Everybody has their dog-eared, beloved copies of Ottolenghi’s bibles, but there are a host of other Israeli-centric cookbooks on the market also worth the coveted space in your kitchen. With Israeli ingredients now readily available worldwide (even za’atar is no longer hard to find), a quick jaunt to the shuk with these cookbooks will keep you up to par with the locals who know how to whip up all the regional delights worth sharing.
Israeli cookbook of the month
September, 2017: The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling Epicure Publishing)
Pastry chef, Paula Shoyer, is the queen of hip kosher baking, leading the way with recipes that are modern and original, yet still sweetly nostalgic. Here you’ll find easy, foolproof recipes to rock the kitchen fearlessly, along with low-sugar, gluten-free, and nut-free desserts. Discover her decadent cheese blintzes, apple latkes, Babka bites, and sections full of parve recipes that will leave the dairy to shame.
October, 2017: Cooking in Israel (Orly Ziv)
This is one of the most down-to-earth cookbooks, and embodies the spirit of Israeli cooking that many locals hold true. Family style, healthy dishes with no fuss, just a few ingredients and basics that will become staples in your home - including lots of eclectic salads and the kind of stuff that can be prepped in 20 minutes! It will be your next tattered-paged go-to in no time at all. Check out last month's cookbook of the month.
November, 2017: The Palomar Cookbook (Clarkson Potter )
Palomar is one of the hottest restaurants in London, straight from the hands of one of Israel’s most prominent restaurant groups, the masterminds behind Machneyuda, in Jerusalem. This cookbook shares over 100 ultra-creative recipes, each showing easy influences via Southern Spain, North Africa, and the Levant. It is Modern Israeli cuisine with all that Jerusalem has to offer, including everything from falafel and fattoush salad to Jerusalem-style polenta.
December, 2017: Olives, Lemon, and Za’atar (Kyle Books)
Ask anybody about Tanoreen, the Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn, and they will start raving. So when its owner, Rawia Bishara, decided to write a book , it was naturally swept right off the shelves. This ode to home cooking showcases Palestinian food with touches from Europe, NYC and all over the world. A lot is inspired by her past growing up in Nazareth and showcases her local favorites.
January, 2018: Balaboosta (Artisan)
Always wanted to be the perfect housewife, the balaboosta? Helmed by Chef Einat Admony, known for her appearances on Chopped and her award-winning restaurants (Taim, Balaboosta), her book creates a beautiful guide to cooking with love, and all of her secrets to Israeli cuisine. It’s an eclectic mix of everything, which makes it so real – from red velvet gnocchi to the hosting the perfect dinner party.
February, 2018: Divine Food (Gestalten)
Divine Food is overflowing with gorgeous imagery showcasing the best of Israeli and Palestinian cuisine. Recipes from local markets, Arab traditions and the nomadic tribes of the desert are featured alongside those from some of Tel Aviv’s most popular, envelope-pushing restaurants. Divided into regions, the book’s culinary journey covers the whole of the region and a range of classic and unexpected recipes.
March, 2018: Zahav (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Probably one of the most prolific figures on the Israeli food scene, Chef Michael Solomonov and partner, Steven Cook, have created a James Beard Award- winning cookbook. Featuring gems like grandmother’s bourekas, Persian wedding rice and cashew baklava cigars, Zahav (Gold in Hebrew) is bursting just like Solomonov’s illustrious restaurant Zahav in Philadelphia.
May, 2018: Tahini (Short Stack Editions)
One of the most-loved ingredients in this country, tahini (aka as Tahina) is having a celebrity moment that feels like it will never end. Loaded with calcium and super-versatile, this is Israel’s version of peanut butter. Adeena Sussman’s short-stack mini book shows a face of tahini that has never been seen before - including tahini schnitzel, tahini-studded granola, hummus and coffee halvah.
June, 2018: Fress (Mitchell Beazley)
Fressing, in Yiddish, refers to noshing like you don’t care. It is an art to be enjoyed, and this book by Emma Spitzer indulges in Middle Eastern and Eastern European flavors with a contemporary spin. Meet the modern snacks of the Middle East, the straightforward way to nibble on Jewish comfort food. Snack on kibbeh with green tahini and dukkah-crusted lamb, four cheese bourekas, or sweet noodle kugel. This book has something for everyone.