Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Jerusalem: A Cookbook

A collection of 120 recipes exploring the flavors of Jerusalem from the New York Times bestselling author of Plenty, one of the most lauded cookbooks of 2011.In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore  the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the...

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Title:Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Author:Yotam Ottolenghi
Rating:
ISBN:1607743949
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

Jerusalem: A Cookbook Reviews

  • Alison
    Oct 18, 2012

    Another fantastic Ottolenghi book made even better by the poignant stories he and Sami Tamimi share about growing up in different communities in the same city. The recipes I've tried so far have all been great.

    This is more than just a cookbook. It's social anthropology at its best.

  • Helen
    Nov 27, 2012

    I just received this magnificent book as a birthday present, and I'm loving every single page of it. These are the foods I lived on during my year in Israel. As I read along, I'm tasting every dish on the tip of my tongue. So far, I've made the Israeli salad, the

    and the chicken with caramelized onions and cardamom rice, and they're all so good that I want to compose a psalm about them.

    There are lots of Middle-Eastern recipe books. What is different here, what is unique and special an

    I just received this magnificent book as a birthday present, and I'm loving every single page of it. These are the foods I lived on during my year in Israel. As I read along, I'm tasting every dish on the tip of my tongue. So far, I've made the Israeli salad, the

    and the chicken with caramelized onions and cardamom rice, and they're all so good that I want to compose a psalm about them.

    There are lots of Middle-Eastern recipe books. What is different here, what is unique and special and to be treasured, is that this one comes from two Jerusalemites, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, one of them Jewish, and one of them Palestinian.

    The photography is magnificent, to be sure. Jumbo glossy shots of fresh-picked, just-cooked, locally-grown ingredients, looking colorful and steamy and delicious, with handfuls of parsley scattered across the plates. And I'm not just talking about the pictures of food. The ancient walled city of Jerusalem stars here too, with pictures of the glorious covered

    cheerfully gnarled old men standing in their market booths, or sitting in cafes playing endless games of

    The text is more than just recipes. Generous and forgiving, willing to squabble good-humoredly over the origins of a particular dish, the writing is suffused with a spirit of cooperation, a love of the land, family, comfort and cuisine. There is something going on here besides talking about food. You might say it's a recipe for peace.

  • Carol Smith
    Dec 23, 2012

    [ongoing review - 11 recipes made to date]

    1. Falafel (ta'amia for my Egyptian friends) (12/22/12): My husband is a falafel guru and I was anticipating comments about how they "aren't like Mahmouds in Queens", weren't crunchy enough, yadda yadda. Nope. They were pe

    [ongoing review - 11 recipes made to date]

    1. Falafel (ta'amia for my Egyptian friends) (12/22/12): My husband is a falafel guru and I was anticipating comments about how they "aren't like Mahmouds in Queens", weren't crunchy enough, yadda yadda. Nope. They were perfection.

    2. Zhoug (12/22/12): Love this easy-to-make condiment. Reminds me in some ways of chimichurri. I think it needed a couple more chiles. The authors anticipated this, saying, "It should also be very hot, so use more chiles if yours aren't."

    3. Tahini sauce (12/22/12): Perfect!

    4. Spiced chickpeas (1/20/13) & fresh vegetable salad (12/22/12): I made the two parts to this dish on separate dates. The veggie salad is easy to make and bursting with freshness. The dressing has serious lemony attitude. The spiced chickpeas are okay, kinda weird. I thought they'd come out crunchy but they didn't. A bit too much allspice if you ask me. More of a nibbler item than a side dish.

    Update: the spiced chickpeas are excellent with a daub of tahini sauce.

    5. Swiss Chard and Wheat Berries with Pomegranate Molasses (12/24/12). Served as a side to a Greek lamb pastitsio on Christmas eve. Festive colors and great taste. Love the nutty chewiness of wheat berries. But - I don't think the greens needed to nearly as long as it called for. Will make again, adding greens later in the process.

    6. Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake (12/24/12): THIS IS THE BOMB!!!!!!!!!!! Wow. Wow. Wow. I added a teaspoon of almond extract because almond extract makes everything better. Used Bob's Red Mill almond flour - no need to manually grind almonds. This cake is perfection. Serve to guests.

