A strong contender for “Favorite Cookbook of the Season” is Brooklyn Chef Rawia Bishara’s Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking. Her Bay Ridge restaurant, Tanoreen, has been recognized by critics and media alike as one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in New York. Update your “must-visit” list and make these vegetarian stuffed eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes and squash for a memorable Meatless Monday. 

If a vegetable can be stuffed, an Arab cook will stuff it! It may seem odd when it comes to potatoes, but it is second nature to me since my mother never missed a chance to use them. This stuffing is rather traditional — feel free to play with the spices and herbs to suit your taste. But keep in mind that the softer the vegetable, the more loosely packed with stuffing it should be; if a vegetable like Arabic squash is overfilled, the vegetable will burst during cooking. To serve, either arrange the whole vegetables on dinner plates with the sauce on the side, or split them lengthwise and drizzle the sauce over the top.

Reprinted with permission from Olives, Lemons And Za’atar