Winner Winner Holy Land Dinner – “Jerusalem” by Yotam Olegthi
After reading, “Jerusalem” by Yotam Olegthi and eating this dish I’m ready to sign up for the “Taglit-Birthright” program. 10 free days in the holy land. Yup. Best birthright program around. Well not counting the Amish rite of passage to do massive drugs and drink alcohol at the age of 16 until you decide you’re done. And you never have to be done. Rumspringa is the all time birthright passage winner. (There’s a, “white male” joke somewhere in there but I’ll leave that on the cutting room floor.)
But Damn, if this is what they’re cooking in the Holy Land, put me on a plane today. This book is visually stimulating and super intimidating. But that’s what why Paprika and I are here. We’ll try out the recipes and report back to you.
Try the recipe. Buy the book. Then make his chocolate Babka recipe and just melt into your sofa cushions.
Love Meat & Paprika
2 ½ cups (500 g) whole-milk Greek yogurt
2/3 cup (150 ml) olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
1 pound (500 g) fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 pound (500 g) pasta shapes of your liking
Scant ½ cup (60 g) pine nuts
2 teaspoons Turkish or Syrian chile flakes, or red pepper flakes
1 2/3 cups (40 g) basil leaves, coarsely torn
8 ounces (240 g) feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the yogurt, 6 tablespoons (90 ml) of the olive oil, the garlic, and 2/3 cup (100 g) of the peas. Process to a uniform pale green sauce, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it until tastes like pleasantly salty seawater. Add the pasta, and cook until it is al dente. While the pasta cooks, warm the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and chile flakes, and cook for 4 minutes, or until the pine nuts are golden and the oil is deep red. Also, warm the remaining peas in some boiling water (you could scoop out a bit of the pasta water for this); then drain.
Drain the cooked pasta into a colander, and shake it well to get rid of excess water that may have settled into the pasta’s crevices. Add the pasta gradually to the yogurt sauce; adding it all at once may cause the yogurt to separate. Add the warm peas, the basil, feta, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss gently. Serve immediately, with pine nuts and chile oil spooned over each serving.
Yield: 6 servings