To call The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home, “a cookbook,” doesn’t do it justice.
It’s a serious historical document, a treasury of centuries of tradition from the kitchens Mediterranean Jews. And – not least – it was written by Joyce Goldstein, a founding mother of the culinary movement we now identify as “California Cuisine,” an alumna of Chez Panisse and founder of the legendary Square One restaurant in San Francisco, chef, consultant, teacher and author. And Goldstein will be at the Pasta Shop in Rockridge this Saturday to answer questions and sign copies of the book.
Meticulously researched and written, The New Mediterranean Jewish Table is a testament to the sisterhood of the kitchen, and the bonds of community and ritual this food represents. The content was gleaned from recipes Goldstein cooks herself and has collected or developed over the years, in addition to recipes handed down through other families, conversations with home cooks and restaurant chefs, regional cookbooks, and recipes transcribed from oral traditions and carried into contemporary kitchens by heart and habit.
And let’s be clear, this is food from the sunny kitchens of the Mediterranean, not the chopped liver and latkes of Eastern Europe. The more than 450 recipes are drawn from Jewish traditions in Spain and Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey, North Africa and across the Middle East, and bear the hallmarks of a Mediterranean diet – seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, and small amounts of meat, poultry and fish.
The recipes in The New Mediterranean Jewish Table are “must-haves” for anyone – Jewish or not – who enjoys Mediterranean food. Goldstein has thought of everything. Every meze you ever loved is present and accounted for, plus savory pastries (B’stilla), eggs and fritters (Shakshuka), vegetables, fish, poultry (Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives), meat (Lamb Stew with Quince), condiments (Harissa, Preserved Lemons, and nine different versions of Haroset) and desserts. This food is wonderful.
This elegantly produced book makes a wonderful gift. Make it more special – come to the Pasta Shop in Rockridge this weekend, and have it signed by Goldstein. She’ll be there to sign books and answer questions, and the Pasta Shop will be sampling recipes from the book.
Joyce Goldstein signs
THE NEW MEDITERRANEAN JEWISH TABLE: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home
- April 16, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- at the Pasta Shop – 5655 College Avenue – Oakland
- across the street from the Rockridge BART station