Jacob’s sister Naomi got him Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden for his birthday one year. It’s a beautiful cookbook full of lush photographs, just look at the colors on the cover. Is that a good looking eggplant or what?
Arabesque is divided into three main sections, I bet you can guess what they are. I chose two recipes from the Morocco section to make this time, but I am excited about featuring more recipes from the Turkey and Lebanon sections in the future.
The recipes I selected were Sweet Potato Salad (p52) and Cod Steaks in Tomato Sauce with Ginger and Black Olives (p81). In place of the cod steaks I used monkfish tail because it was cheaper, similar in firmness and looks like some sort of prehistoric sea zombie. When the fish guy described to me what monkfish looks like, I knew I had to eat it.
Most of the ingredients in Arabesque are easy to find, although many of the recipes call for preserved lemons, which I haven’t been able to find yet. The book has a helpful introduction that walks you through making them, which looks like a very simple process, but takes about a month of pickling-time to accomplish. It’s on my list of things to do.