This compendium of Turkish fare does much to advance Algar's ( The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking ) theory that ``it is the imaginative combination of carefully cooked ingredients, however humble they may be, that creates good taste.'' While her writing is at times stiltingly formal, the recipes are anything but. Called traditional, they're in fact truly contemporary: full in flavor, redolent of fresh herbs and crushed spices and filled with healthful vegetables and grains. At their best, these dishes successfully combine present-day foodstuffs and concepts with classic Turkish antecedents, as seen in roasted eggplant and chili salad, mussel brochettes with walnut taratorsic and zucchini cakes with green onions, cheese, and herbs. Also featured are delicious Turkish condiments--e.g., sun-cooked tomato paste and sun-cooked purple plum marmelade--as well as desserts (poached dried figs stuffed with walnuts; chilled summer fruit in rose petal-infused syrup). Mail-order ingredient sources would have broadened the book's appeal. Algar is the Andrew Mellon Lecturer in Turkish at the University of California at Berkeley. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991 Release date: 10/01/1991 Genre:
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