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Jerusalem: A Cookbook Hardcover – October 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
****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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book feel like a witch putting spices into a "brew" Middle East food uses so much it is just fun. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Rachel
Amazing book! Absolutely delicious! Healthy! Flavorful! Aesthetically pleasing! Fantastic! The man's absolutely the king of produce.
I love this book. Read more
I got this book even though I know virtually nothing about food from the region. I took a leap based on other reviews and I have to say it was well worth it. Read morePublished 11 days ago by DeeAnne
I'll keep it short.
If I had only one cookbook to take to my desert island this would be it. Read more
This is one cookbook that is totally worth buying even in the internet age. So engaging, lovely to flip through or read in depth. The recipes are amazing. Read morePublished 28 days ago by twohounds
I am vegetarian and rarely use cookbooks because I don't usually love the vegetarian cookbooks and the general cookbooks have too few veggie recipes - this one is different. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Seri Johnson