Abundance: Mediterranean Cuisine Recipes by Alumni and Friends of the American University of Beirut
By Carla Habib Mourad
2016, Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB, 978-9-95358-626-7, $40 hb.
Reviewed by Tom Verde on May 1, 2017
Alumni cookbooks can be hokey affairs: spiral-bound slap-togethers that lack culinary authority. Not so with this “collection of reliable, tested, and tasted family recipes” from graduates and friends of the American University of Beirut. The recipes are both health-conscious and diverse, within the fairly wide purview of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cuisine. Here is a peek inside the kitchens of AUB alumni from Palestine (Lahem b’Ajeen or “meat pies of Aunt Mary”), Spain (eggplant salad with peppers), Morocco (meat tagine with artichokes and green peas), Kuwait (pomegranate cheesecake, a local twist on a Greek original) and beyond. Each of the more than 165 recipes is accompanied by nutritional data. These, plus extensive sections on dietary and healthy-lifestyle recommendations, food glossaries and charts of suggested ingredient substitutions, justify the title of this unique accumulation of family favorites and food science.