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Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean

Overview

Silvena Rowe, executive chef of London's exquisite restaurant Quince at the May Fair Hotel, invites you on a journey through Eastern Mediterranean history and its culinary secrets. Here, the olive oil, rosemary, and basil of the West meet the exotic spices of the East for a contemporary cuisine of surprising lightness and variety.

From tempting starters such as creamy feta and caramelized leek filo pastries to sumptuous entrées such as spiced pilaf with duck confit, raisins, and...

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Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean

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Overview

Silvena Rowe, executive chef of London's exquisite restaurant Quince at the May Fair Hotel, invites you on a journey through Eastern Mediterranean history and its culinary secrets. Here, the olive oil, rosemary, and basil of the West meet the exotic spices of the East for a contemporary cuisine of surprising lightness and variety.

From tempting starters such as creamy feta and caramelized leek filo pastries to sumptuous entrées such as spiced pilaf with duck confit, raisins, and pine nuts to heavenly desserts like maple-glazed roasted figs with pistachio praline, this is food for celebrating, for healthy living, and, above all, for sharing.

Rowe offers a modern twist on the classic recipes of a rich tradition, following in the footsteps of the great Ottoman chefs who combined the sweet and the sour, the fresh and the dried, the flavors of honey and cinnamon, saffron and sumac, scented rose and orange flower water. Filled with mouthwatering recipes that can be made using surprisingly simple and easy-to-find ingredients, and illustrated with stunning photographs, Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume brings to life the natural beauty and irresistible flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rowe, a London-based writer, chef, and TV star, explores "the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean," taking home cooks through the "kitchens of Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the cuisines of the Europeans and Arabs, of Muslims, Christians and Jews"—she doesn't shy away from peppering this solid collection of recipes that follow "in the footsteps of the great Ottoman chefs" with memoirs, poetry, adaptations of short stories, and breathtaking landscapes. Recipes feature ingredients often associated with eastern Mediterranean cooking such as pomegranates, saffron, lamb, and yogurt, as well as flavors that may be new to some U.S. home cooks such as sumac, rose petals, lemon balm, nettles, and nasturtium flowers. Inspired by her Turkish heritage, the author offers regional selections such as gözleme, a Turkish, stuffed street food, and a selection of böreks, Turkish pastry, along with dishes her grandmother cooked such as baba ghanoush, and her mother's yiahni, a Turkish stew. This title takes readers far beyond their kitchen through the spices and stories of the enthusiastic and talented author. (June)
Bon Appetit Magazine Editors
"Equal parts rustic and elegant, Rowe’s is a borderless cuisine of za’atar and lemon zest, chile and cumin, marked by vibrant flavors, bright colors, and heady aromas."
Bon Appétit
“Equal parts rustic and elegant, Rowe’s is a borderless cuisine of za’atar and lemon zest, chile and cumin, marked by vibrant flavors, bright colors, and heady aromas.”
Library Journal
Born in Bulgaria of Turkish descent, London chef and television personality Rowe (Feasts: Food for Sharing from Central and Eastern Europe) here offers up a set of mostly Turkish and Syrian recipes. The collection includes many dishes that will be relatively easy for the home cook to master. The flavors emphasized are intriguing without being unfamiliar. This approachable cookbook would have been more appealing had Rowe clearly identified when—if ever—recipes are drawn from other Mediterranean cultures. Moreover, she does not consistently frame each recipe with a story or insights. Readers might also wish that she had provided more detailed background about the two countries' cuisines. VERDICT This is a good, pleasantly illustrated set of accessible recipes, but the level of personality and detail may disappoint. Recommended for collections needing cookbooks focused on this region.—Peter Hepburn, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Kirkus Reviews

Sensual recipes designed to inspire a passion for Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.

Rowe (Feasts, 2009) pays homage to the renowned chefs of the Ottoman Empire who prized food for its sensual attributes: taste, smell, color and texture. According to the author, the Sultans were one of the great foodie cultures, often employing kitchen staffs of 1,300 that adapted and integrated the intriguing flavors they found along the Spice Road. Rowe's cookbook covers what was once the domain of the Ottomans—the regions of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and even Bulgaria, where Rowe was born. Each recipe is spiced up with a history lesson or a travel memory. To make it easier to picture both the food and the locale, Rowe sprinkles the book with gorgeous photographs. Her recipes are as exotic as they are rich and complex in flavor, making use of such ingredients as rose petals, pomegranate molasses, Aleppo peppers, nigella seeds and spices like sumac and the incredibly aromatic Baharat. While it may be hard to find the ingredients for the Partridge Dolma or the kadaifi pastry for the Basil and Kadaifi-Wrapped Shrimp with Pine Nut Tarator, Rowe doesn't make excuses or offer Americanized substitutions. She provides a glossary, but the rest is up to the curious, resourceful cook.

Discover a new culinary tradition that evokes a fascinating time and place.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062071590
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/14/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 830,508
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Silvena Rowe was born and raised in the ancient city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, just three hundred miles from Istanbul. Her Turkish father instilled in her a love of cooking, and he passed down, as generations had before him, the traditions of the Ottoman cuisine. Rowe is the executive chef at Quince at the iconic May Fair Hotel in London. A popular British television personality, she is a regular guest on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen and ITV's This Morning. She has written for the Guardian and served as a consultant on the David Cronenberg film Eastern Promises. Her first book, Feasts, won the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award. She lives in London, England.

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