Inspired Cooking | Homemade Pitas + A New Cookbook for Mouth-Watering Israeli Meals
What types of foods make your mouth water? Personally speaking it is Italian, Mexican and Middle Eatern cuisines. It would also be fair to say that I travel for food and Israel is one of those places that I am dying to visit if only for the amazing food. Falafel, pita, tabbouleh, labneh, stews marinated with olives - I could go on and on. Until I make the trek over there, thankfully their is The Palomar Cookbook: Modern Israeli Cuisine, a new cookbook from London's famed Palomar Restaurant courtesy of the chefs Layo Paskin and Tomer Amedi.
The book, which includes over 100 recipes is sectioned into chapters like 'The Meal Before the Meal', which includes a stellar recipe for tapenade, cured lemon paste and falafel - a common street food in Israel. While there are many savory options, there should always be room left for dessert. In the chapter, 'The Pastry Room', there are interesting flavor combinations like Tahini ice cream to a staple, challah. It also goes into detail about the Middle Eastern staples that you should have on hand in your pantry including pomegranate molasses, tahini, rosewater and date syrup.
I decided to make their recipe for pitas since this is one type of bread that I rarely eat - the store bought varieties have a whole host of ingredients that are anything but whole. Luckily making your own is really easy - especially if you have a mixer! Read on to find out how.
4 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons oil, olive or canola
Directions: Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of a mixer outfitted with a dough hook. Whisk together. Add liquids and beat for at least ten minutes to allow the gluten to become elastic. Once mixed, cover with a clean dish towel and sit in a warm place for at least 30 minutes to allow dough to double in size. Once doubled, preheat oven to 475 degrees. Flour a working surface and divide dough into 10 to 14 pieces, depending how many you want to serve. Roll into balls and once you have finished, cover with towel again to proof the dough. Once proofed, roll out dough and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until puffed and slightly golden. Place in a cast iron and cover to allow the pitas to soften. Serve warm or at room temperature.
CHICKPEA & VEGETABLE SALAD
1 can chickpeas, like Brad's Organics
1 cucumber, preferrably seedless
1/2 small red onion, finely minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped greens, dandelion, spinach or kale
1/4 cup parsley and mint combined, finely chopped
1/2 lemon juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Combine chickpeas, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and herbs. Stir together. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
FETA WITH OLIVE OIL & CHIVES
1 chunk of good quality feta cheese
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Flowering chives, for garnish
Directions: Place feta cheese on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chives. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita.
Styling & Photography by Alison | Book c/o publisher