    7. Roasted chicken with clementines & arak (12/31/12): Very, very nice. Used anisette liquor as a substitute for arak. Anisette is in same family, just sweeter and with lower alcohol. Used my Spanish cazuela, roasted for a full hour once oven came to temperature vs. the recipe's recommended 35-45 minutes. I still think it needed 15-20 minutes more time.

    8. Parsley & barley salad (1/19/13): I really need to use barley more. What a wonderfully nutty and nubby grain. Nice fresh flavors. I might double both the feta marinade and the veggie dressing next time. I doubled the barley and thought it just the right amount.

    9. Kufta b'siniyah (1/19/13): I was expecting spicy because of the chile, but they were more spicy in a baking sort of way - the allspice and cinnamon dominate. Very nice, especially with pita bread to sop up all the tahini and paprika.

    But - when did pine nuts become so expensive?!? $8 for a 2-ounce bag! I got only 1 bag and didn't have enough to dribble on top so substituted almonds for the garnish.

    10. Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini and za'atar (1/20/13): This is SOOOOOOO Good! And easy. The squash is super tender. Who knew squash and tahini is such an amazing combo? Keeper. I used almond slivers in place of crazy expensive pine nuts.

    11. Mejadra (1/21/13): The hubby committed heresy and squirted sriracha on it. I liked but didn't love it. Allspice and coriander spices dominate. Not sure my onions were crispy enough.

    12. Ka'ak (6-7/14). Made it twice for two parties. Terrific savory cookies with a thick parsley/yogurt/lemon/garlic spread. We upped the parsley and cumin. Party people loved it. Pronounce it carefully!

    The book is drop dead gorgeous; it has that wonderful "pillow cover" that makes you want to take a nap on it. I want to dive into each and every photo - and there are lots of them. The authors impart the rich back story of each and every dish. There is an appropriate emphasis on veggie dishes but meat has its place.

    Ingredients are not all that exotic - most can be found in a decently-sized supermarket. There are a few items that might require a trip or a mail order. We drove an hour into Kansas City and spent a wonderful hour at a Middle Eastern market gathering interesting items for future dishes. I scored kunafa pastry!

    Per my above rants, pine nuts are INCREDIBLY expensive in the grocery store ($8/2 oz) and a very common ingredient in this cookbook. I ordered a 1 1/2 lb bag of Kirkland pine nuts from Amazon; am hoping they're good quality (and not the kind that give you pine nut syndrome).

  • Kim
    Dec 27, 2012

    This is another amazing cookbook from the founders of the Ottolenghi chain of restaurants in London. Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli Jew of Italian and German heritage, Sami Tamimi is an Israeli Arab. They were both born and raised in Jerusalem - Ottolenghi in Jewish West Jerusalem and Tamimi in Muslim East Jerusalem - and became friends and business partners in London. In this book, they return to the food of their Jerusalem childhoods and explore the food of the city today, both traditional and

    This is another amazing cookbook from the founders of the Ottolenghi chain of restaurants in London. Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli Jew of Italian and German heritage, Sami Tamimi is an Israeli Arab. They were both born and raised in Jerusalem - Ottolenghi in Jewish West Jerusalem and Tamimi in Muslim East Jerusalem - and became friends and business partners in London. In this book, they return to the food of their Jerusalem childhoods and explore the food of the city today, both traditional and modern. I love their recipes, just as I love the recipes in their previous jointly authored cookbook

    and Ottolenghi's solo effort,

    . Their food is colourful and bold, the flavours strong and the ingredients used imaginatively. It's the kind of food that I could eat every day and that I cook, well, not every day, but very regularly.

    I recently watched a documentary called

    , which was made prior to the publication of this cookbook. In it, Yotam Ottolenghi shows the food traditions of Jerusalem, talking to and eating with Jews and Arabs, in family homes, restaurants and on the street. It's so much more than just a cooking program and makes for inspirational and moving viewing. I've also read

    from

    , which depressingly illustrates the fact that Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Hamimi's dream of bringing together Jews and Arabs through their shared culinary traditions and the food they love is unlikely to be achieved any time soon.

