Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

M & D Cookbook Suggestions for Mom – Mother’s Day is Just Around the Corner!

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and we know that sometimes moms can be the hardest people to shop for.  So we compiled a list of some of our favorite cookbooks that your moms might love.  The truth is that most of these cookbooks are my (Jaime’s) favorites – Jacque is out galavanting in Italy, where she’s squeezing in delicious meals between work events and meetings (she’s promised to tell us about them later).  Hopefully she’ll add in some of her favorite cookbooks once she gets back.  Until then, I’ve included my four most-visited M & D cookbooks, as well as the M & D recipes they inspired, so you can get a sense of what you might find inside.  Let us know if these inspire some gift ideas for you!  –jaime

The Cookbooks

For The Experienced Home Cook: Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean by Ana Sortun

Jacque and I were sitting in a vegetarian cooking class at Ana Sortun’s Sofra Cafe, when we realized that maybe, just maybe, Mediterranean cooking was part of our calling.  Sortun is an expert at both the mezze and the dolce – she combines contemporary spins on traditional dishes like hummus and spanikopita with an impeccable taste for French and Mediterranean pastry.  Her cookbook, Spice, includes many of the dishes she serves at Sofra and Oleana, two of my absolute favorite places to eat.  Some of the recipes can be a bit complicated, so I mainly recommend Spice for a more experienced cook.

Mezze and Dolce recipes inspired by Spice:  Pita-crusted Cauliflower with Muhammara, Parsnip Hummus, and Hot Buttered Hummus with Za’atar and Challah

For The Middle Eastern Enthusiast: Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Yotam Ottolenghi’s fresh take on traditional Middle Eastern cuisine has made him a bit of a household name.  And while his eateries are located in London, his three cookbooks help home chefs all over the world reproduce some of his most prized creations.  Jerusalem is his take on the diverse cuisine of his birthplace, and it includes stories and photos from the region.  The recipes range from simple to complicated, so it’s good for anyone, and the book itself is absolutely beautiful.  Oh, and it’s also one of my mom’s favorites.

Mezze and Dolce recipes inspired by Jerusalem:  Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad, Tomato Barley Risotto with Armenian Cheese

For The Italian EnthusiastCasual Cooking by Michael Chiarello

Chef Michael Chiarello takes readers to Napa and Italy with his simple recipes and fresh ingredients.  Chiarello is the Chef at Napa’s Bottega, and was also one of my favorite contenders on the Next Iron Chef.  Casual Cooking’s recipes include Italian classics like bolognese and tapenade, as well as new twists on old dishes.  For example, he has a section with four different kinds of panzanella, each using vegetables appropriate to a season.  Chiarello’s recipes are fairly basic, so this cookbook is a good fit for just about anyone.  My mom gave it to me for Chanukah the year after we visited Bottega for my birthday.  Another reason to be grateful for my mom!

Mezze and Dolce recipes inspired by Casual Cooking:  Winter Panzanella

For The Locavore: Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool

This book may seem like a bit of an outlier, since it’s not particularly focused on Mediterranean food.  However, I’ve gotten some of my best dolce recipes out of this cookbook, and many of Ziff Cool’s flavors are Mediterranean indeed.  The cookbook is organized by season, so it’s perfect for a mom looking to eat locally and sustainably.  Almost everything I’ve made from it has come out perfectly (including one of my favorite recipes of all time – a persimmon and chicken sausage salad).  It’s also a lovely cookbook to flip through every once in a while – the photos and design are stunning.  Oh right, and my mom bought this one for me, too.

Mezze and Dolce recipes inspired by Simply Organic:  Basil Lemon Cake, Pear Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

 

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6 comments on “M & D Cookbook Suggestions for Mom – Mother’s Day is Just Around the Corner!

  1. sarene (fringefood)
    April 30, 2013

    I absolutely love, Jerusalem: A Cookbook. Now it looks like I need to explore Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean by Ana Sortun. thanks!

    • mezzeanddolce
      April 30, 2013

      You will love it, too! Any cookbooks you would recommend?

  2. sarene (fringefood)
    July 7, 2013

    The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia. More of the great Middle Eastern flavors we love.

  3. Pingback: Mezze: Chicken Peach Lamejun (Flatbread) | Mezze & Dolce

  4. Pingback: Dolce: Basil-Polenta Breakfast Cake with Roasted Nectarines | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on April 30, 2013 by in Cookbook, M & D Inspiration and tagged , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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