With an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, spices, and fresh preparations, Middle Eastern cuisine is right in line with contemporary food trends.

“Given the growing number of people trying to cut down on meat, it’s the perfect time for Middle Eastern food to shine,” Kate Pollard, publishing director at Hardie Grant, says. “Flavor is king, spices and texture are a must, so meat is not at all necessary for a delicious feast.”

Cookbooks that shine a light on Middle Eastern cuisine do more than bring its dishes to the forefront, Leyla Moushabeck, cookbooks editor at Interlink, says. “Food is powerful: it can be appropriated, used to marginalize or colonize, or it can bring communities and cultures together and promote understanding.” Here, we gather forthcoming cookbooks showcasing the region’s cuisine.

Bottom of the Pot
Naz Deravian. Flatiron, Sept.
In 1979, when Deravian was eight years old, her family fled Iran in the midst of the revolution. Since then, she has found homes in Italy, Canada, and now, Los Angeles—but Persian home cooking has remained a constant. In her first cookbook, the IACP Award–winning blogger shares these recipes, including one for tahdig, the crispy rice that forms at the bottom of the pot, which gives her blog and book their name.

Joudie Kalla. Interlink, Nov.
Palestinian-British chef Kalla (Palestine on a Plate) follows her debut with more dishes from her homeland. In Baladi, an Arabic word whose meaning she translates in the introduction (“my home, my land, my country”), she groups recipes by source—markets and village life; hills and orchards; from the river to the sea.

From the Land of Nightingales and Roses
Maryam Sinaiee. Interlink, Dec.
Born in Tehran and now living in the U.K., Sinaiee, who blogs at The Persian Fusion, offers a season-by-season tour of her home country’s cooking, including recipes for broad bean and dill frittata, baked fish with tamarind, and rosewater ice cream with pistachios.

Israeli Soul
Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, HMH/Martin, Oct.
The Philadelphia restaurateurs seek out the essence of Israeli food with visits to bakeries, market stalls, and even gas stations in cities and remote towns across the country. Dishes include falafel, hummus, schwarma, and sabich, a breakfast sandwich. “Expect this offering to be as successful as Zahav,” PW’s starred review said, referencing the pair’s 2015 debut.

The Jewelled Table
Bethany Kehdy. Hardie Grant, Sept.
In her follow-up to The Jewelled Kitchen, Kehdy, who was born in Houston and raised in Lebanon, explores the social ritual of cooking and meal sharing in the Middle East through recipes, meal plans, photos, and graphics. Accompanying the Arabic coffee recipe, for instance, is a guide to reading coffee grounds.

Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf. Hardie Grant, Nov.
In their ninth book on modern Middle Eastern cooking, the Maloufs turn their attention to sweets, offering recipes for desserts, pastries, and candies. Michelin-starred chef Greg (formerly of MoMo in Melbourne, and now at Dubai’s Zaahira) and Lucy, his writing partner and former spouse, discuss the role sweets play in holidays, religious events, and hospitality.

Ottolenghi Simple
Yotam Ottolenghi. Ten Speed, Oct.
Israeli-born Ottolenghi (Jerusalem, Plenty), who oversees a culinary mini-empire in London, aims to simplify the Middle Eastern recipes he made famous in previous books, using fewer and more common ingredients. While the book doesn’t always succeed in that goal, our review says, “this is yet another appealing cookbook from a pro who seems to turn them out with ease.”

Return to the main feature.