The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook

“Middle Eastern food is about getting the best flavours from simple seasonal ingredients. It’s not about what you leave out, but what you put in.” – Salma Hage


A collection of vegetarian dishes influenced by Middle Eastern flavors from Salma Hage, author of the bestselling classic, The Lebanese Kitchen.


A definitive, fresh and approachable collection of 150 traditional recipes from an authoritative voice on Middle Eastern home cooking, Salma Hage’s new book is in line with the current Western trends of consciously reducing meat, and the ancient Middle Eastern culture of largely vegetarian, mezze style dining.


Traditionally, the Middle Eastern diet consisted largely of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, pulses, grains and legumes. Salma simplifies this fast becoming popular cuisine with easily achievable recipes, many with vegan and gluten-free options.
Drawing inspiration from ancient and prized Phoenician ingredients, from grassy olive oil to fresh figs and rich dates, this book offers an array of delicious breakfasts and drinks, mezze and salads, vegetables and pulses, grains and desserts. Salma shows how to easily make the most of familiar everyday fruits and legumes, as well as more exotic ingredients now widely available outside of the Middle East, with nourishing recipes so flavourful and satisfying they are suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Baba ganoush

Creamy, garlicky, and addictive, it is no wonder that baba ganoush is famous around the globe. For the perfect accompaniment, carefully toast some Pita Bread (page 70) directly over a low gas flame of your stove and use to dip them in.


Preparation time: 10 minutes + cooling time

Cooking time: 30–45 minutes

Serves: 4–6


Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Put the eggplants (aubergines) onto a baking sheet, prick them all over with a fork, then roast in the oven for 30–45 minutes, until soft. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and discard. Set the flesh aside to cool completely.

Put the garlic into a mortar with a little salt and crush with a pestle, then add the tahini and lemon juice and mix well.

When the eggplant flesh is cool, chop it finely, transfer to a bowl, and add the garlic-tahini mixture. Season well and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Place on a serving plate, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.