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Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

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Notes about this book

  • FionaC on December 30, 2011

    The recipes in the version of this book available in Australia are slightly different from this version!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Mashed eggplant and tomato salad

    • erin g on February 20, 2011

      Excellent. I replaced paprika with all ground chili to no ill effect.

    • eve_kloepper on November 06, 2011

      delicious. I served this over shredded romaine leaves. not traditional, but it worked well.

  • Grated cucumber and mint salad

    • twoyolks on June 29, 2017

      This was watery and bland. Draining in a colander removed some liquid, but I feel the cucumber needed to be salted and wrung dry to really remove the watery nature. I used an English cucumber and I would've liked to remove the seeds before grating it.

  • Potato and olive salad

    • Wilkie on April 18, 2012

      Nice, but surprisingly a little flat given the ingredients. I added capers and a plop of harissa to the leftovers for more brineyness and depth.

  • Orange, olive, and onion salad

    • sharifah on March 18, 2013

      Nice easy salad. I paired it with the Roast Lamb with cous cous and date stuffing which works really well together.

  • Spinach salad with preserved lemon and olives

    • Laura on January 30, 2015

      Pg. 56. I made this using a regular lemon because I didn't have a preserved lemon. The recipe calls for chopping the peel, I zested it. The recipe called for 'violet olives.' I've never seen that term before, so I used kalamata olives. The recipe says to serve this cold, but I served it warm as a vegetable side. We enjoyed it, but I would like to see what it would be like when served cold.

    • swegener on January 29, 2015

      This is one of my very favorite dishes of all time, which is strange for such a simple dish, but there you go. I usually make it with frozen spinach, and add some caramelized onion if I have it on hand. I can eat bowls of the stuff.

  • Meat cigars

    • erin g on June 14, 2013

      These also require fillo pastry.

  • Roast cod with potatoes and tomatoes

    • Laura on January 15, 2010

      Pg. 76. Wow, this is a great recipe. The chermoula sauce adds wonderful flavor. I cut the potatoes into quarters, instead of slicing and used canned, whole San Marzano tomatoes because there are no good fresh tomatoes available at this time of year.

  • Cod steaks in tomato sauce with ginger and black olives

    • Laura on October 20, 2013

      Pg. 81. We thought this was good, but not great. It was very easy to prepare. The ginger was an off-note -- just didn't harmonize well with the rest of the ingredients. If I made this again, I'd eliminate the ginger. I used regular lemon zest as I did not have preserved lemons. Perhaps it would be much better with them. I prefer the cod recipe on pg. 76, 'Roast cod with potatoes and tomatoes.'

  • Prawns in spicy tomato sauce

    • Laura on April 25, 2014

      Pg. 84. I loved how quickly this came together (once the shrimp were shelled and deveined) and how healthy it is. Flavor-wise, however, the saffron was the only taste that really stood out -- not that that's a bad thing. It just wasn't nearly as spicy as I was hoping. Next time I would increase the ginger and the chili pepper.

  • Roast chicken with couscous, raisin, and almond stuffing

    • twoyolks on October 05, 2017

      The chicken was good, particularly with the cooking juices poured over it. The cooking time was perfect for my chicken. The couscous was fine but nothing special.

    • Melanie on June 13, 2014

      Incredibly flavoursome. The couscous is served on the side (and I just used instant couscous) but both components were great. Chicken skin wasn't quite as crispy as I would have liked but still a great result. Served with Melissa Clark's roast carrots & pomegranate molasses, and roast beetroots topped with minted yoghurt.

  • Roast shoulder of lamb with couscous and date stuffing

    • sharifah on March 18, 2013

      I was a little worried by the amount of cinnamon & orange water required for the cous cous because as you mix them, it smelled way too strong. But the cous cous turned out very well indeed. A little too sweet for me actually with the dates, I think maybe a little fresh chopped parsley & slightly less dates may make it even nicer. I paired it with the Orange & olive salad which cuts through the sweetness of the dates.