  • Terri
    Jan 12, 2013

    This is the kind of cookbook I could reach for again and again. There is plenty to read in relation to the food, environment and culture as well as ample recipes that I can use on a weekly basis. In fact some of the recipes were already familiar to me and show up on the dinner table frequently, such as Butternut Pumpkin, Haloumi, Pine Nut 'hot salad' type recipes.

    Living in a hot climate myself I found the fresh food of Jerusalem appealing and have already copied a few recipes down as this is a l

    This is the kind of cookbook I could reach for again and again. There is plenty to read in relation to the food, environment and culture as well as ample recipes that I can use on a weekly basis. In fact some of the recipes were already familiar to me and show up on the dinner table frequently, such as Butternut Pumpkin, Haloumi, Pine Nut 'hot salad' type recipes.

    Living in a hot climate myself I found the fresh food of Jerusalem appealing and have already copied a few recipes down as this is a library book and has to go back.

    I like the authors use of yoghurt in sauces instead of cream and have long subscribed to the belief that yoghurt, if treated right and not overcooked which causes it to curdle, is a delicious ingredient to use for a lower fat alternative to cream or sour cream in things like sauces, dressings and toppings. It was nice to see some more recipes with yoghurt to add to my repertoire.

    Jerusalem is an excellent book which I highly recommend to all.

  • Pam
    May 04, 2013

    I would have purchased this book based on the cover alone (I am completely smitten with baked eggs), but after seeing so many recipes form Jerusalem a Cookbook pop up all over the blogosphere lately, I knew I wanted to try it.

    First of all, the book is gorgeous. From it's softly padded cover, to the color laden images inside. Images of rich, mysterious food and bright every day images of markets and life around Jerusalem. It's an incredible cookbook with a coffee table feel. You want to leave th

    I would have purchased this book based on the cover alone (I am completely smitten with baked eggs), but after seeing so many recipes form Jerusalem a Cookbook pop up all over the blogosphere lately, I knew I wanted to try it.

    First of all, the book is gorgeous. From it's softly padded cover, to the color laden images inside. Images of rich, mysterious food and bright every day images of markets and life around Jerusalem. It's an incredible cookbook with a coffee table feel. You want to leave this book out to pick up and browse through.

    The book begins with an introduction about Jerusalem food and history. It's then divided into the following chapters: Vegetables, Beans & Grains, Soups, Stuffed, Meat, Fish, Savory Pastries, Sweets & Desserts, and Condiments.

    The combination of flavors are so exotic and intriguing, that I found many things I marked to try.

    Vegetables: Roasted Sweet potatoes & Fresh Figs, Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds, Mixed Bean Salad, Kohlrabi Salad (could have used this when my CSA gave me weeks worth of kohlrabi.

    Beans & Grains: Falafel (must try this version), Wheat berries and swiss chard with pomegranate molasses, barley risotto with marinated feta.

    Soups: Cannellini bean & lamb soup, Tomato & Sourdough Soup.

    Stuffed: Stuffed onions, stuffed eggplant with Lamb & Pine Nuts

    Meat: Roasted chicken with clementines & Arak, Chicken with caramelized onion & cardamom rice, Turkey & Zucchini burgers with Green Onions & Cumin,

    Fish: Panfried Mackerel with Golden Beet & Orange Salsa.

    Savory Pastries: Red Pepper & Baked Egg Galettes

    Sweets & Desserts: Sweet Filo Cigars, Mutabbaq

    Condiments: Quick Pickled Lemons, Pickled Mixed Vegetables with Curry

    Sometimes people are concerned about having to go out and buy a slew of exotic spices whenever you try to cook from a specific ethnic cookbook. I have a fairly extensive spice cabinet and have most of the spices on hand. Many of the recipes call for cinnamon, allspice, ground coriander - spices that if you cook frequently, you probably have them in your pantry. I plan on purchasing pomegranate molasses and za'atar to allow me to try even more of the recipes.

    If you approach cooking as an adventure, I can think of no better cookbook.

  • Adam
    Aug 03, 2013

    This book is magnificent.

    collects the recipes of Jewish, Israeli Jerusalem and those of Muslim/Christian Arab-Israeli/Palestinian Jerusalem. One chef is Jewish, the other Palestinian.

