February 3, 2013

Book Club: Jerusalem

With my new approach to TPB now thoroughly in full swing it was time to start cooking the books for the first in our series of Book Club posts, and as I stood perusing the shelves for my latest adventure I could think of no finer place to start than with the latest offering from two of my favourite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Much like their earlier work, Jerusalem is a stunning read filled with beautiful food, stories and people, and is another perfect example of how good food doesn't necessarily need to be complicated, so long as you do the simple things well. It is a vivid depiction of their culinary homeland as they take you on a journey through childhood memories to modern food trends, and the stories and traditions recounted throughout are as vibrant and delightful as the recipes that follow.

When presented with so many delicious options it is always difficult choosing where to begin, but as I was on the lookout for recipes that would help ease the current zucchini glut I settled on these turkey (or in my case, chicken) and courgette burgers with spring onion and cumin as my preferred teatime snack.

Easy to prepare, and served simply with a tangy soured cream and sumac sauce, they were enjoyably light and delicious, and I imagine would be perfect served as anything from finger food to a scrumptious lunchtime wrap.

I opted to serve mine beside a salad of baby spinach, dates and almonds - another take on the family fattoush, and excellent addition to the side dish repertoire if ever you're looking for something to do with any leftover pita.

This salad had everything. It was sweet and tangy, crunchy and had squish. The heat from the chillies was mellowed by the refreshing bite of spinach, and all-in-all it was ridiculously moorish. With so few ingredients it was surprising just how much it had going on. A really lovely accompaniment that could certainly do just as well on its own. In a word, superb.

Jerusalem has that lovely affect of not only making me want to spend more time in the kitchen but to get out there, go travelling, and experience these cities and cultures for myself. There is still so much to learn, and I'm definitely going to enjoy finding out what else is in store. Until next time...

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