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.