Real Food Reads Book Club
Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen
A celebration of Palestinian cuisine featuring more than 80 recipes, captivating stories, and stunning photography.
Yasmin Khan unlocks the flavors and fragrances of modern Palestine, from the olive groves of Nazareth, the spice markets of Jerusalem, and the fishing ports of Gaza.
Her journey takes her from the pomegranate juice stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, to the home kitchens of refugees, surrounded by the Wall in Bethlehem, via the knafeh sweet shops of bustling downtown Nablus. On her travels, she learns how to hand-roll maftool, the plump Palestinian giant couscous, harvests black olives from the groves of Burquin in the West Bank, and even finds time to down a pint with workers at the Taybeh brewery who are producing the first Palestinian craft beer. As she feasts and cooks with Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds, she learns about the realities of their everyday lives, witnessed through the act of breaking bread.
One of the Best Cookbooks of the Year as chosen by The Guardian, BookRiot, The Kitchn, KCRW, and Literary Hub
Praise for Zaitoun
“Yasmin Khan draws on her vast experience as a storyteller, cook, human rights activist, itinerant traveller and writer to create a moving, empathetic, hugely knowledgeable and utterly delicious book.”
“This is the best kind of cookbook, one which tells you about people through the stories of their food. Compelling reading, gorgeous pictures—and the most delicious recipes. I can’t wait to start cooking.”
— Ruth Reichl
“A zingingly evocative collection of personal stories…Calling it a cookbook does it a disservice. Zaitoun deserves to be read as much as cooked from.”
— Tim Lewis, Guardian
“As a Palestinian who grew up in Jerusalem, I have been conditioned to be wary of any non-Palestinian trying to share our story and our culture with the world…Very quickly I found myself in tears at just how beautifully and accurately she has captured the essence of our Palestinian culture. Yasmin Khan you have done Palestinians and our story justice, your understanding of the nuances of our culture and history is unparalleled.”
— Reem Kassis, author of The Palestinian Table
About the Author
Yasmin Khan is a best-selling and award-winning author, broadcaster and campaigner, who is passionate about sharing people’s stories through food. Her work sits on the intersection of food, travel and politics and her critically-acclaimed books, The Saffron Tales and Zaitoun, use everyday stories to human connection to challenge stereotypes of the Middle East.
Yasmin has worked as a presenter for BBC R4’s Food Programme and CNN’s Perfect Dish series. She is a regular media commentator, appearing on flagship programs such as Newsnight, the Today program and Women’s Hour, and writes for a variety of publications including the Guardian, the Telegraph, the New Statesmen, Saveur, Afar, Food52 and Roads and Kingdoms. Prior to her writing career, Yasmin trained in Law and was a human rights campaigner for a decade, running national and international campaigns on poverty and human rights.
Yasmin is also a sought after public speaker who has delivered hundreds of motivational and inspiring speeches around the world on issues relating to activism, creativity, burnout, career change, and human rights in the Middle East.
Header image: Recipes from Zaitoun (Matt Russell)