With travel bans in place, world travelers like myself have gotten a little stir crazy. While others have turned to FOMO over social media, I turned to the cookbooks in order to transport myself far, far away. I have never been to Jerusalem and thought a stop over in my imagination might be exciting and brighten my gloomy days indoors. So, I opened the cookbook Jerusalem by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi.
I was only able to test two recipes from the cookbook as not all ingredients were available at the local supermarket. For example, my supermarket doesn’t sell the seasoning sumac but thankful can be substituted with lemon zest and a pinch of pepper. Just get creative with what is available or do some online digging for some substitutes like I did. The adventure might just be worth it.
The first recipe I tried was the Root Vegetable Slaw with Labneh. It is made of Celery Root, Beets, and other beautiful root vegetables. I substituted Labneh with plain yogurt you can do the same. I loved the bright colors and flavors that brighten your palate. The citrus flavor pairs really well with the cilantro. I will definitely make this again when I get my hands on the amazing winter root vegetables again.
The second recipe I tried was the Baby Spinach with Almonds, Pita, and Dates. This was easily my favorite of the two. I hate a heavy salad dressing, but the light vinaigrette comprised of lemon and olive oil brightened the salad without weighing it down. The dates were an awesome sweet bite every other bite, and the pita made perfect croutons. I also found it filling. It is everything I love in a salad. I liked this recipe so much that I made it again the next day since there was none left over.
I may not have been able to travel to Jerusalem, but my kitchen was able to take me there with the citrus tangs, and celebration of vegetables. Why not travel via your dinner plate? Just let Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi guide you.