Paul Gayler’s Mediterranean Cook is a favorite in my kitchen. Gayler—a British chef—organized the book into four sections: the Balkans, the central Mediterranean, the eastern Mediterranean, and Maghreb and Egypt. There are only a handful of recipes from each region, but Cook is heavy on beautiful photography and a lot of extra information on the ingredients, cooking tools, and methods that define the various cuisines.

You can opt to buy the hardcover version, but I like using the spiral-bound one because it lies open easily and has a mess-resistant plastic cover. Some of the more successful recipes I’ve tried are the artichoke torta and a salad sprinkled with fresh-made dukkah. This weekend I’m making the fried halloumi cheese and white bean salad. And I want to try the semolina almond cakes.

The book is out of print, but you can still pick it up online: Mediterranean Cook, $8.44

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