There are lots of Israeli cookbooks on the market. For some time, my favorite authors in this niche have included Janna Gur, Yotam Ottolenghi and Einat Admony but when I received my copy of Cook in Israel in the mail, I instantly added Orly Ziv to that list. Ziv sets out to welcome you into her heart and home through food, and the personalized note she wrote in the cover was a nice touch that I’ve never experienced before.
Capturing the essence of a recipe along with the essence of the author themselves is a difficult task, yet a task completed so skillfully by Orly and her photographer. Each image is bright and inviting, making me wish I had time to cook most of the recipes in this book. Vegetarians and vegans may particularly enjoy this work as there are just two meat recipes in the entire book and the focus on real food, whole ingredients and cooking with local produce means there are plenty of gluten free dishes for you to sample too.
Cook in Israel has earned a permanent spot in my kitchen, alongside one of my all-time favorite cook book, Culinary Artistry (Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page, 1996). I find myself referring to both of these books to find flavor profiles that I can apply to new and old recipes alike and as much as I try and share my thoughts on why I like Orly’s book so much, I couldn’t help thinking that Busy in Brooklyn’s insight from her review of Cook in Israel was perfect:
Cook In Israel bears the subtitle “Home Cooking Inspiration” and that is precisely what Orly’s book is all about. In a warm family-oriented way that is customary for Israelis, Ms. Ziv welcomes you into her kitchen with open arms. … Orly shares family favorites, holiday dishes and an expansive array of vegetarian recipes that are mainstays in Middle Eastern culture.
This is a book that I turn to to build a menu or read for pleasure. The food tells a story and brings people together. Cook in Israel would make a great gift for anyone that has an appreciation of food photography, family-focused dining or Middle Eastern Cuisine.