One of the hottest cookbooks to come out in the last few years is
Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, both born and raised in Jerusalem, Ottolenghi in Jewish West Jerusalem and Tamimi in Arab East Jerusalem.
If you’re interested in Middle Eastern cooking, I highly recommend this book.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe from the book –
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 ½ ounces dates (100 grams), preferably Medjool, pitted and quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 small pitas (about 3 1/2 ounces, or 100 grams), roughly torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
½ cup whole unsalted almonds (75 grams), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sumac
½ teaspoon chile flakes
5 to 6 ounces baby spinach leaves (150 grams)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put vinegar, onion and dates in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix well with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain any residual vinegar and discard.
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add pita and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until pita is golden. Add almonds and continue cooking until pita is crunchy and browned and almonds are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and mix in sumac, chile flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside to cool.
When ready to serve, toss spinach leaves with pita mix in a large mixing bowl. Add dates and red onion, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lemon juice and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.