With Plenty, London restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi burst onto the culinary scene by showcasing vegetables in a new way: dynamic, substantive, entirely cosmopolitan. Now, returning to his roots in Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, $35), Ottolenghi has produced a gorgeously photographed, visceral tour through that city’s diverse food histories. Exploring Jewish, Christian, and Muslim culinary traditions, this book broadens Ottolenghi’s scope to include meat, though this chef still excels in vegetable dishes, especially salads (don’t miss Na’ama’s fattoush), and he uses eggs and grains beautifully. His flavors, in keeping with Jerusalem palates, tend toward the sweet: a gentle hand is needed with the ubiquitous pomegranate seeds. A truly galvanizing collection, this book stresses the importance of food as “the only unifying force” in a city torn by religious, ethnic, and historic divisions.
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