It’s been a while since I shared a cookbook review, but this week I have another wonderful cookbook review to share with you – Modern Flavours of Arabia by Suzanne Husseini.
In MModern Flavours of Arabia Suzanne shares her story of her family moving to Canada when she was young and adapting to a new culture while keeping the beautifully flavoured and spiced food of their heritage and sharing it with their new friends. ”I learned at age seven that we all share one thing and that is a love of food” says Suzanne, as she recounts the initial schoolyard teasing she received over her “exotic lunches” which were soon followed by requests for her to bring felafel from home to share.
This beautiful book is broken down into chapters, starting with Breakfast, followed by Mezze, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert. Each chapter includes lovable favourites that most people will be familiar with, such as as Baba Ghanouj, Kofta, Felefel, Tabbouleh, and Sambousek, but this book introduces a beautiful array of new dishes that you will be just dying to try, as I was.
I should point out that not all recipes in this book are vegetarian, there are quite a number of meat centric dishes, however most of them could be adapted to be made vegetarian. Having said that, there are quite a number of vegetarian dishes, with some vegan recipes too.
We all know we eat with our eyes first, and the beautiful photography in Modern Flavours of Arabia certainly ensures that is the case as it captures the beautiful richness and exotic nature of the food, with all of the photographs in this book taken by talented Sydney photographer Petrina Tinsley.
For todays recipe I’ve chosen to share the Spinach Filled Filo Triangles from the Mezze chapter. I’m a sucker for a good pastry dish, and the mere mention of spinach, lemon and pine nuts was enough for me to be immediately attracted to this dish. This dish is also beautifully simple too, with the only fiddly work being folding the triangles. The triangles are delicious, and perfectly flaky and crumbly. They can be served as part of a mezze, a light lunch with a side salad, or for dinner, with a couple of salads on the side, as we did.
I will be sharing a couple of other recipes from Modern Flavours of Arabia, which I hope you will join me for over the next few days.
Now, thanks to the lovely team at Hardie Grant, I have a copy of Modern Flavours of Arabia to give away to one lucky reader. To enter simply follow the instructions below.
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- 5 cups of spinach leaves, washed and drained, stalks removed & cut into thin slices
- 4 tbs of olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped, whites only
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs of sumac
- 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
- ½ cup of toasted pine nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 sheets of filo pastry
- ½ cup of melted butter and ¼ cup of olive oil extra, mixed for brushing the pastry
- Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the onions until soft before removing from the heat and adding the spinach, spring onions, lemon juice, sumac, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Once the spinach has wilted place into a colander to drain and cool slightly. Once cooled remove from the colander and add the pine nuts and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius (375 Fahrenheit) and cut the 12 filo sheets in half. Take one sheet from the stack and cover the remaining sheets with a clean tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Brush the filo sheet with the butter and oil mixture and fold in half lengthways. Brush again and place a heaped spoonful of the mixture close to the corner of one of the short sides of the pastry. Fold the corner over to encase the filling, alternating left or right. Follow with a final brush of the butter and oil mixture and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper while you continue with the remaining pastry and mixture.
- Bake the triangles for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
Delicieux received a copy of Modern Flavours of Arabia to review courtesy of Hardie Grant. Please note that this has in no way affected my opinions and all opinions are my own.