The Field - - Books -

Just like John Gre­gory-smith, who was cap­ti­vated by the an­cient me­d­ina of Fez, my first trip to the fas­ci­nat­ing coun­try that strad­dles the Oc­ci­dent and the Ori­ent was one that be­gan in the an­cient cap­i­tal. There is some­thing about Fez that sticks. We feasted on tagines heavy with ras el hanout, ate ex­quis­ite sweet and savoury pi­geon pastil­las and dis­cov­ered the il­licit thrill of a gin dur­ing Ra­madan.

John Gre­go­ry­smith’s book cap­tures the essence of Moroc­can food, with chap­ters de­voted to street food, sal­ads and veg­eta­bles, meat and poul­try, seafood, tagines, desserts and es­sen­tials. The im­ages are as vi­brant as the food and the recipes easy-to-fol­low crowd pleasers. Cumin-bat­tered hake is a great Fri­day night fish supper and the quince and lamb tagine works won­der­fully with an au­tumn har­vest.

The only nig­gle is that Morocco’s game does not make an ap­pear­ance – an abun­dance of par­tridge, pi­geon and quail are a boon to Moroc­can cui­sine. But don’t let that de­ter you. Sim­ply sub­sti­tute the chicken for par­tridge and this book will add a much-needed warmth to this sea­son’s cook­ing.

By John Gre­go­ry­smith

Kyle Books, £20

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