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Sally Butcher's Veggiestan is subtitled "a vegetable lover's tour of the middle east". This is a cook book for the more experienced cook who want to make delicious new food. I found it to be a well presented book that will look good on any bookshelf and the recipes inside will interest (even if they are not always immediately accessible).
The recipes are divided into themes- bread/ pastry, herbs, dairy and eggs, soups, legumes, grains, vegetables etc. There are interesting recipes for middle eastern bread and filled pastries, salad jelly, upsidedown rice pies as well as recipes for the standard middle eastern delicacies- hummus, falafels etc
I think this book is for the more experienced cook as many of the ingredients used in the recipes are difficult to find in most supermarkets eg Za'atar, Moghrabieh, Pomegranate and Quice etc. A greater number of the ingredients listed are more widely available but probably not in most people's kitchens. Unless you already have a good selection of spices and pulses in your cupboard, it could be expensive to make some of the food.
There is an engaging commentary to the book with nicely written stories about the recipes and the ingredients.
I've been asked if I've cooked using the recipes in this book. I'm an ad lib cook and not a fan of following instructions to the letter. I prefer to use my cookery books as inspiration for new meals and for ideas of how to use new ingredients in my own way. I like this book because I can read and enjoy in itself as well as be able being inspired and be able to cook from from it
The look of the book
The cover has a nice colour scheme with a pattern that looks a bit like a simplified Turkish rug. The hardback cover has some flocked detailing. Inside the book is nicely presented with clear text and designed with middle eastern motifs. There are matt printed photos to illustrate about 60% of the recipes which feels like the right balance. And the food looks good on the plates too.