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Book Review: Zaitoun

April/May 2019 Issue
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Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen
By Yasmin Khan
(W.W. Norton & Company)

Oil from the olive, zaitoun in Arabic, is the quintessential ingredient of the Palestinian kitchen, and it flows throughout the 80 recipes in Yasmin Khan’s new book, a dazzling follow-up to her debut title,  The Saffron Tales. On every page of Zaitoun, stunning photographs and captivating tales evoke the beauty, bustle, and smoky, spicy aromas of Palestinian markets and kitchens. The recipes and techniques that Khan gleaned during her travels elucidate the unique attributes and traditions of the cuisine.

The food of Palestine bursts with freshness and vibrance (crisp salads and tangy pickles are a must at every meal). Food is cooked simply and served informally with warm flatbread for scooping up tasty morsels from the half-dozen or more dishes that dot the table. Ahlan wa sahlan. Welcome to Palestine.

Recipe Spotlight: Gazan Smashed Avocados. A delightful surprise, this chunky guacamole-like dip—spiked with garlic, green chile, sesame seeds, sumac, and olive oil—celebrates the avocados that grow throughout the Gaza Strip.

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