Jerusalem is so much more than a collection of recipes.
It comprises the culinary memories of the two men behind the celebrated London restaurant chain Ottolenghi, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Each was born in the book's namesake city the same year, but on different sides--Ottolenghi on the Jewish west side, Tamimi in the eastern Arab section.
The tome ($35) tantalizes with lush photographs of Jerusalem's multitudes of culinary influences, from Northern African to Middle Eastern to German and Lithuanian. On one page, you'll find a quick history of the country of Georgia; on another, Ottolenghi's earliest memories of gefilte fish.
And then there are the recipes. Paging through, we wanted to prepare and eat every dish: chermoula-spiced eggplant; watercress and chickpea soup with rose water; prawns, scallops and clams with tomato and feta.
Our Test Kitchen cooked the book's roasted sweet potatoes with balsamic-vinegar glaze (see the recipe), one of the more popular dishes at the pair's restaurants. We lightened it a touch by reducing the oil and eliminating the goat cheese.
The textural pop of the charred potatoes and crisped scallions and chiles was intoxicating--nearly as much as Jerusalem itself.