Cookbook of the Week: 'Modern Jewish Cooking'

Julia Bainbridge
·Food Editor
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Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen (Chronicle Books) by food writer Leah Koenig. In this book, she shares 175 recipes for vegetable-forward Jewish cooking updated with global flavors.

Noteworthy: While “Jewish cooking has had a tendency to focus on the past,” writes Koenig in her introduction, “we are in the midst of an exciting sea change.” Koenig peppers the book with sidebars detailing the new crops of restaurateurs and farmers that are “breathing new life into Jewish cuisine.”

The Team: Koenig, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur magazine, among other places. Her first cookbook, The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook: Daily Meals for the Contemporary Jewish Kitchen, was published in 2011. Korea-born, San Francisco-based Sang An, whose work has appeared in Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, took the photos.

The Cuisine: In Modern Jewish Cooking, Koenig’s Eastern European Jewish heritage meets her 21st-century kitchen. That means she keeps an eye on tradition, but isn’t married to it, and she cares about seasonality. “I could bake an old-school honey cake one night and then stir sautéed jalapeño and shallots into matzo balls the next,” Koenig writes. “Because in my modern Jewish kitchen, there was room for both.”

Who Should Buy It: Fans of Jewish cooking—Jewish or not—who want to cook it more often. As Koenig puts it, “anyone who craves the briny, creamy, tangy, crisp, and soul-satisfying flavors of Jewish cuisine.” For those who keep kosher, all the recipes in this book follow the kosher laws.

Must-Make Recipes: Matzo Granola with Walnuts and Coconut; Creamy Sorrel Soup with Harissa; Sautéed Green Beans with Labneh and Sliced Almonds; Steak and Za’atar Fajitas; and Pletzels.

More of our favorite cookbooks:

Healthy Latin Eating by radio personality Angie Martinez

The Pollan Family Table

Oma & Bella: Classic Jewish recipes from Eastern Europe