Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Israeli Food and Cookbooks

Shakshouka: eggs cooked in tomato sauce, here garnished with fried eggplant,
cheese, and grilled peppers. It's usually prepared and served in individual casseroles.
Now that I'm back from Israel, I'm thinking about how to make some of the Israeli favorite foods that I ate while I was there. I've already mentioned several of them: hummus, falafel, grilled fish and meat, and salads, and I also had a few others. I'm checking my cookbooks for recipes for some of the favorites --

Joan Nathan -- The Foods of Israel Today
Sherry Ansky -- The Food of Israel
Ottolenghi and Tamimi -- Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Lilian Cornfeld -- Israeli Cookery
Claudia Roden: The Book of Jewish Food
Chopped salad served with the shakshouka at a cafe in Kiryat Ono where we stayed.
From Sherry Ansky's excellent cookbook: a recipe for Shakshouka. I've made it before.
Salads, I would say, are among the most varied and popular items in Israeli restaurants. They vary from raw vegetable salads, cooked vegetable salads, fish salads, grains. Salads both warm and cold also are components of the popular pre-dinner mezze appetizers. Every one of my cookbooks suggests numerous and tempting recipes for many Israeli salads.
Quinoa and other grains in an Israeli salad at the restaurant in Caesarea.
Quinoa has become quite popular in Israeli cooking, along with rice.
Claudia Roden traces the appetizers to Sephardic customs by Jews in Arab countries.
Arab-Israeli restaurants also serve their own versions of these popular dishes.
This was called "Jerusalem Shuk Salad" -- a version of the popular Israeli chopped salad with added egg and chick peas.
From Lilian Cornfeld's historic book (written 1962) -- the classic chopped salad.

Len's Caesar salad at Caesarea -- of course there's no connection as Caesar
Salad is named for a chef in Tijuana, Mexico, who invented the recipe in 1924.
And Caesarea, Israel, was named by its founder Herod for Augustus Caesar.
Despite its North American origin, Caesar Salad often appears on Israeli menus.
Original Caesar Salad was prepared -- with flair -- by the waiter, but as in the US,
the Israelis bring it to the table already plated.
The appetizer of many Israeli vegetable dishes, sometimes called Mezze.
Here our selection at the Lebanon Restaurant in Abu Ghosh, an Arab village.
Most of the cookbooks provide recipes for fattoush, falafel, hummus, etc.
Sabich, an Israeli vegetable and hard-cooked egg sandwich I ate in Tel Aviv.
Ottolenghi's book Jerusalem has a very elaborate recipe for this.
I'm sharing this post with Louise's Cookbook Wednesday.


Kitchen Riffs said...

I've never read much Claudia Roden for some reason. I don't know why -- she writes really wonderful cookbooks, and most are about cuisines I like. Good reminder that I need to dive into her work. Anyway, fun post. Love food from that part of the world. Thanks!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae:)
What a wonderful selection of Israeli food books. The only one I have on my shelf is the one by Lilian Cornfeld. I'll be looking for the others:)

I have recently been introduced to Shakshouka and was pleasantly surprised as to how much it reminded me of a dish I had as a child. I had forgotten all about it and now, would love to try and make it on my own.

Thank you so much for sharing, Mae, and thank you once again for linking up to Cookbook Wednesday, we missed you last week:)

Esme said...

Great selection of Israeli books. I like Jerusulem the cookbook. I also love that egg dish. This sounds like an amazing trip.