    The lines blur, a fact the writers acknowledge. Few of these dishes have a permanent home. Many have origins far away. Some, the most famous (falafel, hummus), belong originally to neither side. By now, they belong to both. Much more important is that the diverse ethnic backgrounds of both Jewish and Ara

    This book is magnificent.

    collects the recipes of Jewish, Israeli Jerusalem and those of Muslim/Christian Arab-Israeli/Palestinian Jerusalem. One chef is Jewish, the other Palestinian.

    The lines blur, a fact the writers acknowledge. Few of these dishes have a permanent home. Many have origins far away. Some, the most famous (falafel, hummus), belong originally to neither side. By now, they belong to both. Much more important is that the diverse ethnic backgrounds of both Jewish and Arab Israelis make the food real interesting. Some of the Palestinian dishes are pure Mediterrranea. Others clearly would've come to Palestine with migrant Arab peasants, and are more reminiscent of food found in Iraq, for example, than Mediterranean food in general. On the Jewish side, some dishes here come from Ashkenazi origin, combining European and Jewish traditions with kashrut requirements. Some dishes come from Central Asian Jewish origin, like the simple rice and chicken dish that is one of the highlights of the book. Some others come from Mizrahi Jewish origin, reflecting a pre-Israel combination of Arab and Jewish traditions. Still others, perhaps some of the best, are of Sephardic Jewish origin and taste of Southern Europe and North Africa.

    If this were

    , the Palestinians would win the dessert round easily. And they shouldn't. Fucking fenugreek semolina cake (helbeh) has no goddamn right being any good. But it is. So, so good.

    I know this food. I've eaten a lot of this sorta stuff and it's rarely been as delicious as it is with these recipes as a foundation. In a world where it's difficult finding serious food from this(these) cuisine(s) [not that there's anything wrong with shawarma; that's gotta be one of the most perfect creations known to humanity], this book is a godsend.

    And it's kinda necessary. Before this came out, this sort of food was woefully underexposed. It still is. But why? Politics? Racism and anti-semitism combined? Alright, that is admittedly a bit of a tinfoil-hat thing to say. But it's seriously hard to figure out. This is not just good food. It's accessible! It's easy to make and it's fucking delicious! It's not especially demanding, like Japanese food or certain sorts of French cooking or whatever this molecular gastronomy thing people are doing are. I love Japanese food. Everyone does. But the average person will never do what the chefs in Japan do and can never do it. In North America, just finding the ingredients is a huge impediment. And it's not challenging to the North American palate, like a lot of actual European, East Asian and Southeast Asian food is (I am not referring to steak frites and green curry here).

    So really: ????

    I'm not a cookbook guy, so I don't really know how to judge this relative to other cookbooks. I don't have a pile of them. I don't consult them very often except to check that I'm not fucking shit up when trying to make something new to me. But I know that these recipes are authentic and inventive and purely fucking excellent.

    This is probably the first cookbook I've read all the way through, and made many of the recipes found within. It won't be the last, because I'm beginning to understand the economic stupidity of eating out as often as I do.

  • Lynne King
    Jul 10, 2016

    When this book arrived in the post this morning, I had this incredible sense of anticipation. I opened the book, was entranced by the photos, the history of the region and the recipes themselves. I'm lost for choice in deciding which one to choose!

    I love cooking and I had never heard of this individual before until I read an article by Theresa May, our new PM, on how she much preferred him to Delia Smith.

  • Eh?Eh!
    Sep 29, 2016

    Chicken with carmelized onion & cardamom rice*

    lamb meatballs with barberries, yogurt, and herbs**

    Roast chicken with clementines***

    Mejadra

    Pureed Beets with yogurt & zataar

    Roasted Butternut squash & red onion

    ****

    Spicy beet, leek, and walnut salad*****

    Fried cauliflower with tahini

    Sweet Filo Cigars

    Kohlrabi Salad

    poached pears with cardamom

    *"1) By the time the onions

    Chicken with carmelized onion & cardamom rice*

    lamb meatballs with barberries, yogurt, and herbs**

    Roast chicken with clementines***

    Mejadra

    Pureed Beets with yogurt & zataar

    Roasted Butternut squash & red onion

    ****

    Spicy beet, leek, and walnut salad*****

    Fried cauliflower with tahini

    Sweet Filo Cigars

    Kohlrabi Salad

    poached pears with cardamom

    *"1) By the time the onions are dark golden brown, there will be a hardened blackened crust on the pan. I left it on there through the browning of the chicken and the rice cooking, but I would recommend clearing/scraping the pan after each step. It didn't chip off into the food, whew. It was just very difficult to scour off afterwards.

