When I was given A Lebanese Feast by Mona Hamadeh I was both excited and a little nervous, I had never (successfully) attempted to cook Lebanese food, it’s a really daunting task, the recipes are huge with so much to do – there is a good reason that traditionally Lebanese women cook together, more hands! But I took on the task of working through some of Mona Hamadeh’s vegetarian recipes much to the elation of everyone in the house.
To start with, the book is beautiful, gorgeous photos and wonderfully written recipes, you almost feel like she is in the kitchen with you guiding you through the recipes, passing on family secrets. The photos don’t make you feel too intimidated, they are simple and mouth watering and it’s nice when your food comes out looking fairly similar!
The first recipe I tried was the potato stew, I cooked it twice, once on the hob and the second time I decided to give it a go in the slow cooker just because I could. The recipe was so simple and this is easily one of my favourite dishes, there is so much flavour in each mouthful and the ingredients are so fresh and vibrant it makes a perfect side to any meal. Admittedly we are a house of meat eaters so we did enjoy it with some beef koftas and a pomegranate and tomato salad I got from another cook book but you could easily enjoy this with any of the other recipes from this book or even just throw in a little shredded chicken as it cooks.
The second recipe I tried was for breakfast – it probably wasn’t intended for that but it sounded too good to pass up. I make eggs and potato, a super simple dish that was a perfect balance of Middle Eastern spices, I just added a little yoghurt I had mixed with zataar the night before and had myself a wonderful and filling breakfast. I just loved that this recipe was so simple and quick, bar chopping the potatoes there really isn’t much prep required for this one which is nice, it’s an easy side or a delicious whole meal.
The next recipe I tried was probably the most challenging of them all, I cannot even begin to warn people about attempting this one with just one set of hands and a short amount of time! Bar once, I have never made my own pasta, so while the dough for these tortalini is not the traditional Italian recipe – in fact it is much more simple – it isn’t any less stressful. For these walnut and onion filled parcels the recipe seems simple enough but it’s deceptive, but so worth it! At first I was a little worried about the yoghurt sauce with rice in it, but it was delicious and I was amazed there was any filling left, I could have just sat with a bowl of that and devoured it.
Overall I have to say that this book is one of my favourite I have ever had, and with so many more recipes to try I am really excited to make my way through the rest of the book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, even for the most novice home cook!
This post has not been sponsored by the author or publisher of this book and is in no way endorsed by either party. All views in this review are those of Middle Eats.