Cook in Israel: Home Cook­ing Inspiration

Orly Ziv; Kather­ine Mar­tinel­li, photographer
  • Review
By – September 23, 2013

Orly Ziv takes trav­el­ers from around the world on culi­nary tours in Israel through her com­pa­ny, Cook in Israel. Par­tic­i­pants vis­it Ziv’s favorite haunts for spices, hum­mus, Turk­ish cof­fee, fresh pro­duce, and more. The day cul­mi­nates in a cook­ing les­son in her home, uti­liz­ing the gath­ered ingre­di­ents. Ziv’s culi­nary tours have inspired this hand­some epony­mous cook­book, a mas­ter­ful guide to Israeli cook­ing with its var­ied influences.

This is a very per­son­al book. A trained nutri­tion­ist, Ziv has been a veg­e­tar­i­an for over thir­ty years, so very few meat recipes are fea­tured, and as the author dis­likes chick­en, no chick­en recipes are to be found.

The sec­tion called Fam­i­ly Recipes” proud­ly dis­plays what Ms. Ziv calls “…the com­fort food of my chil­dren and recipes passed down by my moth­er and grand­moth­er. This is my per­son­al cui­sine.” Her reper­toire includes many egg­plant dish­es, includ­ing Sfon­ga­to Egg­plant Pie with its cheeses, which is not com­pli­cat­ed to pre­pare and is an infor­mal, lip-smack­ing addi­tion to any dairy meal. The Olive and Cheese Rolls are per­fect for cock­tail time or for a great snack. A scrump­tious Hash­wa — Rice with Meat,; an Arab recipe, will make your hearth a scent­ed haven of Mid­dle East­ern flavors.

Hol­i­day recipes are also fea­tured. For the High Hol­i­days, an unusu­al &Apple Jam beck­ons; for Hanukkah, there are Zuc­chi­ni Pan­cakes. Adding a touch of brandy to the Passover Brown­ies is inspired, and Shavuot has its cheese­cake and an intrigu­ing Semoli­na Delight.

The pho­tographs, by Kather­ine Mar­tinel­li, food writer and pho­tog­ra­ph­er, were tak­en in the author’s home “…with no arti­fi­cial addi­tions or food styling tricks.” None are need­ed as the col­or­ful pic­tures are a dynam­ic invi­ta­tion to come and vis­it Ziv’s kitchen and her pages. The inclu­sion of excel­lent instruc­tive pho­tographs adds great appeal, but unfor­tu­nate­ly, the writ­ten instruc­tions are not always con­sis­tent in indi­cat­ing mea­sure­ments, some­times using the met­ric, oth­er times the stan­dard sys­tem. Index.

Danièle Gor­lin Lass­ner (wife, moth­er, grand­moth­er) retired after 35 years at Ramaz where she served as Dean of Admis­sions, For­eign Lan­guage Depart­ment chair and teacher of French and Span­ish. She owns hun­dreds of cook­books. She has trans­lat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books from French into Eng­lish. She has recent­ly trans­lat­ed “ A Mem­oir of Sanc­ti­ty “ by May­er Moskowitz (Mazo Pub­lish­ers, Jerusalem, Israel) from Hebrew into Eng­lish. No mat­ter the lan­guage, food is a con­stant.”

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