Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan

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Notes about this book

  • Prim on June 04, 2019

    Red Lentil and squash soup pg 117 This is a good soup. It was a bit flat when I followed the recipe. I add more of the spices, plus salt, 1 tsp curry powder and 1/4 cayenne.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Fattoush

    • MelMM on February 14, 2019

      2-12-2019 This is a perfect rendition of fattoush, in my opinion. Sumac, which is a common, but not universal, inclusion, really makes the dish for me.

    • Lepa on February 18, 2020

      This is a simple but delicious version of fattoush. It felt fresh and vibrant and I couldn't stop eating it. The feta, while optional, was key and tied all the flavors together well.

  • Stuffed courgettes with spiced beef or lamb (Kousa mahshi)

    • mlbatt on August 06, 2020

      Very tasty. Made it vegetarian by using soy crumbles which reduced cooking time for filling. The warm spices, sweet/sour pomegranate molasses and sharp nuttiness of the topping worked well together. Will make again.

    • mharriman on September 16, 2019

      Delicious. Everything about this dish is wonderful- full of flavor, appealing to the eye and senses, and hearty. While we were eating, My husband remarked more than once that he wants to have it again. I used ground lamb and omitted the pinch of cayenne. Served with Everyday Palestinian salad from the same cookbook.

    • purrviciouz on June 17, 2020

      We loved this. It's not a super attractive dish but the flavor makes up for it!

    • jenburkholder on August 06, 2020

      We also really liked these, using lamb. Definite repeat; one of the better stuffed zucchini recipes we’ve made.

  • Warm maftool salad with za’atar chicken

    • Prim on June 15, 2019

      The za'atar chicken is very good. I cooked for 10 min at 400 degrees then lowered to 350 degrees for 30 min.

  • Roast pumpkin, sage and maftool soup

    • Astrid5555 on October 03, 2018

      This was a lovely soup. I like the method of roasting the pumpkin before cooking in chicken stock. This made a boring, watery pumkin into something special. Did not have sage, used cilantro instead. Thus, I also did not make the crunchy sage topping for the maftoul couscous but finished with a generous grinding of Kampot peppercorns.

    • amandesi on February 22, 2019

      I used butternut squash, and really enjoyed this soup. It had a distinctly different flavor than my typical butternut squash soups. It's thick, and I might try straining it through a sieve or foodmill to see if a velvety texture would also work, but as is it is still delightful. The topping was easy to make and I loved the texture that the maftool gave the soup. I'll make this again!

  • Red lentil and squash soup with za’atar croutons

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      A solid 4.5 stars. I've had numerous squash soups and numerous variations of Middle Eastern/North African red lentil soup, so the combination of the two was a lovely match. Not overly sweet, and the cinnamon comes through at the forefront. The soup, however, is memorable because of the za'atar croutons -- it desperately needs the crunch and the herby kick. Freezes and reheats beautifully.

    • mharriman on June 22, 2020

      We thought this was good but not good enough to repeat. Part of what makes soup appealing (or any food) is its appearance. My red lentils turned yellow as they cooked, and with the squash and herbs, the finished product looked like brown gravy, not the luscious red soup in the photograph. That being said, it tasted fine— just not beyond that. The croutons and fresh parsley topping added to the flavor and appeal, but not enough to give it more than a satisfactory nod at our table.

  • Quick pickled avocados

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      Exceptional use of unripe avocados. Addictive, garlicky, and vinegary. Wonderful in between bites of the roast chicken dishes of the book.

  • Everyday Palestinian salad

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      A very satisfying version. Must eat it all in one meal - this does not keep well.

    • mharriman on September 16, 2019

      A tasty, crunchy salad. I had many similar salads like this while in Israel and the West Bank but this one tastes more like Tabbouleh than the ones I had in Palestine.

