Best Mediterranean Cookbooks

5 Best Mediterranean Cookbooks (Reviews Updated 2021)

Have you been cooking yourself the same recipes over and over again? Are you craving to try something new? Or perhaps you want to alleviate your health going from good to great? If you seek to explore a different cuisine, the best place to start is with Mediterranean cuisine.

Also called the melting pot for the regions along the Mediterranean Sea its history has been influenced by traders and communities from regions far and nearby. This cuisine has something unique to offer to all. If you are pondering on which Mediterranean cookbooks to buy, read our in-depth reviews for the best five Mediterranean cookbooks and choose one that best suits your needs.

Best Mediterranean Cookbooks

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Here are our best Mediterranean cookbooks’ reviews:

1. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by J.C.Davison

The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook By J.c.davison

Enjoy a sip of wine and the Mediterranean cuisine delicacies right at your home with this awesome collection of more than 500 recipes. Davison, the executive editor, America’s Test Kitchen, has recipes structured around the Mediterranean food pyramid. As per this pyramid, you need to be physically active and enjoy meals with others. The pyramid focuses on having lots of vegetables and water in your diet and restricts meat and desserts to a minimum.

Following the Mediterranean diet pyramid, it offers you many recipes for vegetables, beans, and seafood rather than poultry and meat. The fruits and desserts too have far fewer recipes but are those that offer a filling and nutritious diet.

Now cook to explore the culinary richness of another continent, learning something new.  The recipes are simple to follow. They also don’t require any expensive investment for special ingredients. Most ingredients should be conveniently available in your pantry.

For your ease, the recipes have been color coded, indicating to you of those recipes that take cooking time lesser than forty-five minutes or if they are a vegetarian recipe. Each section has varied types of food preparations. They come with explanations of how this dish originated, why a particular cooking style is better suited than others, and more.

So are we having the Greek Braised Lamb with Leeks and Baked Rice with Potatoes and Fennel for diner tonight?

Why do we like it?

  • Each recipe has nutritional values listed
  • Notes and tips on ingredients & cooking methods
  • Full of colored photographs
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2. Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook by Y. Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi Simple A Cookbook By Y. Ottolenghi

The mere mention of the word the Mediterranean conjures up images of a sun-basked day, khakis and sunglasses, tables laden with food, groups of people eating and drinking and making merry, and the air rich with fun, laughter, and drinks.

Amidst all this, Ottolenghi keeps up the focus on a healthy, nutritious, and fulfilling diet. Suggesting recipes that use only ten ingredients or less, Ottolenghi makes your life simple. He shares recipes that cook under 30 minutes. The author has kept an eye out for using herbs and spices that bring out each recipe’s flavor and nutritional values.

This Mediterranean cookbook has been a finalist to the James Beard Awards with its 130 recipes. While ordering you may want to double check the edition you are buying. There are two editions of the same cookbook. The first edition has units in the metric system, while in the second it has both the metric system and non-metric measurements. Differences are not advertised boldly.

Ottolenghi introduces a ‘SIMPLE’ technique for every recipe in the book; this starts from purchasing the ingredients to cutting and cleaning them, to cooking and presenting the dishes. To help you save time, the author marks ingredients that can be pre-prepared and kept ready over the weekend.

Whether it is Soba Noodles with Lime, Cardamom, Avocado or Fish Cake Tacos with Mango, Lime, and Cumin Yogurt, even a novice to Mediterranean cuisine is going to love this cookbook.

Why do we like it?

  • Available in kindle and hardcover
  • Lavish 320 pages of information
  • Colorful food pictures
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3. Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Y. Ottolenghi and S.Tamimi

Jerusalem A Cookbook By Y. Ottolenghi And S.tamimi

This cookbook, available in kindle and hardcover editions, focuses on the famous city of Jerusalem and the impact of cultural differences on food by the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities who had occupied the city.

It highlights traditional ingredients and dishes like eggplant, couscous, and hummus across the communities and its contribution to Mediterranean cuisine. They have tried and tested a hundred and twenty skillfully crafted recipes so that you can savor the finest dishes of Mediterranean cuisine.

Users of this cookbook have been intrigued by the recipes that are not off-the-shelf to prepare. They are crafted skilfully to design a culinary gourmet of mouth-watering and sumptuous dishes on tables laden with food, fruits, desserts, and drinks that need preparation.

