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Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Yasmin Khan unlocks the flavors and fragrances of modern Palestine, from the sun-kissed pomegranate stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through evergreen oases of date plantations in the Jordan Valley, to the fading fish markets of Gaza City.

Palestinian food is winningly fresh and bright, centered around colorful mezze dishes that feature the region’s
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by W. W. Norton Company (first published July 18th 2018)
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 ·  216 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars - English Hardcover
This cookbook combines travelphoto’s with kickass recipes. The whole family enjoyed it. We will cook from it reculary, that will be a fact.
Mazzeh is one of our favourits.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of cookbooks. Or I should say I skim a lot of cookbooks looking for recipes that catch my eye. This is not that kind of cookbook. This is a cookbook that, like an amazing meal, needs to be slowly savored and enjoyed right down to each delicious detail. The stories and the people the author brings into this book make the dishes come alive and and will stay dwelling in my memory. The food in this book is all fresh, simple, quick and made with very few ingredients. This was a perfect ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodstuff
I want to make nearly everything in here. Also, 3 CUPS of tahini in a batch of hummus? Holy wow.
Kathy Piselli
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really useful for understanding the different regional cooking. History is bound up in food. The present history could not be ignored, because food has to be grown on land, harvested by hands or technology, and distributed through checkpoints, and politics unfortunately is interested in all that. When I was growing up Israel was a land without people for a people without a land. Or, we were told these were just Bedouin tribes, recently arrived, or nomads just passing through. Food traditions ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
FABULOUS! The cover is lovely, the photos and personal stories are great, the recipes look amazing! I usually get cookbooks at the library and look at them, but don't make much, sometimes I copy down a recipe or two. I think I need to buy this one, and the author's Persian cookbook as well! I'm completely in love! There are even plenty of vegetarian recipes. Best cookbook yet this year!
Ambur Taft
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
All food I want to eat all of the time, most of it I won’t make....I would have to order ingredients online or drive a couple hours to the city, and then I might as well go where they are going to make it for me .... very pretty cookbook though and great for someone with the ambition and a local store with some diversity.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from liking the recipes, I was very interested in the stories that were told some of which shocked me to my core.

At least now I will be able to enliven my lunch dishes.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook, 2019
Fantastic recipes! I loved the narrative provided with each recipe. We only cook game meat and the lamb recipes were great for it! Delicious!
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook, place
A beautiful book in many ways.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Like The Saffron Tales, this is an incredible collection of recipes from a region that could use a fairer, and more accurate examination. It's full of beautiful photographs and amazing stories, and the recipes gave the reader a very detailed look at the Palestinian people. Still, I was not sure I felt up to trying some of these at home (although I am hoping I cross paths with a good Palestinian restaurant, and soon!)
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful photos. Have tried at least 10 recipes and they have been easy to make and taste great!
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and lushly illustrated, this is more than a cookbook of Palestinian food. Khan’s essays about her experiences meeting with Palestinians both in the Middle East and in the diaspora paint a human face on a complex political problem.
Trip to specialty grocery store required to get the ingredients for these recipes, but well worth the effort. Everything my husband has prepared from this book has been exceptionally tasty and distinctive. This is a whole new cuisine for me and I think it is great, suits my taste buds very nicely.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This would be a worthwhile read even if you didn't cook any of the recipes-- the use of food as a lens to access culture, the photography, the essays, all gorgeous. And so far the recipes I've tried are good.
Katie Bee
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
A beautiful cookbook with many recipes that look absolutely delicious. My only qualm is with the sheer amount of olive oil constantly being called for, which seems extremely liberal to me. (Probably makes it taste divine, though!)
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Design and Layout: 5
Photographs: 5
Ease of Recipes/Easy to Find Ingredients: 4

This is a beautiful cookbook! I found myself loving the pictures but not particularly wanting to make anything from it. I can't fault the author for that, hence the 4 stars.
Michele Evola
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent recipes with travel stories. A perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookery, israel
Great variety of recipes, attractive pictures, nice accompanying text. The best armchair travel, and a new few dishes to try as well.
Kate W
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Pretty embroidered cover. Nice enough recipes but not special enough if you have other Middle Eastern cookbooks. Checked it out from library.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: character, setting
This books has many recipes which I would like to try.

This is a book which I would like to explore more, but it is due back at the library because there are other reservations on it.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic cookbook. Can't wait to try some of the recipes.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best for:
Those looking for a cookbook filled with gorgeous photos as well as stories from the people who prepare the recipes.

In a nutshell:
Travel and food writer Khan visits cities throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories, meeting with Palestinians to learn about their food, as well as their lives under occupation.

Worth quoting:
‘I stay hopeful because I believe apartheid will eventually be defeated.’
‘I understand that you want to share our culture, but you can’t discuss Palestinian food
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, cooking
Vegetables do not have to be boring.
"It's very interesting to me that the concept of talking about equality and human rights for a people-somehow in the U.S.A. this issue is seen to be controversial, whereas in Europe it isn't. That's something I really wanted to do with the book. Food is such a great way to start a conversation, to bring people in over something and connect with, like, beautiful breads and olives and pickles and sensory things that make you feel happy and alive. And from that
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Gorgeous Book. In order to compliment the book A Women is No Man, I borrowed this book from my local library. I used some of the recipes to make some Palestinian dishes to serve to my book club. I used the labneh, Almost Za'atar', Falafel, Fattoush and the Mujaddara recipes. The recipes were easy to follow and turned out well. As a bonus, there were lots of vegetarian recipes for non-meat eaters to enjoy. Not only is this book packed full of interesting recipes it is also a travelogue with ...more
Jenn Adams
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, library, nonfiction
Reading as many Goodreads Choice Noms as I can.

Really liked this one. As a fan of Anthony Bourdain and Youtube travel vlogs, I enjoyed the interludes about different cities/regions. The author took care to address the struggles of the Palestinians, while predominantly celebrating the richness of their cuisine/culture. Lots of gorgeous recipes and pictures.

Bonuses: meal plans at the back explain dishes that might best be served together; index of which recipes are dairy free/gluten free/vegan;
I loved the combination of recipes, photos, and stories from Palestine. Lots of really lovely looking recipes - and many vegan or easily veganizable options from the collection.

There aren't many cookbooks I read through cover to cover, but this was one of them.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Beautiful. Opens my mind into some wonderful Palestinian recipes.
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Yasmin Khan is a best-selling and award-winning author, broadcaster and campaigner, who is passionate about sharing people’s stories through food.

Her work sits on the intersection of food, travel and politics and her critically-acclaimed books, The Saffron Tales and Zaitoun, use everyday stories to human connection to challenge stereotypes of the Middle East.

Yasmin has worked as a presenter for