  • Roast rainbow carrots with herbed yogurt

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      5 stars. One of the best recipes from this book and delightfully simple. This brings gently roasted carrots to a different level of creamy, herbaceous goodness. The dried mint does not disappoint and provides a subtle and unexpected amount of flavor that hits somewhere in the middle of the tasting notes, followed closely by the dill. Keeps well for a couple of days if you happen to have leftovers.

    • Barb_N on February 13, 2020

      I had purple carrots and fresh parsley. Added preserved lemon and black sesame seeds.

  • Gazan lentils with chard and tahini

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      3.5 stars. This is a good, creative use of the entire chard leaf and stalk. This recipe is successful in making the humble brown lentil into something tasty. However, this makes a LOT, and while good, the flavor isn't dynamic enough for me to feel compelled to keep eating multiple portions. On a spread this is an excellent accent. Will probably not make again without heavy adjustment of the seasoning.

  • Roast aubergines with spiced chickpeas and tomatoes (Musaka’a)

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      5 stars. This recipe as written provides a large punch of flavor with very little effort. Unctuous and protein-packed. Brilliant scooped up with flatbread or eaten with a spoon with the Everyday Palestinian salad with each bite. 3yo approved.

    • Lepa on July 21, 2020

      I wasn't happy with how this turned out. It was fine but not great. The flavors were very one-dimensional. I'm striking out with this book lately.

  • Roast chicken with sumac and red onions (Mussakhan)

    • imaluckyducky on November 09, 2019

      5 Holy Moly Stars. This dish is deeply, richly satisfying. Despite what the recipe states, you do not need to marinate the chicken - a solid rub-down before roasting will do. The spices create a delicious chicken liquor on the bottom of the pan that absolutely must be poured over whatever flatbread you are using. Will make again.

    • Barb_N on February 13, 2020

      I marinated the chicken for an hour in fridge and 30 min at room temperature. In spite of planning ahead for this meal I didn’t have lemons (used preserved lemon instead, on a mission to finish an old batch) or pine nuts - used pistachios. Yum, this is a winner.

  • Olive, fig and honey tapenade

    • mharriman on November 03, 2019

      I made this to go with whole wheat pita bread for visiting family . I used all the ingredients but substituted dates for the figs. It was eaten up quickly. Served this (and went well) with Za’atar roasted salmon with garlicky bean mash and Everyday Palestinian salad from the same cookbook.

  • Za’atar roast salmon with garlicky bean mash

    • mharriman on September 16, 2019

      Excellent. This is a very simple, straightforward recipe that packs a lot of flavor because of the Za’atar spice. I felt fortunate to have found an authentic Palestinian za’atar at a local middle Eastern grocery shop. They carried four different types. I bought Al’ard brand, imported from Palestine Territory. The coarsely mashed cannelloni beans were a nice flavor complement. I’ll definitely repeat this recipe again.

  • Roast chicken stuffed with raisins and pine nuts (Djaj mahshi)

    • mharriman on May 27, 2020

      The stuffing is worth the recipe by itself. I can see why this recipe is designated for holidays because the spices evoke them. Just heavenly! The roasted chicken is really just a variation of others I’ve made, like Thomas Keller’s. I marinated my chicken for 7 hours. Marinating the chicken in EVOO, sumac, and other spices brought a lovely aroma to the kitchen, once in the oven, but didn’t really transfer to the plate. My 4 lb chicken was ready to rest at 85 minutes and then carve and eat at 95 minutes. Chicken was juicy and tender throughout. I will definitely make this again just for the sumptuous stuffing. Changes to stuffing: I was out of pine nuts and yellow onions, so I subbed almonds and two shallots.

  • Tray-baked lamb kibbeh (Kibbeh bil saneeyeh)

    • mharriman on May 25, 2020

      My cookbook title for this dish is “pan-baked lamb kibbeh” on same page as noted. Wow! My husband and I loved this. The ingredients call for “fine” bulgur. My bulgar didn’t designate texture type but it wasn’t terribly fine. The baked mixture mostly fell apart when cut and served, but no matter. It was delicious. We understand why it is a celebration dish. It takes an hour to prep and put together before assembling and then baking for an hour. Tzaziki is an essential topping for this dish. Well worth the effort; we’re looking forward to the leftovers. I made the suggested Everyday Palestinian salad, which was a great accompaniment. Update: after sitting in the fridge overnight, I cut a serving from the pan with no crumbling, microwaved it, and it was delicious. Something to think about for next time: bake, refrigerate, Reheat, and then cut.

