The Vegetarian Table: North Africa

Kitty Morse, Author, Chronicle Books, Author, Deborah Jones, Photographer Chronicle Books $22.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-8118-0694-7
Morse (Come With Me to the Kasbah) does a standout job with this latest entry in the publisher's geographic/ethnic Vegetarian Table books, not because she follows the series formula but because she transcends it with her personal stories and recipes. A descendant of Sephardic Jews with a peripatetic history, Morse examines dishes from the Maghreb, the area consisting of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The recipes are consistently clear and tempting, and she exhibits great ability in tinkering with some traditional fare to render it meatless. An entire chapter on the Moroccan and Algerian stews called Tagines includes classic vegetarian dishes such as Foul Mudammas (Fava Bean Stew with Olives) and vegetarian adaptations such as Kefta aux Oefs (Vegetarian Meatballs with Eggs in Tomato Sauce). Among the most intriguing of the many couscous recipes are Meherzia's Couscous with Fennel, flavored with the spicy hot sauce called harissa and Anaheim chilies, and the unusual Barley Grit Couscous with vegetables. A brief description of how Moroccans usually entertain and dine will likely inspire American readers to thoughts of their own entertaining, as will recipes for savory stuffed Berber Pizza and Cashew Phyllo Pie. Suggested menus, a glossary and a list of mail-order sources are included. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
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