Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week is Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, which is a collection of Lebanese-American writer and food blogger Maureen Abood’s most treasured family dishes as well as new interpretations of classic Middle Eastern ingredients, all prepared in her lakeside Michigan home.
Named after Abood’s wildly popular blog — its own title inspired by two of her favorite distillations — Rose Water & Orange Blossoms is the author’s invitation into her culture, her memories and, more deeply, her passion for Lebanese cuisine.
“The book is laden with the lushness of ingredients like spearmint and floral waters, sumac and cinnamon, pomegranates and pistachios, succulent lamb, bulgur wheat, and lentils,” Abood writes. “I hope that what you find here opens the door to a kitchen where you feel right at home with warmth and welcome, and don’t want to leave any time soon.”
Dishes range from a simple, two-ingredient laban (homemade yogurt) to an artful raw kibbeh (bulgur wheat combined with uncooked lamb or beef) to a Lebanese spin on French baked eggs that would be welcome on any brunch menu.
Our favorites? The classic tomato and sweet onion salad that, incidentally, graces the book’s cover; a roasted leg of lamb with black cherry-pomegranate salsa that combines one of Michigan’s most beloved stone fruits with one of the most celebratory cuts of meat; and a refreshing cucumber spritzer with mint to wash it all down.
Recipes appear alongside photographer Jason Varney’s vibrant, close-range images, with vegetables and spices splashed across the page so large one is inclined to grab the nearest fork for a taste.
“Maureen’s love letter to Lebanese food and the story of her family is so rich and delicious it was hard to stop reading and start cooking,” echoes Faith Durand, executive editor of TheKitchn.com, in a ringing endorsement. “But the recipes and photos compel me to do just that.”
Visit Yahoo Food throughout the week for recipes from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms.
Check out other Cookbook’s of the Week: