13 June 2015

Weekend Cooking: Honey & Co.: The Cookbook by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer

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Honey & Co. The Cookbook by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit PackerDon't you just love the fresh, simple cover to this cookbook? The colors and composition call to me. And because I grew up in a city with a large Middle Eastern community, the recipes within bring back memories of family dinners at our favorite Lebanese restaurant.

Honey & Co.: The Cookbook contains recipes and stories from husband-wife team Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, Israeli natives who now own the Honey & Co. restaurant in London. Their small cafe has put down solid roots, becoming a neighborhood favorite and destination.

I enjoyed the story of how Srulovich and Packer met and eventually decided on London as the city of their cooking dreams. In Honey & Co. they share the dishes that have given them success, including the meals that are their personal favorites.

You might not be familiar with all the dishes, but have no fear, you will be (for the most part) familiar with the ingredients. Only those of us who are land-locked or living in a small town will find some of the fish difficult to get. Fortunately, the vast majority of these fragrant and warm-seasoned dishes are within reach for everyone.

I really like the casual way the recipe directions are written. The chatty style makes me feel as if Srulovich and Packer were right beside me in the kitchen, talking me through the recipe. Their personalities--and humor--shine through. Here's a line from a bread recipe:
With a pair of sharp scissors, go all Edward Scissorhands on it--holding the scissors perpendicular to the dough, start snipping it every inch or so into little peaks. (p. 28)
So much fun, it makes me smile. And, by the way, the bread chapter is one of my favorites. I want to make everything: pita, bukhari, grilled bread, lavoush, and more. They all look easy and delicious.

The photography is stunning pulls you in to almost every page, whether you're learning how to make hummus, tabbouleh, shawarma, or lemon syrup cake. The recipes run the range from cool casual appetizers to more complicated lamb dumplings, but I promise nothing is too difficult to tackle.

Whether you're new to Middle Eastern food or dreaming of your favorite take-out, Honey & Co.: The Cookbook deserves a place on your kitchen bookshelf. I'm looking forward to cooking my way through the lamb dishes, the breads, the salads, and the little dishes. Thanks to Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer for teaching me how to cook some of my favorite meals.

Special diets: Vegetarians will find plenty to fit their needs, but people who are avoiding wheat may want to check the book out of the library before buying.

The recipe I'm sharing is, according to the book, Packer's favorite salad. I can't wait for peaches to come into season. I have a feeling I'll be eating this a lot. Note that you can use regular peaches or nectarines in this recipe if the white ones are hard to find.

Peaches & Goats' Cheese with Roasted Almonds
Serves 3-4 as a starter
  • 1 round lettuce (the soft-leaved one), broken into leaves and washed
  • 3 flat white peaches (such as doughnut or Saturn peach), each cut into 8 segments
  • 4 oz/120g soft rindless goats' cheese
  • 1/3 cup/50g roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 sprigs of cilantro, picked
  • a touch of sea salt
  • a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 tsp Demerara sugar
  • a pinch of salt
Arrange the soft lettuce leaves as a base on a serving plate, then top with the peaches, goats' cheese, almonds, and cilantro leaves. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and grind a little black pepper over the top.

Shake the dressing ingredients around in a small jar or airtight container, then spoon over the entire salad. Serve and watch it disappear.

Note on photos: The photos were scanned from the cookbook and re-cropped by me to fit the post. All rights remain with the original copyright holder (Patricia Niven).

Published by Little, Brown, 2015
ISBN-13: 9780316284301
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


JoAnn 6/13/15, 7:08 AM  

The salad looks so good! I'll definitely give that a try when peaches are in season... and will keep an eye out for this cookbook, too.

Amanda 6/13/15, 7:31 AM  

I love Middle Eastern food so much! Lebanese especially. I'll have to check this one out.

rhapsodyinbooks 6/13/15, 7:32 AM  

Wow, peaches and goat cheese - that sounds absolutely wonderful!

Kay 6/13/15, 7:38 AM  

That salad looks wonderful! Just the type that I like. And we already have peaches here in Texas. Our peaches are lovely and I really enjoy this season. Will have to try to duplicate this recipe.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/13/15, 7:49 AM  

I'm not as familiar with Middle Eastern food, but the peaches and goat cheese sound delicious! I love using peaches in salads.

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/13/15, 8:42 AM  

That salad looks so fabulous, it is calling my name.

Jackie McGuinness 6/13/15, 8:43 AM  

Such a pretty cover! I love middle Eastern food but then I love most food!

bermudaonion 6/13/15, 8:48 AM  

The cover is gorgeous and the cookbook sounds great!

jama 6/13/15, 9:04 AM  

That definitely is an alluring cover. Looks like a nice summer salad. Will have to look for this book!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/13/15, 9:09 AM  

That sounds like a perfect meal for a summer day in Texas. Thank you for sharing it.


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 6/13/15, 10:18 AM  

The peach and goat cheese salad looks delicious!! Sadly I've never really experienced Middle Eastern cooking but I'm wishing my library had a copy of this for me to browse through!

Vicki 6/13/15, 10:45 AM  

That recipe looks yummy! I have never tried goat cheese, but I see it included in a lot of recipes.

Alex 6/13/15, 11:08 AM  

This looks delicious and I especially love donut peaches. And though I'm not a big fan of goat cheese, I am trying to learn to like it more and this looks like a good way to do that.

Katherine P 6/13/15, 11:10 AM  

You must be a mind reader! I was just looking at this book in the bookstore the other day. It sounds fabulous!

Laurie C 6/13/15, 2:03 PM  

OMG, peaches, almonds, goat cheese, and cilantro are some of my favorite flavors! I never thought of combining them all in a salad. I have made pita before (in the pre-G/F days) and it was easier than I thought it would be!

jama 6/13/15, 2:39 PM  

Just corrected my link. Could you please delete the incorrect one? Sorry for the mix-up. Thanks!!

Beth S. 6/13/15, 3:01 PM  

I agree that cover of this is stunning. And I love Middle Eastern food so I will be seeking this one out.

Carole 6/13/15, 5:24 PM  

Thanks - I"ll be ordering this one up from the library. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

Debbie 6/13/15, 6:49 PM  

I love a cookbook with great photos. I haven't tried much Middle Eastern food, but I'm game!

Bellezza 6/13/15, 9:00 PM  

I wish I liked goat cheese because the salads and other dishes I've seen with it look so tantalizing. (Such as the picture in your post!) But, it always seems to leave a taste? scent? in the back of my nose which I can't abide. I'm so weird...

shelleyrae @ book'd out 6/14/15, 6:52 AM  

I'm not very familiar with Middle eastern foods, I agree the cover is pretty :)

Happy cooking
Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

Nan 6/14/15, 5:36 PM  

My favorite kind of food, bar none. I will be buying this one! Thanks so much.

Daryl 6/15/15, 5:51 AM  

sounds delish ... i love mideastern food, i love food .. salads .. and i am going to get this book as a gift for a friend i will be visiting soon who is a fabulous cook and who is always looking for new recipes to try, thanks!

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