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The Book


The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by a group of extraordinarily diverse countries, climates, and cultures that includes Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. This means that there isn’t a single “diet” that encompasses the entire Mediterranean region—the spice-laden dishes of Morocco bear little resemblance to the lemon- and caper-laced cuisine of southern Italy—but what they share is an emphasis on high-quality ingredients, particularly whole grains, seafood, legumes, vegetables, and healthy fats, with a limited amount of saturated fats. This is the essence of the Mediterranean way of eating, and was our guiding principle when deciding what to include in this book.

The Mediterranean “diet” is different than other diets. It’s been around much longer, for one thing—people living in the region have eaten this way for centuries, and it’s been gaining popularity around the world for nearly 50 years— and, partly because of its longevity, it’s been proven to have myriad health benefits, from disease prevention to weight loss to improving cognitive function. But no diet, no matter how healthy, is sustainable unless the food is satisfying and, dare we say, a bit exciting. Anyone who has been to the Mediterranean knows this food is both. The recipes in this book are modern, fresh, and full of flavor combinations you may not have encountered before (think nutty tahini with earthy mushrooms, puckery preserved lemons with savory lamb sausage, and tangy pomegranate molasses with fresh halloumi cheese).

We were careful, however, to make sure that “modern and fresh” doesn’t mean the ingredients are esoteric or the recipes are inaccessible for the average home cook. We’ve demystified flavor-building ingredients like za’atar, sumac, and harissa in detailed All Abouts, which will explain how to shop for what we think will become your new pantry staples. And the simple yet powerful flavor boosters you already know and love—like herbs, garlic, and lemons—get put to work, too. We aimed to create foolproof recipes that wouldn’t be relegated to the “weekend project” category— streamlined recipes that could be made any night of the week, while still boasting deep food appeal. 

While we’ve included nutritional information for every recipe, the book also speaks to the diet in other, subtler ways through the size of the chapters. Since plant-based foods are at the heart of the diet and should be included at every meal, one of the biggest chapters is devoted entirely to vegetables, another sizeable chapter to legumes, and still another to grains. The seafood chapter contains a huge selection of recipes, while poultry and meat are combined into a single, moderately sized chapter.

When the rest of the test cooks here at America’s Test Kitchen found out that we were working on a Mediterranean cookbook, they could barely contain their excitement. This is the way we love to cook at home—simple recipes that highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients. We know you will enjoy this food as much as we do.

On Sale December 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-940352-64-0
$29.95 US / $38.95 CAN
432 pages, paperback, four-color throughout
BUY NOW: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | ATK Bookstore

Buy the Book

500+ Fresh, Flavorful Recipes The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

This comprehensive cookbook translates the famously health Mediterranean diet for home cooks with a wide range of creative recipes, many fast enough to be made on a weeknight, using ingredients available at your local supermarket.