In last week's issue of Food, we described our favorite cookbooks of the year. But that list left out several excellent books. Here are a few more good books for giving--and for keeping.
"North Africa: The Vegetarian Table," by Kitty Morse (Chronicle Books, $22.95)
Blame Kitty Morse for a bad case of wanderlust, not to mention hunger. That's what I felt when this book crossed my desk. The Casablanca-born food and travel writer takes the reader to her homeland, to homes of relatives and friends, to the markets where she shopped in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and to the tables of hosts who fed her well.
A cuisine rich in fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olive oil and honey, not to mention such spice blends as dersa (a blend of crushed red chiles, salt, garlic and cumin), gets my attention. So do many of the 80 recipes. Entertaining ideas spill from the soup chapter. One, the Algerian chili, doesn't miss meat. All it needs for a one-pot meal party is friends, bread and wine.
What's missing? I'd like more of the author's insights and, although, the studio food shots are fine, candid location photos would be transporting.