheat, sauces and pastes that are used in more complex recipes. And then on to the main recipes – divided into sections corresponding to different courses, meals and main ingredient. Each recipe has a picture, and cultural notes or adaptations and suggestions. I prepared a number of the basics according to the instructions, but very soon gave up on the traditional method of making the garlic paste – the mortar and pestle just made a mess. Against the books advice, I went back to a garlic press and sanity was restored. Over the last 3 weeks we have cooked at least 12 of the main recipes – some excellent, others not so good, and still others that I might adapt before repeating. The recipes involving minced meat were a bit disappointing, and those involving aubergine were outstanding (Eggplant Cake, Eggplant & Peppers Salad). I have made Tabouleh frequently in the past, but using the ingredient ratios in the recipe in this book gave me the best result ever. I particularly enjoyed the Zucchini Fritters, which made excellent use of the glut of courgettes from the garden – a bit more like mini omelettes than fritters, but very easy to make and tasty. The Bulgar Salad in Eggplant Boats was very good as it stood, and worth repeating, but next time I want to use marrow for the “boats”, as we have a problem with excess overgrown courgettes. I enjoyed most of the stews that I tried (Green Bean and Tomato, Carrot and Pea, Okra Stew in Tomato sauce). The Spinach and Ground Beef Stew didn’t quite work for me, though it perked up the following day when I thickened it with a bit of flour. All these stews could easily be served to someone wary of “foreign food” as an introduction to something new. For a fabulous vegetarian dish, the Falafel Loaf with tarator sauce was hard to beat. It was very light-weight, and also excellent as leftovers the following day. As an introductory book, it worked well. Many of the recipes can easily be adapted according to taste, and instructions were clear and usually easy to follow. All measurements are American, and there are no metric equivalents or conversions given, which is a major omission for any cookbook being marketed outside the USA.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adrianne

    Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Many of the recipes in this book sound absolutely delicious! Going out to eat Lebanese is a little expensive since we have to feed at least 5 people (more than likely it turns out to be 7). Making it at home would be an option, and a cheaper one, but only if I can get that authentic flavor. This sounds like this book will bring it- make it at home and still get that yummy taste!! I like the way the author tells us a litt Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Many of the recipes in this book sound absolutely delicious! Going out to eat Lebanese is a little expensive since we have to feed at least 5 people (more than likely it turns out to be 7). Making it at home would be an option, and a cheaper one, but only if I can get that authentic flavor. This sounds like this book will bring it- make it at home and still get that yummy taste!! I like the way the author tells us a little bit about each of the pantry staples. As it turns out, many, if not all of them, are very easy to get at any of the local markets. But, if need be, I'm sure they are readily accessible online. I also like the pictures of real life that she includes although there are not many of these which is a pity. It seems as though some cookbooks nowadays are not including pictures of the foods. I don;t know why, but I for one would like to see the finished product- mainly because food is not only for taste and the stomach, but also for the eyes. This book includes pictures of almost all (if not all) if the recipes. So wonderful to see!!! It is also good to see step by step picture directions for layering and scoring a Kibbeh pie. Just some minor things I noticed- in the directions for the potato cubes with cilantro pesto, in the lighter version section they have a step 1 followed by a step 1. I'm pretty sure 2 follows 1. Also, in some of the descriptions about the recipe (the little blurbs in red) there seems to be some repetition. An example, the Chickpeas with Cumin comes to mind. It is repeated all with these couple of paragraphs suggestions on how to serve it. This really only needs to be stated once. The same can be said for any of the other descriptions that do this (it happened a few times and I felt like it was being treated like I was stupid or something). Overall- an informative book and filled with what appear to be delicious recipes. Can't wait to try some!!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I devoured this book. Heh heh heh. My wit is blinding! Anyway, I really did. I read this super quickly, and then went back through and highlighted recipes I want to try immediately. This book is an interesting one for me, because I mainly follow a LCHF (low carb / high fat) diet, and of course, staples of Lebanese food are pita breads, grains, chickpeas, etc. However, there are still tons of options for all diet Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I devoured this book. Heh heh heh. My wit is blinding! Anyway, I really did. I read this super quickly, and then went back through and highlighted recipes I want to try immediately. This book is an interesting one for me, because I mainly follow a LCHF (low carb / high fat) diet, and of course, staples of Lebanese food are pita breads, grains, chickpeas, etc. However, there are still tons of options for all diets - including vegetarians, and Accad gives easy substitutions and allows room for cooks to play around with the recipes. I love that. Accad begins with a helpful and informative guide to Lebanese cooking. In fact, most of the recipes begin with a note about how particular foods fit into life in Beirut. It's lovely and really adds to the experience of reading the recipes. They're not just collections of ingredients - they're building blocks of culture and life and memory. Thankfully, many of the recipes are simple, and most only require a few ingredients. Some are obscure of course, but I do think they'd be easily found in ethnic stores. It may require a little treasure hunting, but that can be fun! I'm most excited to try anything with tahini (oh, how I love that golden condiment!) but especially the Tarator sauce (which Accad says the Lebanese use like mayonnaise) and the Muhammara. I'm also going to use this cookbook as a basis for a dinner party and create a Mezzes for guests, so they can sample the various dips (especially the hummus with meat - yum!) and pastries. All in all, a gorgeous cookbook with SO many options - a wonderful gift for the chef in your life, or a delightful addition to your kitchen. I highly recommend it. Can't wait to start cooking! 5 Delicious Stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    London

