Growing up on a kibbutz in northern Israel, spice master Lior Lev Sercarz has long had an affinity for local ingredients and produce. After becoming a chef and then devoting his creativity and career to sourcing and blending spices, he recognized the intensive labor, skill, and craftsmanship that goes into the development of Middle Eastern pantry staples, from olives to silan (date molasses), and tahini to sujuk (a fermented and dried sausage).
In this cookbook and culinary resource, he homes in on the everyday ingredients used throughout this vast region, including Turkey, Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Armenia, Jordan, and more, as he offers an homage to the pantry staples that define Middle Eastern cuisine. Lior offers an in-depth look at the production, history, cultural resonance, and storage of each pantry item, then shares an array of mouthwatering recipes crafted for home kitchens. Dishes range from a hearty Verjus and Lamb Stew to snacky Kibbeh with Pine Nuts, Roasted Vegetables with Egyptian Dukkah, tangy Iraqi amba mango sauce, a sweet-syrupy-cheesy kunafe, and a creamy Turkish rice pudding.
This book is for home cooks who crave not only recipes but also origin stories that lend cultural relevance and insight into one of the world's most ancient and beloved cuisines.