I checked out Sameh Wadi's The New Mediterranean Table from the library, and it was OK, but I'm not going to make most of those dishes. They sound great, and like something I would prefer to pay someone else to make for me. Wadi often cites Saffron, his restaurant in Minneapolis, and I plan to go there when I am visiting next year and tell you all about it.
What I do make again and again from this book are these sauces and spice mixture. They make so many dishes better, keep in the fridge for weeks, and they're really not that much of a pain to make.
Tahini Sauce: 1 cup tahini, 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 grated garlic cloves, 3/4 cup water, salt
Use it: as a dip for vegetables; watered down as dressing for a buddha bowl or salad; tossed with hot pasta and steamed broccoli with sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
Charmoula: 1/4 cup garlic cloves
3 tablespoons cumin
3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups canola oil
Make a paste of the garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Will keep refrigerated for 1 month.
Use it: as a sauce over fish, grilled tofu steaks, or meat; drizzled over fresh sliced tomatoes before sprinkling with fresh mozarella in a variation on a Caprese salad, stirred into rice with slivered almonds, smeared onto eggplant slices before grilling or broiling.
Za'atar: 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon dried marjoram, 3 tablespoons ground sumac, 1 teaspoon salt
Use it: sprinkle on popcorn, hummus, guacamole, pureed white beans, or any other dip; over fish or chicken; stirred through quinoa with steamed vegetables.