    I've been to several countries throughout the Middle East and some of the best meals I've ever had were in Lebanon. I was so excited to see a Lebanese (specifically Beiruti) cookbook on Netgalley and immediately request a copy of the book. Out of the recipes I've tried so far the Kataifi, Semolina Cheesecake, Fattoush Salad (love), Kibbeh, and Mulukhieh were my favorite. I've tried all of those dishes before while in Beirut and being able to make it at home was wonderful. I've been to quite a few I've been to several countries throughout the Middle East and some of the best meals I've ever had were in Lebanon. I was so excited to see a Lebanese (specifically Beiruti) cookbook on Netgalley and immediately request a copy of the book. Out of the recipes I've tried so far the Kataifi, Semolina Cheesecake, Fattoush Salad (love), Kibbeh, and Mulukhieh were my favorite. I've tried all of those dishes before while in Beirut and being able to make it at home was wonderful. I've been to quite a few Lebanese restaurants in my area but it's never quite the same as the meals I had while in Lebanon. Everything I made using the cookbook came out tasting just how I remembered it during my time in Beirut and I will definitely be trying out all the recipes in the book. I think the best recipe for me , however, was the recipe for Labneh ( a thick and creamy yogurt cheese) because I spend so much money buying it from the Persian market near my home. I could eat Labneh with just about anything and was so surprised to find a recipe for it in the book. I think I made enough Labneh to last me through the entire month...but I doubt it will take me even a week to finish it because it came out so good. If you're looking for an easy to follow cook book for traditional Lebanese cuisine I'd highly recommend this book to you!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Billie

    Taste of Beirut offers so many classic recipes that are staples in everyday life and which are gloriously vegan and delicious. Even if a particular recipe is not vegan, It's easy to take the flavors, spices, concept and create something that is delicious and has the spirit of Lebanese food. The first chapter was particularly helpful as it identified the staples and flavors of Lebanese cuisine. The book also included tips about what to use sauces, pesto's and breads for, as well as tips for keepi Taste of Beirut offers so many classic recipes that are staples in everyday life and which are gloriously vegan and delicious. Even if a particular recipe is not vegan, It's easy to take the flavors, spices, concept and create something that is delicious and has the spirit of Lebanese food. The first chapter was particularly helpful as it identified the staples and flavors of Lebanese cuisine. The book also included tips about what to use sauces, pesto's and breads for, as well as tips for keeping food fresh, and for freezing homemade herb pastes etc so that they are available as needed (and to help cut some of the prep work). A few of the *accidental* vegan recipes included in the book: Cilantro Pesto, Mint Pesto, & Citrus-Tahini Sauce Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf Dough for flat breads, turnovers, and rolls Tarator sauce Zaatar and tapenade bread Fava bean soup Turnovers with purslane, tomato, and onion salad Falafel's Roasted cauliflower and potato sandwich Lentil soup with swiss chard and of course Humus! (as well as countless others) ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Thomas

    Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad Book Review by Dawn Thomas 303 Pages Publisher: HCI Books Release Date: September 2, 2014 Cooking, Food & Wine, Regional Food A couple of years ago I visited a local mosque. We were served a delicious meal and I have been looking for authentic recipes. This book has many of the items we had for lunch that day. The book is organized into the following chapters. Chapter 1: The Lebanese Larder Breads, Grains, Pasta and Rice Pastes, Pastries, Seasonings, Spice Mixes, and Swee Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad Book Review by Dawn Thomas 303 Pages Publisher: HCI Books Release Date: September 2, 2014 Cooking, Food & Wine, Regional Food A couple of years ago I visited a local mosque. We were served a delicious meal and I have been looking for authentic recipes. This book has many of the items we had for lunch that day. The book is organized into the following chapters. Chapter 1: The Lebanese Larder Breads, Grains, Pasta and Rice Pastes, Pastries, Seasonings, Spice Mixes, and Sweeteners Chapter 2: Basics in the Lebanese Kitchen Chapter 3: Breads, Breakfast, and Brunch Chapter 4: Sandwiches and Soups Chapter 5: Mezzes: Dips, Finger Foods, Salads, and Sides Chapter 6: Main Courses Meals in a Jiffy Stews and Stuffed Veggies Rice, Grains, Pasta, and Legumes Kibbeh Seafood Dishes Chapter7: Desserts It is hard to say which is my favorite chapter. I love falafel, the meat pies and baklava. I am making the lamb chops with sweet potatoes this weekend. I cannot wait to try the red velvet pudding. If you are interested in regional cooking, you should consider this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Stansel

