First Book review: Jerusalem

I have never done a book review before for the blog. This Christmas, completely unexpectedly, I was given a great book called  “Jerusalem” (you can read reviews here and buy it here), a recipe book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  After trying some of its recipes, I could not go on for a minute longer without telling you about it.


The book is a recollection of recipes from the ancient city of Jerusalem. Written by these two amazing authors who bring, each, their own traditions and approache to ingredients and recipes common to this city. One the one hand side the recipes are  influenced  by Sammi’s childhood memories from the Muslim East side of Jerusalem, and on the other  by Yotam, who grew up on the Jewish side of the city. The two authors met many years after leaving Jerusalem, in London, and where able to put together their memories and recollections, only to find that, as with many things, their recipes are just two different approaches to the same dish.

This book has a little bit of everything, whether it is the  history, culture, and some of the great culinary traditions of Jerusalem, together with some new mixing of ingredients introduced to us by the authors, in an easy accessible and comforting way. Great presentation and, of course, beautiful pictures.

Now lets dig in… shall we?

The first recipe I chose from the book is…





100ml Arak (or any other dry aniseed based liqueur)

4tbsp Olive oil

3tbsp of freshly chopped Parsley

3tbsp of Lemon Juice

2tbsp of Orange Juice

2tbsp of grain Mustard, 2 brown Sugar

2 medium Fennel bulbs

1 Chicken divided into pieces

4 Clementines sliced horizontally

1tbsp Thyme leaves

2 and 1/2 Fennel seeds

Salt, Pepper

chopped flat-leaf Parsley to garnish






Put the Arak, olive oil, fennel seeds, mustard, lemon juice and orange juice in a mixing bowl, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper, whisk well and set aside.

collage 2

Chop the fennel and the clementines. Together with the chicken, marinate in the sauce above, and leave in the fridge for a few hours.

collage 3


Cook in the Oven at 180° C for 45′.


Put the sauce aside in a pan and bring to boil, until it is reduced in volume by half.

Serve the chicken with it’s warm sauce and garnish with some fresh parsley.

chicken 2


Jerusalem, was an unexpected and great gift, which i am sure I will be reading and rereading for many years to come.


14 thoughts on “First Book review: Jerusalem

  1. I too have been moved and inspired by this cookbook and approach to cooking. I loved this recipe too! Yours looks absolutely mouthwatering — you achieved that perfect caramelization on the clementines, and plated it so beautifully! -Laura

  2. It’s an amazing book isn’t it?! I don’t think there’s a single recipe in it I don’t want to cook (and I’ve already done lots). Went to dinner with a pal last night and she cooked a few recipes from the other book “Ottolenghi the Cookbook” which is equally fabulous! Lovely recipe and beautifully shot.

  3. Wow, sounds amazing… i will look for it in libraries! I have a cooking book covering 4 main world religions typical cuisine which was also nice. If I find it (it is probably in one of the boxes I forgot in Madrid after i moved to Italy) I will give you the name! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I like Ottolenghi, i’ve tried some of the recipes he publishes on the guardian… And his books are on my wishlist!… Love this recipe, now i pin it then try it asap before clementine season ends! 🙂

  5. Every person who has this cookbook is raving about the recipes. Your photos of the dish your prepared makes me think that this is a book I should add to my collection.

  6. Al Hashulchan:) In Israel they have lots of variations (more than 70) of Jewish cooking…such an amazing journey!…But this doesn’t mean simply a melting pot: Jews always make their own the local food…wherever they are…
    Enjoy the rest of the recipes….
    wish you a very nice evening, Luana

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