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172 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read, use and enjoy
I saw Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do a cookery demonstration at the Hay Festival and bought their two previous books, adding them to the pile of cut out recipes from the Guardian. I also watched Ottolenghi's Jerusalem on the television, so I have been waiting for this book with great eagerness.

It does not disappoint.

Jerusalem is a melting pot. It is...
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

versus
21 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as accessible as the others
I love everything Mr. Ottolenghi does; cook often from both books and eat there twice a month. It is with regret that I give this 3 stars, regret in no small measure because of the cost. We have made six dishes in the three days since this arrived and not one was a hit. It may be that the foods of Jerusalem are not to our liking but for me these recipes deviate from a...
Published 19 months ago by Sonicegrrl


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172 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read, use and enjoy, 8 Sep 2012
By 
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
I saw Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do a cookery demonstration at the Hay Festival and bought their two previous books, adding them to the pile of cut out recipes from the Guardian. I also watched Ottolenghi's Jerusalem on the television, so I have been waiting for this book with great eagerness.

It does not disappoint.

Jerusalem is a melting pot. It is the point where many cultures meet and this is reflected in the food that is eaten in the city. Ottolenghi and Tamimi are ideal guides to this food as they bridge the Jewish/Arab divide.

The recipes are not a definitive collection of the food of Jerusalem. They represent Ottolenghi's and Tamimi's view of the city and its food, their childhood memories and what they feel is typical. They show how a common thread can be found in recipes from diverse sections of the city, for instance, tracing the influences of Italy and Spain mingling with both the Arab and Jewish influences of North Africa.

It has all the elements which to my mind make up an excellent cookery book. Firstly and most importantly:
1. The recipes are delicious. They are clearly explained and most are illustrated. I have eaten nothing but recipes from this book since I got it. Even though I live in the depths of the country I have been able to source all the ingredients needed.
2. It is interesting to read. Food is not just ingredients assembled in the correct way and cooked. Food is our history and our culture and this book discusses both. It is a fascinating read.
3. It is beautiful to look at with glorious photographs.

I thoroughly recommend this book. Buy it, read it, use it and enjoy it - then recommend it to all your friends.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I want from a cookery book..., 11 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
This is an ambitious and brave book, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and one which delivers.
The complexity of Jerusalem, the city, in terms of politics, history, culture and food is sensitively described. Both authors regard Jerusalem as home, "because it defines us, whether we like it or not". I love their faith in the possibility of food and more particularly hummus, bringing Jerusalemites together, "if nothing else will"
The backdrop of the city is the very beautiful context of this book. However, a cookery book has to be ultimately about the food and "Jerusalem" provides a lavish feast of new ideas, tastes and food combinations.
Thanks to The Guardian, I have already begun to cook from this book. Mejadra, a simple combination of lentils, rice, spices and fried onions is stunning. Lamb Shawarma is deeply and gorgeously spiced.Chicken with caramelised onion and cardamom rice is perfect and simple comfort food.
I am planning my next month of menus around this book. First up will be Burnt aubergine with garlic, lemon and pomegranate seeds. When I have time for some serious weekend cooking, I will make the Chocolate Krantz cake, a yeasted cake which looks soft, chocolatey and worth the effort.
This is a beautiful book with sublime photography. Check out the photo of the Jerusalem skyline at dusk or the overwhelming colours of the roadside grocery vendor. The photos of pan fried sea bream with harissa and rose and the small plates of hummus studded with pine nuts and herbs are genuinely mouth watering.
I feel instinctively that this book will inspire and change my cooking. A completely essential book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific from the author of Plenty and more good news for vegetarians, 3 Dec 2012
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
Another great cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi and restaurant partner Sami Tamimi that presents some of the best Arab and Israeli food that can be found anywhere. Like "Plenty", "Jerusalem" is clearly explained, nicely illustrated and puts emphasis on a lot of easy to produce dishes with wonderful to the taste herbs and spices.

Go to a Jewish restaurant in Jerusalem for the first time as an American or European, and you might be expecting a menu that is dominated by the kind of Eastern European (ashkenazi) dishes that are best known at home. Big surprise--the emphasis is very much on fresh vegetables and herbs and rarely includes preserved foods (except for lemons). This cookbook reflects that more sephardic approach to food, which is often very similar to Palestinian cuisine.

While "Jerusalem" is not a vegetarian cookbook, a large number of the recipes included are for vegetable dishes--many for lightly cooked green veggies combined with grains, legumes, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and onions. There is a consistent emphasis on strong savory tastes--very little bland food here at all. These dishes are anything but ordinary and boring and it's a wonder that there aren't restaurants serving this cuisine springing up everywhere. Meat and fish are not neglected--there are some great combos on offer--but the big stars in this book are vegetarian or convertible to vegetarian.

Two other things I liked about this cookbook were the general tone of the interesting narrative that introduces the book--it emphasizes the commonality between the Jewish and Arab communities--and the photography of the food which was all apparently done on site in Jerusalem restaurants and stores. Dishes are presented in beat up old pots and pans with no attempt at glamor. It enhances the idea that this stuff is the real thing.

MORE: The December 3, 2012 edition of The New Yorker Magazine carried a long and engrossing profile of Ottolenghi that a fair amount of discussion of "Jerusalem". Check it out at: [...]
"Jerusalem" would be a great addition to anyone's kitchen library and particularly if your taste buds are hankering for something with savory high notes. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yumyumyum, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
Since buying this book, my flat now has a permanent smell of hummous & falafel.

I could not have asked for anything else
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 12 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
This is the third of the Ottolenghi cookbooks I've bought and I think this is their greatest. By focusing on the food of their childhood and native city, they have achieved something akin to Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food, though this is a far more sumptuous and beautiful production. The city is the most politically contested on earth, it arouses such rage and fervour amongst those who have never set foot in the place, but these two men, both gay, one Palestinian, one Jewish, have shown us what it is like to have this place as your culinary language. In other words to have your sensory roots there.

