cover image Falastin: A Cookbook

Falastin: A Cookbook

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley. Ten Speed, $35 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-58173-1

Ottolenghi alums Tamimi (coauthor, Jerusalem and Ottolenghi) and Wigley (coauthor, Ottolenghi Simple) set out on their own with this expert dive into the food of Palestine. The dishes overflow with bold flavors: hummus is layered with toasted pita, drizzled with parsley oil, and sprinkled with sumac in a chapter of hearty breakfast choices; preserved baby eggplants stuffed with walnuts and spicy peppers are ideal appetizers. Signatures such as “upside down” rice—inverted so that the beans, squash, and lamb baked underneath rest on top when served—are represented, and London-dwelling Tamimi also freely pairs nontraditional items like beets and sweet potatoes with pistachio and bulgur. Each recipe features tips for advance preparation (tahini and caramelized onions for a spicy baked cod dish can be made ahead) and suggested variations (for gluten-free chicken meatballs, replace bread crumbs with grated zucchini). The authors acknowledge that discussions about Palestine can be “political and difficult,” and they successfully walk that tightrope with sidebars on Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem and figures such as Islam Abu Aouda, who offers cooking lessons in her refugee camp home. Like the best cookbooks, this one opens a window to expand both palates and minds. (Apr.)