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'The Book of New Israeli Food' on Serious Eats
Janna Gur's Stuffed Baby Eggplants and Zucchini in Pomegranate Sauce is the kind of meaty main that you can get into even when the weather isn't cooking-cooperative. Eggplants and zucchini (or all zucchini later in the summer) are hollowed out, stuffed with a mix of ground beef and rice, seared on all sides, and then left to simmer on a bed on tomatoes and onions swimming in a fantastically tart lemon-pomegranate sauce.
Janna Gur's The Book of New Israeli Food includes a chapter devoted to foods that are traditionally eaten on the sabbath in Israel. Some are familiar (chopped liver and chicken noodle soup) while others are a bit more exotic. Gondi, an Iranian-Jewish take on matzo ball soup, falls somewhere in between. Chicken soup with big, fluffy matzo meal dumplings is a Passover classic that has potential for greatness but also a tendency to be a little bland depending on your seasoning strategy. Gondi, on the other hand, is all about big, bold flavors.
The following recipe is from the June 1 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! [Photographs: Eilon Paz] Mejadra is the Israeli equivalent of rice and beans—a hearty grain and legume...
In Israel, bourekas are the quick breakfast or lunch of choice. These savory pastries made their way to the Middle East by way of the Balkans and can be filled with all sorts of cheeses and veggies. Janna Gur, author of The Book of New Israeli Food, includes several boureka recipes representing many of the filling combinations and doughs that make this pastry so popular.
In Israel, hummus is treated as a blank canvas for all sorts of toppings. This Complete Hummus begins with a great recipe for basic hummus—dried chickpeas soaked overnight and blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic—which are topped off with a pool of spicy lemon-cumin-hot pepper sauce, drizzles of olive oil and raw tahini, and a sprinkle of parsley and chopped onion, and even whole chickpeas if you'd like.
The Book of New Israeli Food showcases recipes and photos, interspersed with stories and histories that put Israeli cuisine into perspective. We recently sat down with author Janna Gur and asked for some of her favorite recipes from the book. This week we'll be sharing Stuffed Baby Eggplants and Courgettes in Pomegranate Sauce alongside Cheese Bourekas and Gondi, an Iranian-Jewish spin on matzo ball soup. Enter to win a copy of the book here!