- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 29, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764544136
- ISBN-13: 978-0764544132
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World Hardcover – November 16, 2004
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For more than three millennia, vegetarian cooking has been a central component of the rich fabric of Jewish culinary tradition around the world. Olive Trees and Honey is a tribute to this vital realm of Jewish heritage, showcasing an authentic collection of vegetarian dishes that have graced Jewish tables across the ages from Alsace to Uzbekistan, and are still very much alive todayat holidays, rituals, festivals, and everyday meals alike.
In virtually any kitchen today, cooks need to possess a broad repertoire of vegetarian dishes for themselves or their guestsfor health, theological, philosophical, or other reasons. In Olive Trees and Honey, eminent Jewish cooking expert Gil Marks presents a magnificent treasury of meatless fare suitable for any table: 300 simple, enticing recipes that accentuate signature flavors of time-honored dishes. The classics heresoups, salads, pastas, legumes, vegetable stews, egg dishes, and morerepresent every part of the menu from an expansive global palette.
From savory pastries like Syrian Miniature Lentil Pizzas to hearty entrées such as Moroccan Mashed Potato Casserole, nourishing Romanian vegetable stews to wholesome legume dishes like Tunisian Chickpeas with Greens, Marks brings the world of Jewish vegetarian cooking to the home kitchen. For those observing kosher laws, each recipe is labeled as Dairy or Pareve. Many recipes include tips and variations for years of fresh, inventive meals.
Through brief chronicles of the Jewish diaspora's vegetarian legacy in diverse corners of the world and sidebars woven throughout the book, Marks sheds light on the origins and evolution of cuisines and dishesand of the communities that created them. There are chapters on suitable recipes for key Jewish holidays and on essential ingredients and seasonings. Maps in each chapter chart the paths of several unique gustatory traditions through history.
Perfect for the vegetarian kitchen or as a complement to meat-based menus, the exquisite dishes in these pages will enrich any diet and bring warmth to any table. At once a practical guide to Jewish vegetarian cooking and an illuminating portrait of its journey across continents and centuries, Olive Trees and Honey is a celebration of this enduring global mosaic.
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First of all, as a mostly vegetarian, the wealth of variety and complexity I find in the recipes it offers, each with appended variations of significantly different flavor profiles, is unparalleled. The chapter on rice alone is worth the price of the entire book, so diverse is it in the methods and combinations it presents using as a base an ingredient whose potential I thought I had tapped out long ago.
Secondly, it turns your kitchen into a travel agency. The recipes are culled with very apparent care and love from the traditions of Jewish communities from around the world, such that, like you may have experienced if you have ever visited Israel, tasting the culturally diverse cuisines of people who lived all across the globe, with access to all different ingredients and influenced by very different culinary environs, is like a traveling the world on a plate instead of a plane.
Thirdly, this cookbook doubles as a book on the history of food. Its exploration of how different ingredients throughout history were cultivated, disseminated, and incorporated into the kitchen in all the different corners of the world where Jews have lived, is both fascinating and informative when understanding the culinary approach of different cuisines. The book even offers maps showing how different staple ingredients travelled from one country to another.
This book has inspired me, uplifted me, and delighted me, all the while affording my family and myself a delectable route toward a healthier diet based on my own Jewish roots. Thank you, Mr. Marks, for your wonderful contribution to culinary culture, Jewish culture, and healthy culture too!
This book is the antithesis of Cooking for Dummies, but will reward the curious and open minded chef for many years of delicious vegetarian meals.
Sephardic red lentil soup - absolutely my favorite lentil soup EVER. It never fails me and I've made this more than anything else in the book.
Egyptian potato soup - fantastic potato soup flavored with lemon juice.
Moroccan pumpkin soup - deliciously spiced with a beautiful orange color.
Bazargan (Syrian bulgur relish) - a must have for meze. Goes well with crackers and pita.
Sephardic rice stuffed peppers - hearty, filling and very easy to prepare.
Turkish bulgur pilaf - wonderful on it's own or stuffed into peppers.
Moroccan fiery marinated olives - Wow!
Bukharan samsa - light pastry surrounding delicious butternut squash filling
Moroccan vegetable stew - perfect on top of couscous with onion cinnamon raisin topping (also in book)
and many more...
Another positive aspect of this book is the history. The author has really done his research and offers insightful information about the origins of specific foods and dishes. So very interesting! A history of food and cookbook in one. A must buy.