    2) I think the basmati rice was supposed to be fluffy, but I used a pan that was larger than my burner. The rice in the middle was done while the edge rice was still crunchy. I added more water and cooking time which resulted in the sticky and mushy rice instead of delightful fluff. Matching burner to pan would've helped. Cooking the rice separatly would also help, although possibly end up being less delicious?

    3) I trimmed off the thickest of the fatty skin, which resulted in the remaining skin being pathetic shrunken patches. Leave the fat and all the skin on! It will render out and the step to wipe out the pan will also allow for pouring off the excess fat."

    **This was delicious but it was fucking expensive -- called for about $15 of lamb, and herbs $2/bunch. I used dried thyme instead of fresh. By the time 3 batches of meat were seared, the fond was closer to burned than I would have liked, so while the directions say to just wipe out the pan after searing the meat and before cooking the shallots, I took it to the sink and gave it a full wash.

    ***This is possibly the easiest chicken I've ever made.

    ****The dough on this loaf is impeccable and swoon-worthy, and I have seen my fair share of breads... that being said, it is time intensive and requires being made ahead EVEN MORE THAN IT MIGHT SEEM. The rolling is trickier because of how dense the dough is, the spreading was also time intensive, and the braiding is the kind of thing that you progressively get better at, speed wise. Factor in cooling time! More specifically: 1) The braiding is significantly easier when it's colder so while you shape the first loaf, keep the other half of the dough in the fridge. 2) On the first loaf (which is the one I brought because the second one was a little under-done due to said recipe taking longer than anticipated) I accidentally sprinkled a couple handfuls of pecans before I realized the chocolate should be spread first--and with good cause. The chocolate mixture is very thick and requires some effort to spread evenly, and pecans in the mix did not make that effort easier. Probably took twice as long! 3) The loaf-closing suggestion of water was not inspired. I would try with egg next time. Cold dough does not stick to itself very well. 3) The bake time was slightly understated and my oven runs hot. My guess is that the difference is using a metal vs. a glass loaf pan. 4) When I made the glaze I was already an hour late, I did not stop to fully allow the sugar crystals in the glaze to melt entirely so the glaze was a bit gritty in parts-- I actually liked this texture variation. It is worth noting that I followed instructions and have pretty extensive experience with sugar caramelizing, and still thought I might have done it wrong... I made the glaze after the loafs had been cooling because I had forgotten about it, and so if you pre-make the glaze and put it on the loaves hot (as suggested) there's a decent chance the loaf heat will prevent the crystalization-- if that is the case, it's kind of genius.

    *****The picture in the book is NOT representative of the way one is instructed to cut the leeks, so don't get confused. Also the walnuts are supposed to get mixed in the dressing, not sprinkled on top though that would make it more pretty. I really liked the combo of red and golden beets, but I am a neon-color kind of gal. also, beware leaky beets! They are to be roasted wrapped in foil but some juice escaped. I would probably put a baking sheet in the oven on the lower rack to catch drips next time. The dressing is excellent and I can attest that just plain beets dressed in it is excellent. I don't think the walnut oil added that much since there are also walnuts in it... probably OK to just use a neutral oil.

  • Petra Eggs
    Jan 12, 2017

    One Israeli

    and one Palestinian,

    cookbook read, now one by an Israeli and a Palestinian. Both were born in Jerusalem in the same year and neither wanted to tell their parents they were gay. They weren't lovers they are friends and business partners in a restaurant in London, and this book is a collaboration of them going home and finding the food of their city.

    I read this

    article on

    One Israeli

    and one Palestinian,

    cookbook read, now one by an Israeli and a Palestinian. Both were born in Jerusalem in the same year and neither wanted to tell their parents they were gay. They weren't lovers they are friends and business partners in a restaurant in London, and this book is a collaboration of them going home and finding the food of their city.

    I read this

    article on them. A bit long but very interesting. Maybe like a seven course meal when three dishes would have sufficed.