Getting Schooled in the Art of Mediterranean Cooking

Learn from the best, Lynne Gigliotti at The Culinary Institute of America
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Mediterranean Cooking Cover

Ready to get schooled on the basics of Mediterranean cuisine? Then don't miss out on Lynne Gigliotti's Mediterranean Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35), a cookbook dedicated to the cuisines of the region, spanning 21 countries. Gigliotti's approach was to give readers a little bit of everything, or as she puts it, "We have embraced the ingredients, cooking methods, and flavor profiles of the various cultures in the Mediterranean basin, put them into a big pot, and stirred."

There are more than 200 recipes, covering everything from the basics that home cooks are probably just itching to know about — like perfect tzatziki, hummus, tabbouleh, ratatouille, and porchetta — to more obscure or lesser-known dishes like bisteeya, chelow, and pissaladières.

There's a brief section in the beginning covering the culinary history of the major regions in the Mediterranean, which if we're completely honest, looks and reads a bit like a textbook, but there's also some great basic advice demystifying "cheffy" terms and techniques like tomato concassé, bouquet garni, and how to prepare fava beans. There's also a handy guide to grains and dried legumes with cooking and soaking times that home cooks will find useful.

All in all, Mediterranean Cooking would be a great addition to your shelves if you're a big fan of regional cookbooks.

Cataplana Clams

This exotic-sounding yet very approachable clam dish is a classic of Portuguese origin. (Photo courtesy of Ben Fink)

Soft-Shell Crabs with Grilled Scallions and Lemon Polenta

Here's a dish that reminds us of something we would see on the menu of a good farm-to-table restaurant. (Photo courtesy of Ben Fink)

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato season is an exciting time of year, but sometimes coming up with new ideas for that rapidly growing mountain of tomatoes on the kitchen counter can be a challenge. Here's a refreshing idea for an appetizer that makes great use of yellow heirloom tomatoes. (Photo courtesy of Ben Fink)


Will Budiaman is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.