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Olives, Lemons & Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking
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Olives, Lemons & Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Bishara's cooking combines Middle Eastern techniques with Mediterranean flavors. But she takes cues from other cuisines, too. An eggplant napoleon is an ode to its principal ingredient, as well as an inspired marriage of textures: layers of feathery fried eggplant rest daintily between smears of baba ghanoush. Musakhan―flatbread topped with sumac-spiced chicken, slow-cooke ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 13th 2014 by Kyle Books (first published February 1st 2014)
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Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Great Middle-Eastern recipes, beautiful pictures, interesting descriptions, nice paper. The recipes are easy to follow and none of the ingredients are too esoteric to actually make at home. Even though I eschew meat and dairy there are still at least 20 recipes I will make from this book, including the fried tomatoes.
Stephen Simpson
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook, own
I don't know about this as "home cooking" ... maybe in her home, but it's not typical Middle Eastern home cooking. But that's okay ... the recipes are pretty interesting as is, and certainly workable/doable. Yes, you'll need access to Middle Eastern ingredients (either a local store or the internet), but wouldn't you expect that? I mean, why would you think you'd make Middle Eastern food without Middle Eastern ingredients?!?! (sorry, that's just a pet peeve of mine with some reviews on "ethnic" ...more
Carol Bakker
Rawia, in Arabic, means storyteller.
But rather than narrate the stories of my family,
life and culture, I prefer to tell them through my cooking.
In my mind how ingredients are procured,
dishes are served and meals are celebrated
speak volumes.

Za'atar is a spice blend made from dried oregano, thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. It's often mixed with olive oil. Fun fact not from this book: Za'atar is considered the same as the biblical hyssop. This fun fact is from O,L&Z: in Arabic
Jessica Haider
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A beautiful cook book loaded with Middle Eastern recipes. I've made a couple of recipes so far (butternut squash and red lentil stew & kofta and sweet pea stew. )and they were a big hit. ...more
Richard Newbold
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Must admit I bought this attractively laid out and illustrated recipe book as a makeweight to get free postage on the stuff I really wanted, but serendipity rules, and I've made good use of the solid "traditional" Palestinian cuisine ideas contained within. Excellent for lamb dishes and the bitter sweet savouries that are so characteristic of the Middle East, and good news, nearly all the ingredients are now routinely stocked by the major supermarkets. Word of warning, Ms Bishara is a long-time ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-cookbooks
Not enough vegetarian dishes to warrant me buying it. It did have a nice collection of veggie dips like baba ganoush and muhamara and hummus, but I don't need to get a cookbook to find recipes for those.

The recipes seemed rather heavy on the lemon juice for my preferences. A lot of the recipes seemed to be very large batches, so this would be good if you're cooking for a big family or a crowd (e.g. "baked eggplant" called for 3 eggplants, 5 zucchini, and a bunch of potatoes). In general the rec
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: food
Restaurant cookbooks like this tend to have more complicated recipes than I want (or they serve 10). I'd be happy to go to her restaurant and let her and her staff cook these dishes for me, but they're just not going to happen often in my kitchen.

I did make the seafood soup, which was delicious after I got through all the preparation steps.
Carol Rosenberg-fox
I lived in Israel for 4 years and the recipes brought back so many memories. I can't wait to try them. Once you have the spices then you're good to go. If it comes out as a reprint please add a drool cloth. Highly recommend this book. ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice, but I probably won't ever use a recipe from this book. ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
Wonderful stories and delicious recipes. I was transported to Nazareth.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. The food was well photographed and the foods sounded yummy too.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much inspiriation here.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book! It's one of those cookbooks, like "The Joy of Cooking", that is not only truly educational but also a real pleasure to read. And, much more than "The Joy of Cooking", it's a pleasure to look at. Everything about it- family anecdotes, photos, recipes, binding and layout-contributes to a book that draws the eye and warms the heart. It's a wonderful introduction to a rich and (in the U.S.) little-known culture.

As to the recipes, which, after all, are the main point of a cookb
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
PROS: The recipes are hearty Middle Eastern recipes. The flavors are delicious in the dishes I made. There’s many pictures in the book and interesting stories.

CONS: I did not have luck with all the recipes. The pictures would have looked nicer if they had been glossy. The recipes take a lot of prep time and are time consuming.

Overall: I wasn't successful with all the recipes I made from this book. The dishes that did work though tasted great. The book is filled with recipes that Bishara grew up
Aja Marsh
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
book from the chef/owner of tanoreen in brooklyn, even though there is a fair amount of meat, there is a lot for a vegetarian to be happy about here, and lots of dairy free and gluten-free stuff as well. i love middle eastern food, and you don't often see a lot of those books with a Palestinian twist (where she's from). i would consider adding this one to my shelf if i found a good deal-- i'd love to have a middle eastern cookbook! i cook with a lot of these flavors and spices already, so it's a ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, 2015
Beautiful, and packed full of lovely recipes that are right up my aspirational cooking alley. I love all the photographs in this, but wish that there were more photos of the actual recipes as well. I always want this, but this is especially so for recipes where the ingredients or dishes are not as familiar.
J Prosaist
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cookbooks
An absolutely gorgeous book, part cookbook and part cultural memoir. Covers everything from breakfast to mezze to main courses. Some recipes are a little beyond my reach re: available groceries (the fish recipes are almost entirely for whole fish, for example), but most of the recipes are very accessible. And DELICIOUS.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookery
I love this book. I want to own it so badly. Just to flip through it for inspiration. It is lovely. And the recipes are good too. They require more work than the "average" American recipe (with so many shortcuts and time-savers), but it is well worth it for the wonderful result. ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
I didn't find any recipes I wanted to try, but it's a nice cookbook. ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful pictures, wonderful narrative. I don't know that I'd make any of the recipes, but it was worth looking at! ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a coffee table cookbook. Beautiful paper and photography, with some nice little stories. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but have ear-marked many to try. ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could eat like this every day.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely cookbook which brought back wonderful memories. It's one I'd like to read again ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book with beautiful photos and delicious recipes!
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nice intro to Palestinian food. What I've made from it has turned out well. ...more
Linda Hodge
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2014
Sydney Morrison
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Mar 16, 2021
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Mar 22, 2017
Rosella Miles
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Jul 24, 2019
Verity Halliday
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Jan 03, 2015
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