Reproduced with permission from A Middle Eastern Pantry: Essential Ingredients for Classic and Contemporary Recipes: A Cookbook. Copyright c 2023 by Lior Lev Sercarz. Photography copyright c 2023 by Dan Perez. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Growing up on a kibbutz in northern Israel, spice master Lior Lev Sercarz has long had an affinity for local ingredients and produce. After becoming a chef and then devoting his creativity and career to sourcing and blending spices, he recognized the intensive labor, skill, and craftsmanship that goes into the development of Middle Eastern pantry staples, from olives to silan (date molasses), and tahini to sujuk (a fermented and dried sausage).
Drawing on his new cookbook, A Middle Eastern Pantry, Lev Sercarz explores everyday ingredients used throughout this vast region, including Turkey, Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Armenia, Jordan, and more, as he offers homage to the pantry staples that define Middle Eastern cuisine. He looks at the production, history, and cultural resonance of the pantry items, and shares an array of recipes crafted for home kitchens. Dishes range from a hearty Verjus and Lamb Stew to snacky Kibbeh with Pine Nuts, Roasted Vegetables with Egyptian Dukkah, tangy Iraqi amba mango sauce, a sweet-syrupy-cheesy kunafe, and a creamy Turkish rice pudding.
Join Lev Sercarz, in conversation with food journalist Jane Black, as he discusses recipes from his book, as well as origin stories that lend cultural relevance and insight into one of the world’s most ancient and beloved cuisines. Following the presentation, enjoy a light reception featuring spices and flavors discussed in the book.
Lior Lev Sercarz is owner of the global spice brand La Boîte.
Copies of A Middle Eastern Pantry (Clarkson Potter) are available for purchase and signing courtesy of Bold Fork Books.