A self-described gastronomic traveller, chef Ashraf Saleh draws on his Middle Eastern heritage, the traditions of French cooking, his travels through Paris, London and Sweden, and his time in kitchens in Saudi Arabia and Australia, to create the colourful East-meets-West food he serves up at his restaurant, COYA.
Saleh opened the restaurant, in Cromer in Sydney’s northern beaches, with his wife in 2017.
Now Saleh has a new launch on his hands: his first cookbook.
The book includes many popular dishes from the restaurant (which Saleh describes as catering to the “adventurous foodie”, with unusual and original flavour combinations), plus other creations.
Here are a few recipes to set you up for your next French-Middle Eastern dinner party:
Soda water in the batter makes for deliciously light, crisp crab, perfect served with chilli jam.
Making cucumber ribbons with a vegetable peeler makes this simple salad seem just a touch fancy.
Fried cauliflower tossed in garlic oil and drizzled in tahini sauce is easy to put together and sure to impress any tableside guest.
This Arabic medley of vegetables is topped with crisp flatbread pieces.
This indulgent cake is great on its own, or dressed up with macarons and fruit for a celebratory dessert.
Recipes and images from Coya – French, Middle Eastern Cuisine by Ashraf Saleh (New Holland Publishers RRP $39.99).
Filled with flavours inspired by the Middle East, these mini loaf cakes are drizzled with a spiced orange blossom syrup.
Make an extra-big batch of this Middle Eastern salad if you have the time, as it’s perfect for packed lunches. Eat it as-is, or in sandwiches and wraps, and a drizzle of natural yoghurt with tabbouleh will never go astray.
These versatile, vegetarian-friendly fritters are deliciously crisp and enriched with the salty, umami edge of feta.