Every one of the 12 cookbooks Arto der Haroutunian wrote became a classic; his thoughtful, erudite writing helped to explain to westerners the subtlety, complexity and diversity of Middle Eastern and North African cooking. In Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East he collected together a treasury of recipes. The cooking of vegetables is treated with reverence in the in the lands that make up the rich and varied tapestry of the Middle East. The people depend on the grains and pulses, nuts, vegetables and fruits of the region for their daily food. Here are warm and spicy stuffed vegetables, cool and fragrant soups, delicate preserves, pilafs, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries.