The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Roasted Eggplant with Lemon & Garlic Tahini Sauce

TahiniEggplantI had been thinking about this lemon and garlic tahini sauce since I made it last week for the Roasted Butternut Squash dish from the Jerusalem cookbook, and was trying to conjure more applications for it. I decided to try it with eggplant and was so excited when the combination turned out so scrumptious, so meant to be, so… familiar, when — midway through scarfing it down — I realized what I had was actually a deconstructed Baba Ghanouj, with all the Baba Ghanouj flavors (eggplant, lemon, garlic, tahini) but just in a different form. I love the almost-meaty texture of eggplant, sliced thickly and roasted, so I think I like this even better than the pureed kind. In fact, if I were a vegetarian, this would most certainly be my steak. Happy Weekend!

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“Jerusalem” Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini & Za’atar

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This dish, like so many I’m finding in the lovely cookbook Jerusalem, is a celebration of colors and flavors. The recipe is straightforward, the combination is so innovative (Who knew a tahini and lemon sauce would go so incredibly well with butternut squash?) and the results are beautiful, delicious, wowing. Ottolenghi and Tamimi, you’ve got me hooked on your amazing food.

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“Jerusalem” Yogurt Pudding with Poached Cherries

IMG_6788My oh my, we are in love with this dessert. This yogurt-based pudding, much like a panna cotta, makes an elegant presentation, and its tart-and-sweet complexity makes it all the more interesting. Vanilla and orange zest give it intense flavors, while cream, milk, and yogurt combine for a silky-smooth creaminess. The recipe, from the amazing Jerusalem cookbook, calls for fresh peaches, but I improvised some and used frozen cherries instead, and they were a wonderful complement to the vanilla, ouzo, and lemon flavors in the sauce. Delicious! I’m looking forward to making this with summer-ripe peaches too.

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“Jerusalem” Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Ouzo

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My new Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi enchants and entices me on every page. Somehow the authors manage to transform traditional and familiar dishes from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine into even more delicious, vibrant, and novel flavor combinations. We had the roasted chicken with clementines last night (substituting ouzo for arak), and it was sensational! The recipe heaps on intense anise seasonings from fennel, fennel seed, and the anise-scented liquor, but in the roasting process, it imparts just a subtle anise note with an enormous punch of wowing flavor. My tastebuds were dancing at each bite of tender and delicious chicken — slightly charred but moist — the softened fennel, the hints of thyme, and the delightfully bittersweet slices of clementines, peel and all.

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