    Growing up, my Lebanese/Syrian family dishes were my comfort foods and they still are today! I always hesitate with any non-family recipe, as they are never quite what I am expecting. I have made two dishes so far from this, the lentil and swiss chard soup and the cilantro pesto. This was a delicious dish. Instructions were simple and the outcome was rich and filling, truly authentic as well. As a vegan, there are number of dishes I can eat as is and a number that I can make with small adjustmen Growing up, my Lebanese/Syrian family dishes were my comfort foods and they still are today! I always hesitate with any non-family recipe, as they are never quite what I am expecting. I have made two dishes so far from this, the lentil and swiss chard soup and the cilantro pesto. This was a delicious dish. Instructions were simple and the outcome was rich and filling, truly authentic as well. As a vegan, there are number of dishes I can eat as is and a number that I can make with small adjustments. I also noted that a number of the classics, kibbe and hummus, are nearly identical to those in my family cookbook. I am excited to try the rolled grape leave using swiss chard instead as recommended. Sounds like an interesting twist. Highly recommended for clear, easy and authentic recipes. Full disclosure: I received a copy of the cookbook from NetGalley and HCI books in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Brinkle

    I suppose everyone is different when it comes to how and why they select a particular cookbook. I will admit, the cover grabs my attention but the purchase only follows when there are page after page of wonderfully delicious looking photographs of the recipes within. That is why I have to say, this cookbook will definitely find a home on my bookshelf! In the beginning, the book does cover the do's and don'ts of Lebanese cooking and eating. It explains the basics of what to keep in your pantry, re I suppose everyone is different when it comes to how and why they select a particular cookbook. I will admit, the cover grabs my attention but the purchase only follows when there are page after page of wonderfully delicious looking photographs of the recipes within. That is why I have to say, this cookbook will definitely find a home on my bookshelf! In the beginning, the book does cover the do's and don'ts of Lebanese cooking and eating. It explains the basics of what to keep in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer at all times to help prepare for a week's worth of cooking. Each recipe has an easy to follow step by step direction with an ingredient list (just what you'd expect from any cookbook on the market). And the recipes themselves...Well, all I have to say is that you really need to just buy this to see for yourself. You will not be disappointed!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    This cookbook is incredibly thorough. Lebanese cooking uses a number of ingredients and techniques that are not commonly used in American kitchens, but Accad demystifies them all, making them do-able fast enough to suit today’s busy life style. After introducing all the new ingredients, the author starts by showing how to make ahead many of the staples of the Lebanese kitchen: garlic paste, citrus-tahini sauce, bread doughs, meat stuffings, and other sauces. These things can be frozen and pulled This cookbook is incredibly thorough. Lebanese cooking uses a number of ingredients and techniques that are not commonly used in American kitchens, but Accad demystifies them all, making them do-able fast enough to suit today’s busy life style. After introducing all the new ingredients, the author starts by showing how to make ahead many of the staples of the Lebanese kitchen: garlic paste, citrus-tahini sauce, bread doughs, meat stuffings, and other sauces. These things can be frozen and pulled from the fridge as needed. From there she launches into regular cookbook format; breads, soups, salads, dips, main courses, sides, and desserts. While I have not yet had a chance to make any of the recipes, I have read through many of them and found them easy to follow and delicious sounding. I really can’t wait to try some of them!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad is an incredibly comprehensive introduction to preparing Lebanese cuisine. Taste of Beirut is a love story of history, culture, and food simply blossoming chapter after chapter, after chapter. The passion for the food, culture, and people left me with the deep desire to whip out my passport and take a trip across the world. By reading this book, I learned a lot about the Lebanese cuisine. With each recipe there is a high quality picture that accompanies it. Throug Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad is an incredibly comprehensive introduction to preparing Lebanese cuisine. Taste of Beirut is a love story of history, culture, and food simply blossoming chapter after chapter, after chapter. The passion for the food, culture, and people left me with the deep desire to whip out my passport and take a trip across the world. By reading this book, I learned a lot about the Lebanese cuisine. With each recipe there is a high quality picture that accompanies it. Throughout the book there are explanations and translation of ingredients, essential do's and don'ts, helpful notes included with nearly every recipe. Also included is how to prepare and store commonly used ingredients to make cooking quicker and easier. Recipes are straightforward, and dishes look very flavorful. I received this book from HCI Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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