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Joan Nathan

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About the Author

Joan NathanJoan Nathan is the author of 11 cookbooks including her newest, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World (Knopf). Her previous cookbook, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf), was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine and Bon Appétit magazines.  She is a regular contributor to the New York Times and Tablet Magazine. She has won James Beard Awards and IACP Awards and was named Grande Dame by Les Dames d’Escoffier in 2015.

Kolokuthokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)

Recipe by Joan Nathan

<em>Kolokuthokeftedes</em> (Zucchini Fritters)

Across from the ancient Agora in Athens is a line of outdoor restaurants with stunning views of the Parthenon. At one, called To Kouti, meaning “The Box,” are served the best zucchini fritters in Athens, even better than those I used to eat in Jerusalem, many years ago.

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Slightly Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Slightly Sweet and Sour Cabbage

This recipe comes from Sara Yaech, a woman whom I met on a trip to Havana the week before Barack Obama visited Cuba. Descended on her father’s side from Turkish Jews who came from Istanbul to this Spanish-speaking country in the 1920s, Sara grew up with Turkish and Ladino food. An amazingly alive woman in

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Libyan Saefra, King Solomon’s Cake

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Libyan <em>Saefra</em>, King Solomon’s Cake

Many families in Libya used to squeeze oranges and bottle the juice to be used all year round. According to Claudia Roden, in her magnificent Book of Jewish Food, using oranges in cakes was a particularly Jewish practice. These cakes, usually prepared with the tart Seville oranges that had to be boiled for hours to

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Horseradish and Beet Sauce

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Horseradish and Beet Sauce

Jews serve horseradish, sliced as a root or ground into a sauce, at Passover to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. It was in Ashkenaz, what is now Alsace-Lorraine and southern Germany, that the horseradish root replaced the romaine and arugula of more southerly climates as the bitter herbs at the Passover dinner. Today, farmers in France

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Salmon Gefilte Fish Mold with Horseradish and Beet Sauce

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Salmon Gefilte Fish Mold with Horseradish and Beet Sauce

Although gefilte innovation like the first jarred fish and the frozen loaves are taking over now, I still, as with many things, prefer the taste of homemade that I make twice a year for Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Before Passover, at what we call a “gefilte-in,” friends assemble in my kitchen with their own pots,

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Arkansas Pear Haroset

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Arkansas Pear <em>Haroset</em>

This recipe is adapted from Michael Selig of Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef at the time, and I prepared it together and served it at the 2012 White House Passover seder.

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Passover Almond Macaroons

Recipe by Joan Nathan

Passover Almond Macaroons

In Jewish homes in France and all around the world, recipes for macaroons have been handed down from mother to daughter for centuries. Jewish macaroons are descended from the Ladino marunchinos and almendredas, both terms for almond cookies. In fact, during the Inquisition, historian David Gitlitz told me, crypto-Jews were accused of having bought almond

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My Favorite Brisket

Recipe by Joan Nathan

My Favorite Brisket

Gedempte Fleysch—”well stewed”—that’s how Eastern European Jews prefer their meat. Slow cooking, of course, became a practical necessity with grainy cuts of forequarter meat. Because a brisket stretched into many meals, it was an economical cut for large families in Europe. Leftovers were ground up to stuff knishes or kreplach. The meaty gravy became the

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