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Jerusalem: A Cookbook Hardcover – October 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The true definition of a melting pot, it seems, can be found through foods, or so Ottolenghi and Tamimi contend. As former residents of Jerusalem and now well-acclaimed London restaurateurs, they have compiled a luscious, photographic collection of 120 recipes with origins encompassing various religions, countries, and, occasionally, continents. The history of the city and of foods found there are sprinkled throughout the text, as are visuals not only of recipes but also of the people who inhabit Jerusalem and beyond. Expect discourses on the humble aubergine (eggplant); za’atar, a native herb; hummus wars; and even Georgian cuisine. The book’s leisurely pace picks up with the introduction of dishes, some familiar but many not, that include fattoush, latkes, mejadra, clear chicken soup with knaidlach, pan-fried mackerel with golden beetroot and orange salsa, and helbeh (fenugreek cake). Measurements are computed in grams, and, unfortunately, the more exotic ingredients, such as arak and zhoug, might prove elusive to all but the most avid chefs. Yet the passion and skill evident in this collection of Mediterranean cuisine are contagious. --Barbara Jacobs

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607743949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607743941
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (982 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

327 of 339 people found the following review helpful By Heather F. on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is approachable and the recipes are actually something you will make...and then make again. If you love Middle Eastern cuisine, buy this. I have made the basic takes some time, so be aware that you need 24 hours. It was so good. I agree with the authors that if anything is going to bring the middle east to's gotta be the hummus. The other thing I made was the Couscous with tomato and onion. Love the flavors, I will make both of these again. The great thing about the recipes are, they aren't so wild that you can't imagine making them. The ingredients are, for the most part, easy to find. The techniques are simple enough for the home cook. Falafel is next on the list.

****Edit****I would just like to say, that one of the reasons, I think, that this is so doable for a Middle Eastern cookbook, is these are the recipes that regular people make. This is what the moms and grandmas make. That's the kind of food I want to make as well, good home cooking.
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332 of 350 people found the following review helpful By Olaiya Land on November 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I almost never post reviews, but this books is so wonderful, I felt compelled to add to the accolades it's receiving. I am a professional cook, so I buy and cook from a TON of cookbooks. Many I use mainly for inspiration in terms of flavor combinations because the recipes don't actually work so well. Some I use to explore new techniques. This cookbook offers both; the recipes work (I should note I have the UK edition without US conversions)--many of the techniques are new to me and they work well--and the flavors are amazing. And it's a gorgeous cookbook as well.

The first recipes I made from this book were the roasted cauliflower salad with celery, hazelnuts and pomegranate and the sofrito chicken. I figured there was no way the cauliflower salad could be anything but delicious, and it was. But I had my doubts about the chicken--the recipe involved several steps (browning the chicken, seasoning the chicken, steam-roasting the chicken, frying potatoes and garlic and then adding them to the chicken and its juices). I didn't think it would be any better than a simple roast chicken and vegetables (which is hard to improve on when done well). But it was unbelievably delicious! And had a texture and subtlety of flavor I had never tasted before.

It's true that some of these dishes are not week-night fare--as one reviewer mentioned, you can't throw them all on the table in under an hour. But many of them are. A quick read-through of the recipe should let you know which are quicker and which take an hour or more of prep and cooking.

I am adding this cookbook to my top 10 list because a) it's a beautiful, well-written book, b) the recipes work very well when followed to the letter, but there's lots of room for improvisation, c) the flavor and texture combinations are complex, subtle and well-balanced, and d) the dishes are delicious.

Happy Cooking!
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212 of 230 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I married a man who grew up throughout the middle east and Mediterranean and I have been cooking with his family and friends to learn their secrets for homecooked middle eastern dishes. I was shocked to find almost all of these tips and secrets are included and beautifully documented in this book. From adding pomegranate molasses to stuffed onions to the method for perfect hummus, the secrets of the best home chefs from around the middle east are here. These recipes have surprising splashes of spice, acidity and brightness, which go beyond the basics to the truly stunning.
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115 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The recipes in this book are so tasty. My family is really enjoying the food. I have made the following:

Chicken with Caramelized onion & cardamom-- very good!
Basmat & wild rice with chickpeas, currants & herbs--outstanding...loved it! The recipe does not specify the type of curry powder so I used a mild madras curry, which was excellent in this dish.
Basic hummus--another outstanding recipe. This is the best hummus I have ever had. It is very smooth and creamy and well seasoned. I used a 1/2 cup of tahini paste instead of a full cup. That works for my taste buds but I may increase it next time. In any case, this was better than any I've ever had at a restaurant or made at home. Cooking the dried chickpeas along with the technique yielded excellent results.

Next on my list is the turkey & zucchini burgers with green onion and cumin. I can't wait to cook my way through this book. The food is fresh and healthy for the most part...lots of veggies, beans, and whole grains. I believe there is something for everyone. I should point out that a few ingredients like sumac or tahini may be found at select stores. I applaud the collaboration of Mr. Ottolenghi and Mr. Tamimi. It's lovely to see such respect. It' even better to learn and experience the "immense tapestry of cuisines" that makeup Jerusalem.

Update: The turkey and zucchini burgers were great. I have also made the Chicken with Arak (I used Pernod) and Clementines. This dish had a fabulous flavor combination. The spinach salad with dates, pita, almonds and red onion was also phenomenal. All in all, eveything I have tried has been an absolute winner. The unique flavor combinations are delicious. This is a standout cookbook!
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