  • Tagine of lamb with caramelized baby onions and quinces

    • mziech on October 30, 2010

      dutch version: no walnuts included

  • Tagine of lamb with apricots

    • evromans on October 02, 2011

      Lovely lamb recipe. Don't overdo the apricots and honey though, otherwise it will become too sweet (at least for my taste).

  • Roasted eggplants and bell peppers with yogurt and pine nuts

    • PinchOfSalt on August 15, 2015

      I tried this without the yogurt. Excellent!!

  • Beets with yogurt

    • twoyolks on February 05, 2015

      The yogurt compliments the beets nicely. The mint really added a nice flavor note.

    • mirage on January 17, 2010

      Use version w/tahini and garlic

  • Baked pasta with cheese

    • twoyolks on April 22, 2012

      This was very much so-so. The feta flavor did not come through at all and we used a very good, local feta.

  • Seared tuna with lemon dressing

    • westminstr on May 15, 2015

      I was looking for a simple preparation for my fresh tuna steaks, but this was a little too simple. I didn't think the lemon dressing did much for the fish, will not repeat.

  • Chicken with tomato pilaf

    • Cheri on April 30, 2011

      Quick, easy, makes good leftovers for lunch. Will try again in summer with more flavorful tomatoes.

  • Stuffed eggplants with meat

    • elizabethzvolpe on July 24, 2017

      This eggplant was alright- but definitely not the best I've had. The filling was just a little bit bland and the preparation was time-consuming.

  • Apricots stuffed with cream

    • Lindacakes on September 24, 2011

      Easy and delicious.

  • Milk and almond pudding

    • elizabethzvolpe on July 24, 2017

      Not a fan. I know milk pudding is not supposed to be firm, but I followed the instructions to the letter and in the end it felt too soupy to really be called pudding...

  • Eggplants with tomatoes and chickpeas

    • erin g on June 19, 2011

      Subbing in good balsamic vinegar for the pomegranate molasses also yields a nice dish.

  • Little puff pastry cheese pies

    • mziech on October 14, 2012

      Easy recipe, substituted the mozzarella cheese for halloumi cheese, which gave a nice result.

  • Chicken and chickpeas with yogurt

    • PinchOfSalt on August 13, 2014

      This is comfort food. It is tasty, but unusual (to North American palates) and not much to look at. Stale pita meets chicken in something like a middle eastern savory bread pudding. The yogurt / garlic / mint dressing adds a lot of flavor and contrast. Do not leave it out.

  • Milk pudding

    • mziech on October 14, 2012

      delicious taste. Perhaps better to let set in individual bowls/cups as it is not a very firm pudding and tends to slowly collapse....

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Reviews about this book

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  • ISBN 10 030726498X
  • ISBN 13 9780307264985
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 31 2006
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
  • Imprint Alfred A. Knopf

Publishers Text

In the 1960s Claudia Roden introduced Americans to a new world of tastes in her classic A Book of Middle Eastern Food. Now, in her enchanting new book, Arabesque, she revisits the three countries with the most exciting cuisines today--Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. Interweaving history, stories, and her own observations, she gives us 150 of the most delectable recipes: some of them new discoveries, some reworkings of classic dishes - all of them made even more accessible and delicious for today's home cook.


From Morocco, the most exquisite and refined cuisine of North Africa: couscous dishes; multilayered pies; delicately flavored tagines; ways of marrying meat, poultry, or fish with fruit to create extraordinary combinations of spicy, savory, and sweet.


From Turkey, a highly sophisticated cuisine that dates back to the Ottoman Empire yet reflects many new influences today: a delicious array of kebabs, fillo pies, eggplant dishes in many guises, bulgur and chickpea salads, stuffed grape leaves and peppers, and sweet puddings.


From Lebanon, a cuisine of great diversity: a wide variety of mezze (those tempting appetizers that can make a meal all on their own); dishes featuring sun-drenched Middle Eastern vegetables and dried legumes; and national specialties such as kibbeh, meatballs with pine nuts, and lamb shanks with yogurt.


Claudia Roden knows this part of the world so intimately that we delight in being in such good hands as she translates the subtle play of flavors and simple cooking techniques to our own home kitchens.



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