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This instantly became my favourite cookbook, due to the wonderful recipes, they are mainly healthy, flavourful combinations that have invigorated my recipe repertoire. Dropped one star as unfortunately the recipe instructions are not in a bullet point list, they are in free text, so it can be hard to find which step you are on. I am a competent cook and can follow recipes easily, but I really struggle with this when I'm trying to juggle doing 5 things and trying to find my next step in the (well written) text! That is my only criticism, and I think this will be my favourite cookbook for decades to come - I love this cuisine.
I love Palestinian and Jewish food and the recipes in this book are reasonably useful . The only thing I don’t like about the book is it’s title with blue colour of Jerusalem in a white circle - slightly unbalanced representation especially when you think about the Israeli and the Palestinian authors who wrote the book together. Needs equal and balanced approach with some consideration to the intelligence of all the readers.
The book is nicely covered as a cloth hardback (don't really see that nowadays)! The recipes in the book are typical ottolenghi - tasty but with some slightly more unusual ingredients. There's a fair amount of vegetarian food which looks inviting and tasty (being a meat-eater). Not yet tried many of the recipes but the ones I have are quite good.
Personally I am very keen on southern mediterranean food having lived in Cyprus so this is really very similar from a neighbouring region .. however just enough that is different and new to keep me interested. I have particularly loved the Beetroot salsa - a fantastic combination of flavours that also adds a dramatically pink contribution to any buffet table. For those who have liked Plenty but are not vegetarians this offers some fine meat dishes but the main strength of this book is its desserts I would say.
First dishes tried - rice, chickpeas, currants and herbs, served with chicken sofrito - definitely 5 stars, definitely going to be a regular here, as will the rice dish itself with other meat dishes. If only a small fraction of the other dishes live up to this, it will prove to be one hell of a cookbook.
This is an intriguing and educational cook book - lots of delicious and unusual food and a little peek into a different culture to my own. Like this book a lot and everything we've made from it so far has been great.