I love Israeli food, but I’ve always been a little intimidated to cook from my trendy Israeli cookbooks.
That is, until Inbal Baum not only came into my life but came into my kitchen all the way from Israel and showed me how easy, delicious, and healthy Israeli cuisine can be to prepare and cook.
Inbal immigrated to Israel in 2009 from the U.S. and started Delicious Israel in 2011, offering foodies and culture-seekers a unique and adventurous way to vacation in Israel.
Forget the history tours (well, not really), Delicious Israel is the not-to-be-missed tour when traveling to Israel. The tours are limited to small groups, so you can easily veer off the beaten path to eat, explore, learn and experience the authentic “insider” scene of Israeli lifestyle, history and culture.
Tasty adventures can include a visit to the brothers running a Turkish family-owned deli on Levinsky Street, tasting shakshuka at a private Yemenite home nestled next to Shuk HaCarmel and learning about the origins of different spices from the immigrants who brought them to Israel. And, when Inbal came passing through San Francisco last month, we shared a fun and festive hands-on Shabbat lunch with some of our friends. It was as if she brought all the wonderful food purveyors from her tours with her.
Inbal opened my eyes to the magic of silan (date syrup) and pomegranate syrup, the many uses of tehina (besides just falafel), and game-changer spices such as sumac and hawaiij.
With Pom spritzers to begin, we threw on our Delicious Israel aprons and got to work. We made Roasted Cauliflower with Sumac, Tehina and Pomegranate Seeds, Shakshuka, a beautiful Market Salad, Pomegranate Glazed Salmon, Hawaiij Spiced French Toast, Tomatoes with Tehina, and the most delicious Flame-fired Eggplant with Tehina and Pomegranate Nectar Glaze.
Delicious Israel was truly delicious!! Thank you Inbal for bringing some of your Israeli food love into my home.
Flame-fired Eggplant with Tehina and Pomegranate Nectar Glaze
Recipe courtesy of Inbal Baum
1/4 cup pure tehina paste
1 tablespoon pomegranate nectar
Optional: parsley for garnish
On a gas stovetop, lay the eggplant directly over the medium-high flame. As the eggplant will release liquid and will char, you may want to place some aluminum foil around the burner for an easier clean-up process. Once you see the eggplant shrinking, use tongs to rotate it once and leave the eggplant to continue to char and shrink. Once it is sufficiently shriveled and soft, turn off the gas and, using the tongs, transfer the eggplant to a serving plate.
The eggplant can be served warm from the fire or can be cooled. To serve, cut the eggplant lengthwise (serve with skin on) and drizzle on the tehina and pomegranate nectar and squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon. Add optional parsley garnish.
To enjoy, scoop out the fleshy part of the eggplant with a fork or spoon.