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Mediterranean Cooking Paperback – October 7, 1994

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this revision of her 1977 volume of the same name, Wolfert (The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean) has replaced many of the richer dishes of that book with 75 new recipes that represent "some of the best of what the Mediterranean has to offer in terms of health as well as taste." The 150 recipes here are also less demanding, epitomizing a culinary simplicity that highlights the flavor of fresh ingredients. Organized around main ingredients rather than courses or geographical borders, the chapters sport such titles as "Garlic and Oil" and "Chick Peas, Lentils and Beans." Wolfert pays particular attention to the cooking traditions and specialties of the Italian region of Apulia, of Spain's Andalusia, of Provence, Turkey and, in particular, Tunisia. The latter, in which hot red peppers feature more emphatically than in dishes from neighboring areas, includes recipes for the characteristic spice mixture called tabil, and Gamber Sghir, grilled shrimp accompanied by a spicy tomato-based sauce. More specialized than Joyce Goldstein's Mediterranean: The Beautiful Cookbook, just out from Collins Publishers San Francisco (PW, August 29), Wolfert's revised collection will appeal to adventurous home cooks already familiar with the region's fare.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Wolfert (The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, LJ 5/15/94) was considered an authority on the cuisines of the Mediterranean long before they became the latest hot food topic. Mediterranean Cooking was originally published in 1977, and this edition has been extensively revised. More than half the recipes are new, partly in response to the revived interest in simple regional and country cooking; 60 recipes were dropped, mostly because they were either fat-laden or excessively demanding or, in the case of Northern Italian dishes, had become all too familiar. Much of the text has been rewritten, reflecting the author's years of ongoing research. In short, this is almost a new book-and an essential purchase.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; Revised edition (October 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060974648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060974640
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paula Wolfert is widely acknowledged as one of the premier food writers in America and the "queen of Mediterranean cooking." She writes a regular column in Food & Wine, alternating with Jacques Pepin and Marcella Hazan (she came in as Julia Child's replacement), and she is author of eight cookbooks, several of which have remained in print for upwards of 30 years. Her three most recent cookbooks, The Food of Morocco, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen and The Cooking of Southwest France, 2nd edition, received glowing reviews.
Wolfert's writings have received numerous awards, including the Julia Child Award, the M.F.K. Fisher Award, the James Beard Award, the Cook's Magazine Platinum Plate Award, and the Perigueux Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur, Fine Cooking, and Cook's Illustrated. In 2008, she was inducted into the Cookbook Hall of Fame by the James Beard Association.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
`Mediterranean Cooking' by the eminent cookbook author, Ms. Paula Wolfert may not be the best book on Mediterranean recipes, it may not even be the second best book on Mediterranean recipes, especially since Ms. Wolfert is competing against her excellent `The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean' plus flagship volumes from her hero, Elizabeth David and books from good friend, Nancy Harmon Jenkins and scholarly works from Clifford A. Wright and home friendly books from Joyce Goldstein and others. The list goes on and on. Mediterranean cooking has been addressed from about every angle you can think of, but part of that interest is due to Ms. Wolfert's own works, starting with her landmark `Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco'. But, if this volume were the only one you had on `Mediterranean Cuisine', you should count yourself fortunate that you found this book.

While this is not a scholarly book by most standards, like all of Ms. Wolfert's works, it is much more than a list of recipes. One major premise of the book is that a native of a region on the Mediterranean coast could walk the perimeter of this Sea and find familiar food all along the shores of the old Roman Empire. This forms the basis of Ms. Wolfert's organization of chapters which is based on the leading foodstuffs of the Mediterranean from the Maghreb (Northern Africa from Morocco to Tunisia) to the Levant (Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Syria). In fact, I have to suspect than friend Nancy Harmon Jenkins borrowed Ms. Wolfert's concept of how to present Mediterranean cuisine in Jenkins' 2003 book, `The Essential Mediterranean'.

Ms. Wolfert's basis for choosing recipes she states in for simple reasons. First there are `...great and famous dishes for which I can find superb recipes'. Second are `...
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Format: Hardcover
I would have liked to see more recipes from Syria and Lebanon, although the ones that are included are very good. Sources for ingredients are included at the end of the book and the author has also included a recipe for home made yogurt which can really cut the cost of this essential ingredient. Preparation techniques are, for the most part, simple and accessible to American and European cooks requiring little special equipment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this book since it came out in 1977. After 30 years it completely fell apart and this purchase was a replacement copy.
Mediterranean Cooking by Paula Wolfert was the first cook book that centered on Mediterranean cooking with accurate recipes. It is a great reference for that something you need for Moroccan, Provence, Italian, Greek, Lebanese and Israeli cooking. During 1977 I bet most people in America had no idea of what tabbouleh, baba ghanoush and tahini was. This cook book is a classic and a good starting point for this cuisine. Since it is from the seventy's it does not have any pretty pictures but is packed with basic recipes.
It is good starting point for the expert on Mediterranean cooking.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're new to Mediterranean cooking, start here, this is the classic American tome. All your basic classic recipes are here... pesto, tabbouleh, babaganoush etc., plus many less well-known recipes which will surprise and delight you. I bought the original version 30 years ago and it led to a life-long attachment to this cuisine. Also, vegetarians take note: there are many excellent meatless meals to be found in these pages, although Martha Shulman's vegetarian book is good if you prefer not to pay for meat recipes: Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine

My one complaint has always been the organization of this book, by main ingredient, i.e. all recipes featuring olives together, all featuring yogurt together, rather than organized by course (hors d'oeuvres, salad, entrées, dessert, etc.) Sorry, Paula, this is just inconvenient. Also, like so many other cookbooks, the index is annoying. There are recipes for gazpacho, but if you look under "Soups" it's only shown as "cold vegetable". Same with Pasta Puttanesca no mention of it in the index at all, only "spaghetti with olive sauce."

But don't let this discourage you, if you only want a single Mediterranean cookbook, get this one. Later you can move on to Claudia Roden's books: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, and Paula Wolfert's other excellent Mediterranean books, a few of which are:
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