  • Aubergine and feta kefte

    • Allie80 on April 20, 2019

      We gave this 8/10: * Satisfying for veggies and omnivores alike * Easy to source ingredients and nothing too pricey * The recipe was mostly clear but a couple of tweaks to the recipe may make it even clearer 1) a description of the correct consistency of the mixture and what to do (e.g. add more egg?) if it didn’t hold and 2) I wasn’t clear if it was 50g each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds or an equal split 25g of each (which is what I went with) * There were no complicated techniques to master – so flavour was easily worth the effort of making * The end result looked pretty similar to the photo in the book (sadly I can’t upload a photo as it has the book in it) * As noted by Khan in the chapter introduction, would be great as part of a mazzeh (mezze)

    • purrviciouz on June 04, 2020

      This was good, I could see room for modification such as using mushroom or zucchini instead of eggplant. Definitely a satisfying vegetarian meal. The texture added by the sunflower or pumpkin seeds was delightful. I used all pumpkin seeds. Next time I would make 24 smaller balls.

  • Donyana salad

    • Lepa on July 21, 2020

      This was not as good as I hoped it would be. The dressing was very simple and didn't really tie everything together. It felt like a bunch of stuff with lemon juice on top - but not in a good way.

  • Red pepper, lentil and tomato salad (‘Adassarian’)

    • Lepa on June 17, 2019

      This is a refreshing, satisfying salad. There are lots of little steps but it's not too much trouble to put together. I plan on eating it throughout the week for a healthy lunch.

  • Gazan beef, chickpeas and chard (Sumagiyya)

    • ElianeW on October 28, 2018

      Delicious and easy. I substituted tamarind paste for pomegranate molasses.

    • purrviciouz on June 15, 2020

      Super delicious and unique flavor. I used Serrano pepper and Aleppo chili flakes.

  • Apricot and rose water rice pudding (Riz bil halib)

    • purrviciouz on June 13, 2020

      A delicious sweet treat. I served this for brunch and used arborio rice and orange blossom water instead of rose water.

  • Lamb meatballs with tahini (Kefte bi tahini)

    • Shepherdabi on June 29, 2020

      Good tasty flavour. Used oregano instead of parsley as did not have parsley. Not sure that covering the meatballs is necessary. Might try without next time. Potatoes stick so need to occasionally move the slices around when cooking before add meatballs

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52

    Telling the stories of all the homes she visited in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and sharing vibrant, chewy recipes from those kitchens...

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    Part recipe book and part travelogue, she journeys through the territories, sharing beautiful dishes and heart-wrenching stories.

    Full review
  • Kitchn

    An interview with the author.

    Full review
  • Food52

    An interview with the author.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1408883848
  • ISBN 13 9781408883846
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jul 12 2018
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Publishers Text

In this beautiful Palestinian cookbook, food writer Yasmin Khan shares recipes and stories from her travels. On her journey she harvests black olives from the groves of Burquin in the West Bank, hand-rolls maftool - the plump Palestinian couscous - in home kitchens in Jenin and even finds time to enjoy a pint with workers at the Taybeh brewery who are producing the first Palestinian craft beer. As she feasts and cooks with Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds, she learns about the realities of their everyday lives.

Zaitoun includes herb-filled salads, quick pickles, fragrant soups, tender roasted meats and rich desserts, and has a special focus on vegetarian versions of Palestinian classics. There are recipes for olive, fig and honey tapenade, roast chicken stuffed with pine nuts and raisins, and pomegranate passion cake, among many others. Surrounding the recipes is a chorus of stories from those who love, live and cook with Palestine in their hearts.

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