Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious
By Michael Solomonov • Steven Cook
For their first major book since the trailblazing Zahav, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook go straight to the food of the people—the great dishes that are the soul of Israeli cuisine. Usually served from tiny eateries, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or market stalls, these specialties have passed from father to son or mother to daughter for generations. To find the best versions, the authors scoured bustling cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, and sleepy towns on mountaintops. They visited bakeries, juice carts, beaches, even weddings.
Their finds include meals in the hand like falafel and pita; juicy, grilled and roasted spice-rubbed meats; stuffed vegetables; a wealth of chopped vegetable salads; a five-minute fluffy hummus with more than two dozen toppings; pastries, ice creams, and shakes. Solomonov has perfected and adapted every recipe for the home kitchen.
Each chapter weaves history with contemporary portrayals of the food. Striking photographs capture all its flavor and vitality, while step-by-step how-tos and closeups of finished dishes make everything simple and accessible.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.