This is another amazing cookbook from the founders of the Ottolenghi chain of restaurants in London. Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli Jew of Italian and German heritage, Sami Tamimi is an Israeli Arab. They were both born and raised in Jerusalem - Ottolenghi in Jewish West Jerusalem and Tamimi in Muslim East Jerusalem - and became friends and business partners in London. In this book, they return to the food of their Jerusalem childhoods and explore the food of the city today, both traditional and modern. I love their recipes, just as I love the recipes in their previous jointly authored cookbook [b:Ottolenghi: The Cookbook|3300607|Ottolenghi The Cookbook|Yotam Ottolenghi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320565067s/3300607.jpg|3337387] and Ottolenghi's solo effort, [b:Plenty|8086216|Plenty|Yotam Ottolenghi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327921381s/8086216.jpg|12820406]. Their food is colourful and bold, the flavours strong and the ingredients used imaginatively. It's the kind of food that I could eat every day and that I cook, well, not every day, but very regularly.
I recently watched a documentary called Jerusalem on a Plate, which was made prior to the publication of this cookbook. In it, Yotam Ottolenghi shows the food traditions of Jerusalem, talking to and eating with Jews and Arabs, in family homes, restaurants and on the street. It's so much more than just a cooking program and makes for inspirational and moving viewing. I've also read this article from Haaretz, which depressingly illustrates the fact that Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Hamimi's dream of bringing together Jews and Arabs through their shared culinary traditions and the food they love is unlikely to be achieved any time soon.