This book is a treasure. And not only for its amazing recipes.
Sam and Sam Clark have done a beautiful thing in documenting their time spent at the Manor Garden Allotments. Knowing that the land was to be leveled and created into a stadium for the 2012 Olympics Games, the Clarks eternalized their beautiful space by celebrating it to the fullest in Moro East. The soft photos feature the characters and sights of their allotment, and their combined genius delivers some extraordinary and diverse dishes.
The space between these two covers is so peaceful. I find myself coming to this book again and again just for solace.
But more importantly for the soups-- which never, ever fail to amaze!
Just finished going through this book. Since the seasons are cooling here in Houston (ha!) I went straight to the autumn/winter recipes. But after reading Heidi's note on Hassan's Soup I need to go back through all the recipes because obviously that would be a good one anytime.
I feel very comfortable with this book although I was prepared to be intimidated. I actually recognized many of the ingredients thanks to a wonderful Lebanese market that has opened in west Houston. Phoenicia started out as a teeny little place for shwarma's (OMG!), hummus, lebni, oh so many things and has now grown into a new venue much larger. Although I'm sorry the teeny cafe is gone I'm very happy that the new and improved venue has a huge grocery. So I'm confident that I will find all I need to work with these recipes.
This book reminds me of a cross between Nepenthe and Heidi's cookbook. Very homey, earthy, laid back. The photography is perfect to set the mood. And as I absorbed all of it there was definitely a sadness in knowing that concrete now covers that wonderful place. (I thought Houston was the only place where if they see a tree immediately cut it down and put in a parking lot, strip center, apartment complex...) But what a tribute this book is!
Looking forward to serving some good food out of this. I think the first I will try is the Three Tahini Dips: avocado, beetroot and pumpkin.
I am really glad this book was chosen to be featured here. To me, it is a bit of a 'quiet' book, and by that I mean that it is not a book that shouts 'look at me' but rather draws you in until it has you completely hooked - at least that has been my experience with it and it has been well worth the effort.
The story of how this book came to be has been explained in earlier reviews and like Heidi & Alf318 in their reviews, it is sad to think that a little patch of otherwise disused land that was lovingly tended and provided food and community for a large group of people has now been destroyed. There is a definate poignancy to the story and I wonder if in many years to come when the London Olympics have long been and gone, whether it will become a garden again.
The recipes are centred around using the best of the season and using layers of flavour. There is a strong vegetable emphasis obviously, and the recipes are drawn from a wide range of cultures. It is nice to read too, how much the authors Sam & Sam Clark obviously learned from watching the other allotment members prepare and cook their produce.
The 'Moro' books are beautiful and again, I mean that in that 'quiet' way. The paper stock and photography is understated and gorgeous. It is a thoughtful and calm book and I have had a lot...
After going through many of these recipes when this book was the featured cookbook, I now find that this is one of my go-to cookbooks these days.
I've been moving toward more middle eastern flavors anyway, and this book introduced me to various preparations with yogurt, new ways to use allspice, and more.
The recipes are simple, intriguing, straightforward, and mysterious, all at once.
For those of you not familiar with Sam and Sam Clark, they run the much-praised UK restaurant, Moro. A few years back the couple took on an East End swatch of land at the Manor Garden Allotments - this cookbook, their third, tells the story of their experience over the course of a year, through a wide range of inspired recipes. I did a more in-depth write-up here. I chose this book to focus on in Jan/Feb for a number of reasons. It is a book that includes a wide-range of inspired recipes ranging from soups to salads, mains to desserts. It is a beautifully illustrated cookbook rooted in a specific place and time, with much to inspire for a wide range of cooks. Looking forward to sharing recipe notes and ideas with you based on Moro East over the next couple of months!
This is a gorgeous book with lots of inspiring recipes. So far, I've only made two of the recipes, but I can tell there's something great going on here flavor-wise. I have a long list of recipes I want to try, including the tahini dips, Roast Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon, Leek and Rosemary Soup, Couscous with Broad Beans, Cumin and Yogurt, and more. The main thing holding me back here is that the recipes I've made so far (chicken and potatoes) tasted extremely fattening, beyond the the point of flavor, but now that I know that, I can make adjustments to my personal taste. I look forward to using the flavor profiles in a more healthful way and learning about some of the unusual ingredients used in the book.
I was jealous reading everyone's reviews of the recipes in this book so had to buy it a couple of weeks ago. I love this book, their recipes really fit with the kind of food I am craving at the moment. There is a good emphasis on fresh ingredients, and the recipes have got some really interesting flavor combos going on with a definite middle eastern influence. The recipes are approachable, and suitable for home cooking. I've tried a few things so far with great success (the roast pumpkin soup, and the cabbage and bulgur pilaf), and have a number of other recipes tagged that I want to try soon. The photography is beautiful, too!