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Cookbook 15: The Jerusalem Cookbook





Two guys own a restaurant in Jerusalem… a Muslim and a Jew. Sounds like the start of a joke, right? This cookbook is no joke. The Jerusalem Cookbook is the story of two friends, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, with a passion for their homeland and the food that feeds their souls. This book is not only one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I own, it’s also filled with incredible recipes. It’s a travelog of food. You will want to try every recipe in this book! Fun fact: This cookbook won a James Beard award in the international category.

Couscous with tomato and onion recipe

Serves 4

“This wonderfully comforting couscous is based on a dish from Sami’s childhood. All we did was add a crust, similar to Iranian tadik, which is a famous rice dish cooked in such a way that a crispy crust forms at the bottom of the pot; this crunchy bit is everybody’s favourite. Good-quality stock is important here. Serve with grilled fish skewers, or with just salad as a light vegetarian meal.” – Jerusalem Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/3 c onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 c very ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 c couscous
  • 1 c boiling chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter

    Pour two tablespoons of the olive oil into a non-stick pan about 9″ in diameter, and put on a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, stirring often, until it has softened but not coloured. Stir in the tomato purée and sugar and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper and cook for three minutes.

    Meanwhile, put the couscous in a shallow bowl, pour over the boiling stock and cover with saran wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove the cover and fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the tomato sauce and stir well.

    Wipe your pan clean and heat up the butter and remaining olive oil on a medium heat. When the butter has melted, spoon the couscous into the pan and use the back of the spoon to gently pat it down so it is all packed in snugly. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and allow the couscous to steam for 10-12 minutes, until you can see a light brown colour around the edges. Use a palette or other knife to help you peer between the edge of the couscous and the side of the pan: you want a really crisp edge all over the base and sides.

    Place a large plate on top of the pan and quickly turn the couscous on to the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Buy The Jerusalem Cookbook here

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