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From Tapas to Meze: First Courses from the Mediterranean Shores of Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa Hardcover – April 12, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (April 12, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517589621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517589625
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The countries that circle the Mediterranean share more than the sea's azure waters. They share a love of first courses -- tapas from Spain, hors d'oeuvres and entrees from France, Italy's antipasti and primi piatti, mezethes from Greece, and the meze of the Levant and North Africa. These small dishes reflect the region's extraordinary bounty, its reliance on seasonal produce, and its emphasis on straightforward preparation.

More than 220 recipes demonstrate both the unity and the variety of Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, and fresh herbs are the foundation of all Mediterranean cooking. But what a tremendous range of flavors and textures emanate from those ingredients!

Often one brilliant idea is manipulated differently by each cuisine. Take flat bread: In Spain we find Coca de la Huerta, a summer vegetable flat bread from the Balearic Islands. France offers Provence's Pissaladiere, laced with anchovies, onions, and olives. You're probably familiar with Italy's great flat breads (like Focaccia con Gorgonzola e Pinoli), but have you ever tasted Lahmacun, a Turkish lamb and tomato pizza, spiced with cinnamon, allspice, and cloves?

The Mediterranean plays the same game with savory egg pies. You can't enter a tapas bar in Spain without being confronted by some sort of tortilla, the ubiquitous Spanish omelette that appears here with caramelized onions as Tortilla de Cebollas a la Andaluza. In the South of France an omelette might be stuffed with pistou (the French equivalent of Italian pesto), and in Italy you would find the Italian equivalent of the omelette the frittata -- made with roasted sweet peppers. In Greece, the egg has been transformed into a Sfoungato me Kolokithia Apagio, a baked omelette with rice, zucchini, leeks, feta, and mountain herbs. In Tunisia, echoes of the French occupation can be tasted in the ajja, a traditional omelette filled with Tunisia's own spicy merguez sausage.

For this authentic collection, Joanne Weir ate her way around the Mediterranean cajoling home cooks and restaurant chefs into surrendering their finest recipes. Throughout the book is a reverence for the Mediterranean practice of hanging out at the table with a glass of wine -- or sherry, or ouzo, or raki -- while nibbling on an assortment of delectable little dishes. Let From Tapas to Meze bring this gracious tradition into your home.

About the Author

Joanne Weir is an internationally known chef and cooking teacher who trained with Madeleine Kamman and cooked at Chez Panisse with Alice Waters. In addition to writing numerous pieces for food magazines, she contributed to the prize-winning France: A Culinary Journal and American Food: A Celebration. This is her first cookbook.

More About the Author

Joanne Weir is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, cooking teacher, host and Executive Producer for the PBS TV series "Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence." She is chef/owner of Copita, a tequileria & restaurant in Sausalito, Ca.

In 2012, Joanne was appointed by Hilary Clinton and the State Department to the American Chef Corp. The author of 17 cookbooks, including the newly released Cooking Confidence, Joanne is the Consulting Editor at Large at Fine Cooking Magazine. She recently launched Joanne Weir Wines receiving numerous accolades.

A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne spent 5 years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman. She travels and teaches extensively around the world as well as in her San Francisco studio kitchen


For more information, visit www.joanneweir.com
Blog: http://joanneweir.blogspot.com
Twitter: @joanneweircook
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/JoanneWeirCooking

Customer Reviews

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For this reason, I heartily recommend this book!
David Lebovitz
It's a great book for the innovative dishes plus it's nearly 80% vegetarian so it's got something for everyone.
Mary Firme
The little stories behind each recipie add a special meaning to each dish as well.
BHarubin@aol.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BHarubin@aol.com on September 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had a 30th birthday party and prepared several tapas to meze dishes for my guests! Everyone raved about them and then went out and bought the book themselves! The little stories behind each recipie add a special meaning to each dish as well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Lebovitz on August 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is honestly one of my favorite books. I had gone to a party where most of the dishes were made from this book, and was surprised at how good they all were. When I got a copy From Tapas to Meze, I immediately tried the recipes and they came out exactly as promised (the leek tart & cucumber feta salad, which I've made countless times and everyone loves it.) Buy this book just for that recipe... The previous review made numerous mentions of the historical/cultural missteps of the book, and I have traveled through most of these countries, and I think that Joanne Weir has done a admirable job of trying to assimilate many different cultures and foods into a book that's easy to cook from. I am also half-Syrian and while I don't pretend to be an expert on middle-eastern cooking, therecipes, flavors and the dishes that I have made from this book are truly inspiring...and taste great.I personally read cookbooks for the recipes and the primary reason for buying them is to be able to make tasty food. For this reason, I heartily recommend this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong, From Tapas to Meze is a great cookbook. There's tons of ideas and dishes that deserve to find their way onto more and more plates. However, I wish Weir could have thought to include a few guidelines for substitutions. Not everyone has time to make their own pasta (although some of the dishes definitely benefit from the suggested fresh pasta) or to prepare dried garbanzos. I know the book isn't pitched as a "quick meals for the harried worker," but a lot of these recipes could be made more quickly and simply without compromising flavor; in fact, that's one challenge I'm taking from the book ... and I expect the work to be worth the effort.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jean-Paul Cozzatti on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I cook using many of Joanne's books. This is my favorite. The Italian, Spanish, and French dishes are spot on. The Greek, Middle East and Turkish fantastic. I love to mix the salads from Eastern Mediterranean with main dishes from the Western Mediterranean. Joanne gives precise instructions and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of the techniques I've learned from this book. If you get a chance catch her show on PBS ([...]) or a class with her at 'Sur La Table' ([...]) She's a joy to learn from.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jean-Paul Cozzatti on December 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Joanne Weir, a la Chez Panisse, is a wonderful chef and this award winning book is fantastic. In this book Joanne shares her favorite hand-picked recipes from her travels around the Mediterranean. I love combining hearty courses from France and Italy with salads and small plates of Greece, Turkey and North Africa. This book is by far the most exciting and spicy of her books. Her cooking directions are excellent. The anecdotes and back-stories that serve as introductions to the recipes are fun.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Firme on April 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to this book at a friends house for dinner -- but instead of cooking these delicious, incredibly flavorful recipes as appetizers, she served them as the main course. It's a great book for the innovative dishes plus it's nearly 80% vegetarian so it's got something for everyone. No mediterranean or Calfornia cooking lover is complete without this cookbook! And to the author -- please write lots more cookbooks!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you like Mediterranean food, you NEED THIS BOOK! Joanne has written an incredible cookbook filled with delicious and easy recipes. The food is filled with flavor, and I keep reaching for this book and reaching again. It has food all over it, is a mess, and I would never buy a new one, because I love the old one too much. JUST BUY THIS BOOK!!! TRUST ME!!
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