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January 4, 2013 4:03 am

The Food of Jerusalem

avatar by Chas Newkey-Burden

I’m sure many of you will have heard of the cookbook Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Yotam is Jewish and Sami is Arab. Their beautiful book serves up 100 recipes which cover the traditions of all Jerusalem’s people, accompanied by a generous serving of dazzling photography of the wonderful city. It’s a book with a big heart.

Jerusalem was among my Xmas presents.

This is an epochal moment for me, as I am a virtual stranger to the kitchen (apart from when it comes to washing up, worst luck). The rare attempts I’ve made to cook in the past have been hit and miss. Mostly miss: a friend who was unfortunate enough to eat something I’d prepared turned to me as he left and said: ‘This is a day which will live in infamy’.

Anyway, I attempted my first Jerusalem recipe this evening: the Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad. Although I got my proportions a little wrong, I am calling this one (top left)  as a success.

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So far so good. Other recipes in the book I plan to try in the near future include hummus, shakshuka and… shawarma.

If you’ve read the book and have any tips or experiences to share, please do. If you’ve any recipes of your own you want to share, we’d all love to see them. Equally, any words of encouragement for me – or sympathy for my future co-diners – would be welcome.

Visit Chas’s blog here.

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