Sabrina Ghayour – Sirocco

I borrowed this one from a friend. I already own Ghayour’s other two books – Persiana and Feasts, but haven’t purchased this one  – yet. Subtitled ‘Fabulous Flavours from the East‘,  I have to say, I found this a rather fabulous book. From the dazzling, vibrant colours of the cover to the sumptious photos to the two lovely integrated pink and orange bookmarks, this is certainly a very attractive and visually stimulating book. Likewise, it doesn’t disappoint on the contents.

There are five recipe sections plus a useful section on ‘my kitchen store cupboard’. Ghayour keeps it fairly simple, by organising according to meal type – breakfast/brunch; lights bites & snacks; sides and salads (my favourite section – full of great ideas); main dishes and bakes/sweet treats. It all feels fairly informal and laid back, yet, there is plenty in here to get the taste buds watering and the dinner party planning underway. Middle Eastern and Persian food simply looks good. It’s colourful, exotic and downright interesting and it’s great food to cook for friends.

I tried it out with a couple of girlfriends, plumping for the Lemon, Turmeric and Black Pepper Salmon (p206) along with two salads – the Puy Lentil, Caper & Red Onion (p129) and the Fig, Fresh Pecorino and Walnut (p118). It was utterly delicious – simple, tasty and it looked great too. Even my teenage sons proclaimed the salmon to be the best they’d ever eaten!

I have to admit to preferring this a little over Ghayour’s first book – Persiana . I found it a wee bit more accessible and the ingredients less obscure and I also found it more attractive and nicer to look at. Shallow, I know, but I must confess that the look and feel of a cookery book is a big factor in how many times I’m likely to return to it and how much I’ll enjoy the experience of browsing its pages, quite apart from actually cooking from it.

So, definitely worth a look. If you have a smart tablet with a kindle app, it’s currently available on kindle for just 99p, along with Ghayour’s other books – a definite bargain!

And here’s a link to the Citrus and Za’atar Roast Chicken recipe  from page 177. We had this for dinner tonight – nice change from the usual rosemary, garlic and lemon chicken I usually make.