Philadelphia’s own Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook just published their first book, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.
Solomonov and Cook hope to familiarize Americans with some of their restaurant Zahav’s famous dishes. If you loved Jerusalem-born, London-based Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s book Jerusalem as much as I did, then this book will be a treat.
The spices and techniques of Israel’s myriad ethnic groups are reflected in the book’s recipes. Familiar Eastern European Ashkenazi foods such as rugalech, kugels and latkes are presented along with more exotic foods such as kibbe and fillo cigars from the Levant. All of these recipes have been adapted to ingredients that are easily accessible to the American cook. Below is a recipe for Zahav’s Ottoman-inspired eggplant salad.
Zahav’s Twice Cooked Eggplant Salad
- 2 eggplants
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- Slice the eggplants.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Allow the eggplants to rest for 30 minutes in a colander.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.
- Fry the eggplant slices over medium heat, until almost charred on both sides.
- Place the eggplant in a bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan.
- Stir in the onion, pepper, coriander, and paprika.
- When the vegetables are soft, add the blackened eggplant and sherry vinegar to the pot.
- Stir for a few minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Squeeze the lemon into the eggplant.
- Sprinkle the minced parsley into the pot.
- Stir and serve at any temperature.