Food

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - CONTENTS - • By FAYE LEVY and YAKIR LEVY Pho­tos by YAKIR LEVY The writer is the au­thor of Faye Levy’s In­ter­na­tional Jewish Cook­book.

For the High Holy Days we plan to pre­pare some de­li­cious dishes from Joan Nathan’s new cook­book, King Solomon’s Ta­ble. Nathan’s beef stew, which she pre­sented at a lunch in Los Angeles, gained an ap­peal­ing sweet taste from red bell pep­pers, as well as onions and pa­prika. It should make a tempt­ing main course for Rosh Hashana, when sweet fla­vors are tra­di­tional.

For our Rosh Hashana dessert, we’re think­ing of bak­ing Nathan’s pizza ebraica. This “Jewish pizza” doesn’t have tomato sauce or cheese. It’s a tasty Ital­ian-Jewish treat that is ac­tu­ally a bis­cotti-like cookie stud­ded with raisins and dried cher­ries mac­er­ated in sweet wine.

What do these dishes have to do with King Solomon? The sub­ti­tle of Nathan’s book is “A Culi­nary Ex­plo­ration of Jewish Cook­ing from Around the World.” There has long been va­ri­ety in the cui­sine of the Land of Is­rael, said Nathan, thanks to mer­chants who were look­ing for new items to trade. The story of King Solomon, she wrote, “of­fers an im­age of a ruler pre­sid­ing over a di­ver­sity of cul­tures, an abun­dance of food, and reach­ing beyond his bor­ders to feed his king­dom.”

There was global in­flu­ence on tra­di­tional dishes for the Yom Kip­pur pre-fast and post-fast meals. Ac­cord­ing to Nathan, “the art of mak­ing kre­plach – the Jewish won­ton – was learned from the Chi­nese and per­haps the Khaz­ars, many of whom sup­pos­edly con­verted to Ju­daism.”

For the post-Yom Kip­pur din­ner, Nathan serves harira, a soup made with chick­peas, which were found in Me­sopotamia at least 8,500 years ago and spread through­out the Mid­dle East. “A Mus­lim sta­ple to break the daily fast of Ra­madan,” wrote Nathan of harira, “it has crossed over to the Moroc­can Jewish tradition of break­ing the fast of Yom Kip­pur.”

Of­ten harira is made with meat, but Nathan makes her ver­sion of the spicy, lemony soup veg­e­tar­ian. That way, for a kosher meal, one could also en­joy Nathan’s tasty tomato salad, which is en­hanced with feta or goat cheese as well as olives and herbs.

Another good ap­pe­tizer for cel­e­brat­ing Rosh Hashana or for break­ing the Yom Kip­pur fast is Nathan’s tab­bouleh, which she makes with ap­ples and pome­gran­ate seeds. The bul­gur wheat mix­ture also con­tains wal­nuts and pars­ley, and is fla­vored with red onion, honey, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Nathan’s col­or­ful salad of roasted beets with or­anges and pis­ta­chios, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, gar­lic and cumin, also makes an invit­ing starter for any of this month’s feasts.

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