Photographer Steven Rothfeld and well-known chef Nancy Silverton provide an intimate portrait of the Israel through its cuisine. A country of diverse cultures and youthful enthusiasm, Israel offers great opportunities for inventive chefs. Much more than a cookbook, this volume takes readers on a tour of each region and introduces them to chefs, farmers, winemakers, cheesemakers, markets, and restaurateurs in the deepest corners of the country.
Each chapter includes information about a region of Israel, as well as interviews with chefs and food producers in which the enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity of those involved in contemporary Israeli cuisine. Interesting combinations are highlighted, such as the addition of beets in Knafeh, a classic Middle Eastern dessert, and a stuffed cabbage “cake” that is a main dish. Readers will meet Arabs and Jews who work together to grow and produce delectable dishes such as Siniya of Sea Bass and Tahini-Honey Ice Cream with Almond Crumble. Although these are recipes developed by professional chefs, experienced home cooks will have no difficulty preparing them; the only problem may be taking the oversized volume into the kitchen — and worrying about spilling food on Rothfeld’s beautiful color photographs!
The recipes feature fresh local produce and the many exotic spices found in the cooking of the Middle East. Condiments such as harissa and zhug and spice blends such as ras el hanout and za’atar are readily available in most places or can be purchased online. Orange and Black Olive Salad with Harissa and Salmon Roll with Pickled Fennel will please many, but the Galilean Kugel with Bacon, Falafel Shrimp with Eggplant Spread, and the Manti (lamb dumplings) with Tomato Salsa and Yogurt are not fitting for the kosher-observant.
Israel Eats will inspire cooks to create. It will also encourage everyone to visit Israel to experience a vibrant culture and delicious food firsthand.