If you’ve been following my Instagrams recently you might have noticed (amongst the cats) a renewed enthusiasm for home-cooked dinners. The reason is that I got the new Ottolenghi book Jerusalem and I want to try making almost everything in it!
Written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, who both grew up in the city, the book is a love letter to the city’s rich food history. From childhood favourites to street food and special occasion desserts, this book covers loads of different recipes as well as giving lots of little insights into the fascinating history and culture of the area. You’ll also find a few recipes from Ottolenghi’s new restaurant NOPI, like the stunning butternut-tahini dip. It’s probably two-thirds vegetarian – there are separate meat and fish chapters but the pulse, pastry and vegetable chapters are stuffed full of things I want to try. (Talking of stuffed, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to things stuffed into things. Oof.)
It’s beautifully designed and photographed as usual and while the recipes can be time-consuming, they are not particularly difficult to follow. Perfect for relaxed Sunday evening cooking. One frequent complaint of Ottolenghi recipes is that the ingredients are hard to find, but I haven’t found anything hard to track down yet – though handily I do live in an area full of middle-eastern shops. But if you don’t, Ottolenghi has opened a web store of ingredients so there’s no excuse!
Here are a few of the dishes I’ve made already. Griddled and roasted courgette and tomatoes, boreks, and chermoula aubergine with fried cauliflower. They’ve all been super tasty, though I do need to learn to not deviate from the recipe or just guess at quantities, because the balance of flavours can get a bit overpowering if not handled properly.
Since the publishing company gave me a review copy but I was geeky enough to have pre-ordered it, I’m giving away the spare copy, along with a promo tote bag, to one of you! To enter, just comment on this post telling me to your favourite cook book or recipe site. Get an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway too – just hit the share link right at the top of the post. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 23rd September. UK entrants only please.