There's nothing about Adeena Sussman's Sababa that's explicitly about fall. The cookbook, which gets its title from a Hebrew-by-way-of-Arabic slang term meaning "everything is great," is a bright, unfussy walk through Israeli and Mediterranean dishes, the kind of food that feels just right for a lazy October Sunday. Flipping through the book, even in the heat of August, I could imagine opening the window of my kitchen to the crisp autumn air while making her Za'atar Roast Chicken Over Sumac Potatoes, or Schug-Marinated Baby Lamb Chops, or Lentils with Crispy Leeks and Fennel.
If Sussman's name seems familiar, it's because she's long been a force in the cookbook world, splitting her time between New York City and Tel Aviv before relocating to Israel last year. She's co-authored many bestselling cookbooks, including Chrissy Tiegen's Cravings and More Cravings, and Candace Nelson's Sprinkles Baking Book. Sussman's expertise is apparent, but it's her warm, easy-going sensiblity that's most inspiring. She makes everything seem possible, even if there are ingredients you've never used before and flavor profiles you're not familiar with.
The recipes in Sababa range from a spin on Everything Bagel Seasoning with za'atar and dried lemon zest (just microwave fresh zest for 90 seconds) to Chewy Tahini Brownies. Sussman mostly works with what she finds at her local market, and so the recipes incorporate the seasonal offerings of Tel Aviv, but she includes helpful tricks for finding or substituting ingredients that aren't as common stateside.
Watch: How to Make Roasted Cauliflower with Green Tahini Sauce and Caramelized Dates
The whole vibe of the book is sunny, comfortable, and tasty food that has complex flavors but won't require you to use every dish in your house. Flipping through it, I had visions of Tuesday dinners with friends, gathered around the wobby table in my apartment, with everyone digging into the Fish in Yogurt Sauce paired with Jewelled Rice, comfortable, happy, and not too worried about cleaning up afterward.