book.seasonal.JewishThe Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition 
by Amelia Saltsman
(Sterling Epicure) ©2015 ($29.95)

With her recently published The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition , Amelia Saltsman, the award-winning author of The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm (2007), tackles a big challenge.

As she revisits the concept of Jewish food, she takes the reader far beyond Eastern European classics, deli meats and kugel to an exciting world of diverse ethnicities and flavors that showcase the global nature of Jewish identities and cuisine, from the Middle East to Europe, California, and farther afield, from Irak (you can’t miss the Lemon Zengoula: Iraqi Funnel Cakes) and Syria to Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, her 150 recipes of traditional and contemporary Jewish cooking appeal to modern thinking and modern cooking with today’s focus on seasonality and sustainability. 
Guided by the Jewish lunar calendar, Ms. Saltsman divides the book into six micro-seasons that highlight the deep connection of Jewish traditions to the year’s natural cycles.

Amelia draws on her own rich food history to bring you a warmly personal cookbook filled with soul-satisfying spins on beloved classics and bold new dishes. From her Iraqi grandmother’skitchri—red lentils melted into rice with garlic slow-cooked to sweetness—to four-ingredientGolden Borscht with Buttermilk and Fresh Gingerand vibrantBlood Orange and Olive Oil Polenta Upside-Down Cake, Amelia’s game-changing approach is sure to win over a new generation of cooks.

You’ll find naturally vegan dishes, Middle Eastern fare like TunisianLemon Rind Salad with Harissa; and new ways to use Old-World ingredients in recipes such as  Duck and White Beans with Gribenes—buckwheat, home-cured herring, andgribenes or Roasted Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes, in fresh, modern meals.

Whether you’re Jewish or not, observant or not, Ashkenazic or Sephardic, this culinary journey through the Diaspora which is becoming trendy in restaurant menus from coast to coast is Jewish cooking at its best.

As she writes in her book: “I couldn’t resist sharing a recipe and one of Staci’s enticing photos with you fromThe Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, brand new in bookstores this week!Shakshuka, quick, hearty comfort food for Israelis, Moroccans, Tunisians, and Yemenites, is having a great big moment. Well-deserved for sure, but why now? No idea, other than to say it’s about time — and, in my humble opinion, that mine is the onlyshakshukarecipe you’ll ever need!

Great for brunch or supper with a cold beer,shakshukais basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. The term comes from either the Hebrew verb “to shake,” as one does to a pan over a hot stove, or from Arabic slang for a mixture or stew. Call it the Israeli equivalent of huevos rancheros.  All my Israeli cousins have their own versions, from heating a jar of pre-made sauce to cook the eggs in to taking the time to simmer a homemadesalade cuite, a “cooked salad” of reduced tomatoes and spices known in Morocco asmatboucha. (You can find my matboucha recipe in the book or here on NOURISH Evolution.)



Makes 6 servings

2 cups Matboucha
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs
Kosher or sea salt (optional)
Generous handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley
Thickly sliced country bread, toasted, or pita bread


In a 12-inch skillet, thin the Matboucha with water to the consistency of thick spaghetti sauce. Add the olive oil and set over medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Using the back of a large spoon, make an indentation in the sauce at the 12 o’clock position. Crack an egg into the depression. Repeat with remaining eggs, spacing them evenly in the pan. Cook until the eggs are set to your liking, about 7 minutes for over easy. Cover the pan to hasten cooking, especially if you like your eggs more well-done.

Season the eggs with salt, if desired, and shower the parsley over all. Serve directly from the pan into shallow individual bowls, accompanied by labneh and bread or pita.

FromThe Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Traditionby Amelia Saltsman (Sterling Epicure) ©2015


Amelia Saltsman is the award-winning author of The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm. In 2006, Amelia founded Blenheim Press in order to produce her first book. Described by Alice Waters as "an amazing resource" and by Deborah Madison in the book's foreword as "a seamless work," The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook tells the story of passionate, small California growers and their extraordinary crops, and is a great market guide and cookbook. The book has received numerous awards including the Santa Monica Library 2008 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature and the Writers' Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published Books.

FromThe Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Traditionby Amelia Saltsman (Sterling Epicure) ©2015