Green Shakshuka & 'Cook in Israel' Cookbook Giveaway

So happy to have Katherine back in this space with her new project as the editor and photographer of the self published book, Cook in Israel, by Orly Ziv who is of a Greek, Jewish background. I have known a handful Greek Israelis growing up. The parents were from Saloniki (Thessaloniki) and the father was a World War II labor camp survivor. Back in 2011 Katherine was gracious to write a guest post and give us a tour of Mahane Yehuda Market, in Jerusalem, along with a Hummus recipe. Katherine lives now in the Southern part of Israel, where her husband is studying medicine, but often visits her home and stomping ground, NYC. Speaking of which, I was sad to miss her the last couple of times I was back in Israel, as she was visiting the States. I love Katherine's writings on her blog as well as the various publications she was published in. I almost squealed with joy when I saw she was sharing a green shakshuka recipe here, which I meant to post for years now. It was completely uncoordinated. Telepathic. It was faith. Hop below for a fascinating recipe and read.
Thank you so much to Shulie for hosting me on Food Wanderings today! Shulie and I have developed a relationship through our blogs and, specifically, through our Israel connection. Having lived in Israel for the past three years I’ve fallen head over heels for the food. I’ve been exposed to Jewish and Arab cooking from around the world, and have developed a much more nuanced appreciation for these international cuisines. Israeli food is becoming quite popular these days, but there still only handful fabulous English-language Israeli cookbooks on the market. Which is one of the many reasons I was so excited to work on a cookbook with Orly Ziv.
Orly is a dietician and nutritionist by training, and runs culinary tours and cooking classes through her company Cook in Israel. I first met Orly years ago while working on an article about culinary tours in Israel, and instantly fell in love with her cooking style and warm personality. When she approached me about photographing and editing her cookbook, I was over the moon. The project  - Cook in Israel: Home Cooking with Orly Ziv – has been a labor of love since we went the self-publishing route and so did everything ourselves. But our small team of three (myself, Orly, and the immensely talented designer Idit Yatzkan) dedicated countless hours to ensuring that every little thing met our exacting standards. I went to Orly’s home in Ramat HaSharon, just north of Tel Aviv, almost once a week to photograph the recipes. No food styling, nothing artificial, no fancy set-up: just a camera, tripod, natural light (with the occasional help from my Lowell Ego light on rainy days), and Orly’s delicious food.

The recipes in the book are all ones that Orly makes at home for her family. It’s a personal collection of simple, healthy dishes that are easy to prepare. They draw on Orly’s Greek-Jewish heritage as well as all the cuisines that are pot of the melting pot (or tossed salad – pick your metaphor!) that is Israeli cuisine.
The greatest perk of the job was of course being able to sample each and every dish in the book – and I can tell you honestly and without reservation that they’re all absolutely amazing. I’ve cooked many of the recipes myself as well, and lots are now in my regular rotation. Some of my favorites include fail-safe challah bread, a surprising herb and feta salad, a perfect shredded carrot and pecan salad that goes with everything – and this green shakshuka.

Traditionally shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce that hails from Libya and is popular throughout North Africa. It has become one of the adopted national dishes of Israel and can be found at every cafĂ© in the country. A popular but less common alternative is green shakshuka, where the eggs are cooked in spinach instead of tomatoes. It’s fresh, healthy, and immensely satisfying and makes for a great breakfast, lunch, or light supper. It’s naturally gluten free (although it’s best served with plenty of bread for dipping) and is easy to make.

To check out another recipe from the book, see my recent Shavuot/Mother’s Day post with the recipe for Israeli-Style Cheesecake.

About the Book: Nutritionist, cooking instructor, and culinary tour guide Orly Ziv is pleased to announce the release of her first cookbook, Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration with Orly Ziv. Filled with 100 kosher, mostly vegetarian recipes accompanied by beautiful color photographs (including many step-by-step illustrations), the English-language cookbook shows that healthy and delicious home cooking doesn’t need to be time consuming or complicated.
Books can be ordered through her website at and can be shipped worldwide. They will be available on Amazon and as an e-book in the near future.

Cook in Israel Cookbook Giveaway:
1. Available for shipping worldwide to one lucky winner.
2. Follow @MartinelliEats on Twitter
3. Follow @foodwanderings on Twitter and share on twitter: "I have entered @foodwanderings 'Cook in Israel' Cookbook GIVEAWAY Shipped Worldwide."
4. Like Food Wanderings page on Facebook and share the giveaway if you are not on twitter.
5. Leave up to 4 comments letting us know you followed and what fascinates you about the eclectic food of Israel.
6. The lucky winner will be picked by at midnight Thursday,  June 6th. Comments will be open until then.

Both preview and giveaway copies are provided by the author.

Green Shakshuka
Recipe by Orly Ziv, reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration from Orly Ziv
Serves 4 to 6

3-4 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 spring onions, sliced (optional)
1 bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped (leaves and stalks separated)
1 bunch spinach leaves, roughly chopped 
2 Tbs. white wine
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
4-6 eggs
Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, spring onions, and Swiss chard stalks until the onions are golden brown.

Add the spinach and Swiss chard leaves. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the leaves lose half of their volume.

Stir in the wine and cream and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
Break an egg into a small dish and gently slide into the pan. Repeat with remaining eggs, evenly spacing them within the pan.

Cover and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft (or to your preference).
Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese, if using, and serve with plenty of fresh bread.