One of the big cookbook titles of 2012 was Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
published by Ebury Press, 2012, £27
This book has been the media darling in the UK and with good reason. Yotam Ottolenghi has the ability to make even Parsley and Barley Salad look magical. It is only the calm and quiet of January that has given me the time to savor this cookbook, which is what it fully deserves.
Jerusalem has long been at the center of a nationalistic tug-of-war with its history overshadowing much of what it has to offer. The authors have sensitively broached the history of their native city and prove that food can be a great unifier. After all, who doesn't share an appreciation for really good falafel?
For me the historical and cultural context that threads the recipes together is every bit as important as the recipes themselves. Any curious cook with a passion for history will revel in the recipe introductions.
Food from Jerusalem that will color your world include:
- Burnt Aubergine with Garlic, Lemon and Pomegranate Seeds
- Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread
- Pureed Beetroot with Yoghurt and Za'atar
- Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak
- Lamb-Stuffed Quince with Pomegranate and Coriander
- Chocolate Krantz Cakes