Cookbook Review || Modern Mediterranean by Marc Fosh
It’s beginning to heat up in most places in the U.S. as summer season begins. Summer invokes images of grills, robust farmer’s market produce, and sipping refreshing lemonades (with or without rum) on your porch. For me, summer season is best enjoyed cooking new recipes featuring bright, bold flavors for my friends and family. I was given the opportunity to review Marc Fosh’s Modern Mediterranean and, let me tell you, what a treat that has been.
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Please note that I was provided an advance copy of this cookbook courtesy of Netgalley, Nourish publishing, and the author for review. As always, all opinions are my own.
Table of Contents | Modern Mediterranean
How an author decides to organize their book, and subsequently the Table of Contents, usually tells us a great deal about the book. In Marc Fosh’s book, the Table of Contents is organized by primary ingredient. The chapters being:
- Iberian Pork
- Mediterranean Herbs
- Olive Oil
- Red Prawns
Each chapter begins with an introduction ranging from a page to two pages discussing the ingredient at hand, including the history, personal anecdotes, various uses both in culinary and in medicinal, and how to pair it with other ingredients. I found each introduction extremely interesting – did you know that saffron is considered an aphrodisiac and is believed to relieve the symptoms of a hangover? Or that Valencia is the only producer of rice in Spain and that Spain is the second largest producer of almonds? These little tips and trivia can enrich your understanding and appreciation for some everyday (and some not-so-everyday) ingredients.
The Recipes | Modern Mediterranean
Although there’s certainly a place for books that are primarily about the history of food, most of us pick up a cook book for the recipes. After all, it’s a cook book. Fosh’s book does not disappoint here. There are recipes for homemade harissa (a spicy condiment akin to sriracha), aioli, oven sun-dried tomatoes (this is an umami bomb!), and salsa verde to name a few. But the real prize here are the entrees. Between the Iberian Meatballs with Spiced Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew and the Saffron-crusted Baked Cod, we see an abundance of flavors and preparations. We tested a few different recipes, and our favorite Spicy Chicken and Harissa Ragout with Smoked Chorizo was a flavor-packed meal that worked really well in our meal prep for the week.
Between the smokiness of the chorizo balanced perfectly with the acid of tomatoes and tang of a lemon-yogurt mixture, we found the proportions of flavor to be perfect. We made no adjustments, but if you wanted this to be kosher, you’ll want to check out some dairy-free yogurt and a turkey chorizo.
You can serve this with rice or couscous. I personally think couscous would go better with this, but we had already made a bulk pot of rice in our Zojirushi and didn’t want to have to make another side. However, if you do want to serve this with couscous, I have a tip for you – you can make couscous in your rice cooker or your Instant Pot (links to recipes) while you prepare the rest of the dish. I cook mine in the rice cooker every time and it always comes out perfectly.
In summary, I was very impressed with Modern Mediterranean. Aside from the wonderful recipes and introductory chapters on ingredients, the book is also a feast for your eyes as it’s jam-packed with gorgeous photos of landscapes, dishes, and ingredients. You’ll want to feature this one prominently where ever you display your most beautiful cookbooks.
Farmer’s Market Fun
In addition to reviewing a few advance copies of cook books, we’ve really been enjoying the local farmer’s market now that it’s in the swing of things. As mentioned in my previous post, this is one of our favorite times of year.
We’ve been getting spoiled by fresh greens, gorgeous garlic, and herbs each week.
After we finish up at the market, it’s time for me to meal prep. To prevent food waste, I chop up anything I’m not going to use for the week and (assuming it will freeze well), I get to preparing for freezing. For fruit, that means chopping it up, laying it into a single layer on a baking sheet or other flat surface, and freezing it for 30 minutes. Once the freezing has begun, I just take all the little pieces and pop them into freezer-safe containers for long term storage. For herbs, I freeze them into olive oil cubes. These get added to a hot pan whenever a recipe calls for olive oil. Your house will instantly smell delicious.
Then, it’s time for me to make our lunches, dinners, and breakfasts for the week!
Are you enjoying any farmer’s market so far this season? How do you store your leftovers? Let us know in the comments!
Here’s a list of products we are using (and loving!) in our kitchen lately.