FoodieTots.com

FoodieTots.com header image 2

Spring in Jerusalem (#KidsCook Ottolenghi)

April 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments

A confession: my dinner menu hits quite a rut in the last long, cold stretch of winter. Tired of heavy foods but without fresh spring produce, it’s a struggle to find inspiration in the kitchen. When the weather does finally turn warm (or jumps straight to 90 degrees, as it suddenly was this past week), the produce at the farmers markets still isn’t quite ready. Fortunately, I received some new cookbooks for Christmas that I finally cracked open to plan our recent holiday meals. I’m particularly smitten with Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. (I’m not the only one — the book was just named cookbook of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).)

sweet and sour fish ottolenghi

Between the pictures and the background stories I could spend many a evening curled up on the couch reading it — but it wouldn’t be long before I’d feel driven into the kitchen to try a recipe. Not content to try just one, I made two recipes for our Passover/Easter weekend: Saturday night’s seder featured the Marinated Sweet & Sour Fish (pictured above) and for Easter dinner the next day, Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts.

eggs and peppers on toast

The fish recipe starts with a flavorful red and yellow pepper, onion and coriander sauce — and there was far more sauce than needed for the amount of fish I used. (I used hake, which looked fresher than the cod at the supermarket that day. I’d probably try it with cod next time though.) So for lunch the next day, I reheated some of the pepper sauce, spooned it over toasted bread and topped it with sliced hard boiled eggs, olive oil and sea salt. It was so good I’m actually considering making just the pepper part again to keep on hand.

The lamb-stuffed eggplant gave me a new way to prepare lamb on Easter when it was just the family and I didn’t have an excuse to cook a whole leg of lamb. The recipe is definitely company-worthy, though, and not too labor-intensive. The eggplant is roasted first, then topped with ground lamb and pine nuts and baked some more, until it is tender and saturated with the paprika-infused sauce. Delicious.

eggplant stuffed with lamb and pine nuts

As an added endorsement, the colorful pictures also caught the eye of the littlest foodie tot — who likes to flip through the book with me and was eager to help mix the spices to season the eggplant dish.

kids cook ottolenghi

I will definitely be making the eggplant many more times, especially when local eggplant arrives at the markets later this year.

There are so many more recipes I’m eager to try. Do you have Jerusalem yet? Let us know what we should make next. (Or get your kids in the kitchen and let’s cook Jerusalem together! Need more inspiration? Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write recently made the book’s turkey and zucchini burgers — with her middle school boys’ cooking club. Love it!! And OMG! Yummy hosts a monthly “Tasting Jerusalem” cooking event, with a recipe contest going on right now.)

Tags: at market · cookbooks · cooking with kids · global flavors

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jill // Apr 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

    You know how obsessed I am with this cookbook! We’ve tried several of the chicken dishes to great success. In fact, just last night we had chicken with a raisin-studded rice pilaf (I don’t remember the official name of the dish off the top of my head), and it was so yummy. I found the hummus recipe to be too pasty, though, but I am very picky about my hummus. We haven’t tried any of the desserts yet – that must be remedied soon.

  • 2 Beth (OMG! Yummy) // Apr 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

    So glad you broke out the book and started cooking! Will you come join us at Tasting Jerusalem? Thanks so much for the shout out here and I am going to go shout this out on Twitter, our FB page, and pin it! Love your ideas with the fish and that you got your kid in the kitchen!!!

Leave a Comment

check to share your latest blog postCommentLuv Enabled