Folks who are using this cookbook mention that this is not your daily cookbook. It is for folks who love to experiment and have the patience and time to try new things.  Most recipes are exquisite and need effort to cook.

How about roasted beef salad and aubergines, with onion, mint, and lemon for lunch tomorrow?

Why do we like it?

  • Blend of history and food
  • Rare and unique recipes for special occasions
  • Colorful photographs
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4. The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Serena B. and S. Deanna

The 30 Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook By Serena B. And S. Deanna

Serena and Deanna’s cookbook uses the Mediterranean food pyramid to highlight how to diet and yet have tasty and delicious food. Dieting is not all about starving yourself but having the right quantities of the right food at the right time that keep you energized.

With 101 recipes on offer in this cookbook, the authors have highlighted how you can go on a Mediterranean diet for any purpose, whether it is to lose weight, reduce bad cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, or manage diabetes.

Just as the name suggests, this cookbook has Mediterranean recipes that you can cook in less than thirty minutes. The Mediterranean food pyramid focuses on vegetables and seafood and minimizes the use of meats and desserts.

The authors’ experience grasps the readers with explanations of what to eat and why, how it affects your systems, and how to manage a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Whether it is the roasted Broccoli Panzanella salad or the roasted red pepper chicken with hummus, a Mediterranean cookbook isn’t complete without nutritional information and alternatives to ingredients. This cookbook is replete with helpful cooking information, including the pot/pan size to be used and why you should cover a skillet while steaming or not, and adaptations of various recipes.

Why do we like it?

  • Gives nutritional values and allergy labels
  • Cook under thirty-minute recipes
  • Diet cookbook with healthy and nutritious food dishes
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5. Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by C.Weeks

Mediterranean Paleo Cooking By C.weeks

Authors Caitlin Weeks and Nabil Bourmrar, and Diane Sanfilippo set out on a Mediterranean coast’s culinary journey to look at recipes that don’t have to take the air out of people who are dieting for any reasons.

Mediterranean Paleo Cooking showcases a wide variety of creative recipes that include fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats. These food categories represent the food that hunters could easily bring home to feed their families in the past. As farming came in, the food became richer with legumes, dairy products; the Paleo diet denies this subcategory of food a place in its recipes.

With the absence of gluten, grains, oils, dairy, and refined sweeteners, the Paleo-friendly diet food groups throw up a host of food combinations for your health and palate.

The authors’ coastal journey includes touchpoints from all countries, including North Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe.

This Mediterranean cookbook offers two thirty-day meal plans and 101 recipes. The cookbook has many tips and helpful guides, including shopping lists, nutritional information, cooking tips, and more.

Why do we like it?

  • Each recipe accompanied by a colorful and flavorful picture
  • Wonderfully indexed and table of contents
  • Suggestions on substitutions for ingredients to taste your palate
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Mediterranean Cookbooks’ Buyer’s Guide

After you have read our in-depth reviews of the five best Mediterranean cookbooks, buying one should be easy. Here are some essential factors that you must consider to ensure you get the best value.

Author(s)

The credibility and experience of an author is a prime factor to consider for its reader. For cookbooks, what was the author’s purpose of writing this Mediterranean cookbook? What authority does the writer hold over the subject? Is it his professional experience or education on the topic, or has the author lived in the Mediterranean earlier?

Pictures/illustrations

Most cookbooks have illustrations of finished food dishes to encourage and guide the reader on cooking a dish. Some readers are visual learners, while others could find it easy to follow instructions. Pictures are always helpful to get the dish right.

Recipes

Select Mediterranean cookbooks with ingredients that are easily available in your neighborhood. Browse through the ingredients list to ensure that the recipes have common kitchen ingredients listed. You don’t want to invest in expensive ingredients that you will use rarely.

Features

Sections: Most cookbooks have recipes written as per food courses, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts.  Under each section, recipes should have varied cooking styles. For example, you do not want a Mediterranean cookbook with more recipes, all for grilling chicken under the poultry section. Perhaps a variation of cooking method is helpful to give you variety?

Index: Cookbooks should be easy to read and follow. Look for cookbooks that have recipes in the index by the food or courses.

Other features may include preparation times, number of servings, cooking tips, serving suggestions, alternatives to ingredients, history of recipes, or nutritional information. While these may appear insignificant now, they are very helpful when you start to cook.