by Claudia Roden

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Original Publisher
Michael Joseph
Date of publication

Recommended by

Nina Caplan

Wine and food writer

The only struggle with Roden is which of her books to nominate. A Book of Middle Eastern Food, the first? The Food of Spain, the most recent? I will opt for Arabesque, for its fascinating explanation of the food and cooking cultures of Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco, their similarities and vast differences, and for recipes such as Lamb Stew with Vinegar and Aubergines which, as she calmly points out, does not look very nice – but tastes wonderful.

Debora Robertson

Food writer and editor

Of all of Claudia Roden's books, this is probably the one I use the most as it's crammed with the flavours I love and many of the recipes are very simple. Roast chicken with bulgur and walnut pilaf, harira, orange, olive and onion salad are on very frequent rotation in my house.

Rowan Yapp


I love all Claudia Roden's books but for me the format of Arabesque - with its modern nod to having food photography, and its triptych of fascinating countries - makes it the perfect balance of form and function.

Fiona Burrell

Founder, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

This is a book about the flavours of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. Claudia Roden writes beautifully about the countries and the recipes.

Thom Eagle

Chef and writer

The first of her books I owned, as a leaving present from my first kitchen job. Her books contain worlds.

Anna Thomas

Screenwriter, filmmaker and author

One of my trusted references for the food of the Mediterranean; I love the clarity and specificity of it.

Trine Hahnemann

Food writer, Chef and owner of Hahnemannns Køkken

Very inspirational, love the writing and the recipes work so well.

Jonah Straus

Founder and principal of Straus Literary

Atul Kochhar

Chef Patron of Benares

John Vincent

Co-founder of Leon

Itamar Srulovich

Co-chef and owner of Honey & Co.

Ian James

Co-founder of Melrose and Morgan

Sabrina Ghayour

Cook and food writer