Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is one of my favorite cookbooks. It is written by two chefs born in Jerusalem – one Jewish, one Muslim. The men are friends and business partners, and provide different but parallel perspectives on Israeli food. The book is beautiful on many levels – gorgeous photography, fascinating history, a mindset of cultural respect and of course, delicious food.
Today we made two recipes from the book – Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke and Lemon and Mejadra. Fun fact – Jerusalem artichokes are not from Jerusalem. Slight problem – we couldn’t find any Jerusalem artichokes this time of year in Minnesota. Easy fix – we used potatoes instead, and they were yummy.
Regarding the Mejadra, it is a mixture of lentils, rice and spices. It’s supposed to feature fried onions, but we omitted them and it was still delicious, providing an earthy, nutty complement to the bright, citrusy chicken.
We loved this meal. Like the book, it was beautiful and exotic but somehow familiar. I’m looking forward to experiencing more meals from Jerusalem.
Until We Eat Again,
Two Happy Cooks