2018, Interlink Books, 978-1-56656-028-3, $35 hb.
The title of this beautifully produced cookbook translates simply as “rolling pin,” a handy kitchen tool for making boat-shaped, stuffed pide, the “Turkish version of pizza.” The book includes plenty of creative, vaguely Californian riffs on this cultural classic, such as chicken-and-garlic köfte pide with chili yogurt, smoked salsa, walnuts and feta. The title is also the name of the author’s UK restaurant, inspired by culinary memories of growing up in north London “surrounded by Turkish and Greek Cypriots.” Her ancestors were Ottoman Turks who migrated to Cyprus in the early 16th century. The “huge amount of crossover between Turkish and Greek food” is evident—along with Levantine and North African influences—in such dishes as buttered freekah (a popular Egyptian grain) with chickpeas, green olives, currents and pistachios, or medjool date butter, an unctuous blend of meaty dates, Asian black-rice vinegar and softened, unsalted butter. These and other such recipes represent a sophisticated reinvention of a simple cuisine.