The recipes are astonishing. I have made two and not only have they been easy, they have been a triumph. I'm Jewish, I have been to Jerusalem many times, the food seems to be the food I was born to make and to eat, fresh, simple, without fuss, rooted in centuries of tradition with the innovation and the vigour of successive new arrivals.

I'll be cooking from this for the rest of my life. Thanks Sami and Yotam.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great food - but time consuming, 10 Jun 2013
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MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
Jerusalem is a melting pot, with a cuisine influenced from many different corners. There's Arab food, Jewish food, Georgian food, Libyan food (with Italian influences), Egyptian food, Persian food and Syrian food. That's just to name a few.

The recipes in this book are presented in more prosaic style than many recipe books (i.e. not always in clear, simple numbered steps) and irritatingly they don't have the timings easily laid out. That means reading the recipe first and adding the cooking stages and estimating the preparation stages. The recipes themselves seem quite fiddly, requiring some pretty advanced techniques and juggling of multiple pots. They will also require making friends with a middle eastern grocer for some of the more exotic herbs, spices and berries - fortunately we have an Iranian grocer a few suburbs away.

I have tried several recipes so far:

Aubergine and moghrabieh soup - requires burning the aubergines on gas burners but the recipe is divine. Takes a couple of hours and the preparation of the aubergine is not straightforward.

Maqluba - each ingredient needs to be cooked separately before putting it all together in a pot. This is fiddly and involves shallow frying, deep frying and spice grinding. It also needs a pot that is exactly the specified size. Mine turned out perfectly and tasted great - especially the caramelised tomatoes. Served with the mint yoghurt.

Lamb schwarma - requires overnight marinading and four to five hours of cooking. The spice grinding was a chore but well worth it to create a complex and deep flavour. Final assembly is very fiddly.

Herb pie - absolutely amazing flavour and an instant hit with all the family. The youngest has asked for me to cook it again next week for his 8th birthday. You will need space for the preparation as the ingredients take a lot of space before they are cooked. The preparation is quite straightforward although working with the filo pastry takes a bit of technique. I used a 22cm square cake tin which was the right size for the quantities given, but the end result is a little small for a meal.

Mejadra - cooked on the assumption that it would be like Egyptian kushari but it wasn't. This recipe didn't turn out that well - rather dry and the rice and lentils broke down more than they should. The flavour was quite dusty, but the fried onions were wonderful and had a flavour that lasted all evening. If I were doing this again, I would check the pan during the 15 minutes covered cooking (despite the recipe telling you to leave it) and would possibly add more cooking liquid during the recipe. I would also cook the lentils less than the recipe says and allow them to absorb cooking liquid at the same time as the rice.

Stuffed quince - the quinces are hard to source and even harder to scoop out. The result, though, is a delicately flavoured but beautifully balanced dish, just a hint of warming allspice balancing against the sweetness of the quince and the sourness of the pomegranate. If you can't get pomegranate molasses, reduce a mixture of pomegranate juice, lemon juice and sugar. Next time, I might just slice the quince and layer it with the meat.

I will prepare more recipes from the book and report back if I remember.

This is a great book if you have time to lovingly prepare food for the family. It is not a book with quick and easy everyday recipes. It also has a cloth covered cover that will pick up stains. Some people will like that (I do - shows a cookbook that has been used) but others will prefer a wipe clean cover.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ticks all my cookbook boxes., 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
This book arrived yesterday and I have taken every opportunity to feast my eyes on it ever since. I have been to Jerusalem and am a big fan of the authors' previous cookbook Ottolengh. This cookbook does not disappoint in terms of recipes or photography. The recipes are all crying out to be cooked and I'm having trouble deciding where to start. I have no doubt that they will all turn out well as the recipes are so clear and the ingredients so perfect together. The photographs of Jerusalem take me right back there - I can almost smell the fresh herbs and the frying falafel just looking at them. It is also a very interesting book as it talks about the different cultures and food traditions. Once I have made a few I'll update this review -but really can't see me down-grading due to the recipes.

An up-date: I've now made the roasted sweet potatoes and fresh figs, the pearl barley risotto with marinated feta and the cod fish cakes and all have been gorgeous. The flavours of the sweet potato recipe were sublime together - zingy fresh and earthy at the same time; the risotto was unctuous and creamy in texture and oh so very conforting with the tanginess of the feta really contrasting and complimenting the dish;the fish cakes were delicate but flavoursome with a lovely sauce. All three recipes were so straigtforward and had easily accessible ingredients. A delight without a doubt.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
Definitely my favourite Ottolenghi cook book so far. I made the roast lamb dish on the weekend and it was some of the best lamb I have ever eaten.

I want to try at least half of the recipes in this book - and they are simpler but somehow even more tempting than his previous books, so I am confident I will actually do so this time.

With his other two books, I have only actually gotten around to making a handful of dishes despite having far greater aspirations at the time of purchase (which is of course more of a reflection of my laziness than the quality of the recipes, but nevertheless ...).
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerusalem, 12 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem (Hardcover)
Fantastic book with some really tasty recipes! People have often criticised Yotam Ottolenghi for having ingredients that are hard to find, but everything I've needed seems to have been at my local Supermmarket. Great book, great Food.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerusalem, the Cook Book Review, 16 Oct 2012
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This book is by far, the nicest book Ottolenghi has so far written. Most of the recipes are simple and the ingredient list is not a mile long. My only complaint is that there are not as many pictures in this book as there are in his other books, so not visual in many of the cases. That is a shame, as far as I am concerned.
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