100 books like The Jewish Cookbook

By Leah Koenig,

Here are 100 books that The Jewish Cookbook fans have personally recommended if you like The Jewish Cookbook. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of King Solomon's Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World: A Cookbook

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Author Of Cooking alla Giudia

From my list on Jewish cookbooks you should own.

Who am I?

I’m a food writer and photographer, and my area of expertise is Jewish cuisine. I'm pretty much a nerd when it comes to cookbooks and I think I own all of the available literature on kosher/Jewish cuisine. I was born in Milan, but I live and work in Santa Monica, California, where I also own a tiny business, Café Lovi. In 2009, I co-founded a website called Labna, the only Jewish/Kosher cooking blog in Italy, specializing in Italian and Jewish cuisine. Since then, I have been spreading the word about the marvels of Jewish food, and Italian Jewish food in particular, in Italy and abroad. Cooking alla Giudia is my English-language debut.

Benedetta's book list on Jewish cookbooks you should own

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Why did Benedetta love this book?

Joan Nathan is really an authority on Jewish cooking and her latest book, King Solomon's Table, is a wonderful compendium of Jewish recipes from all around the world and across the ages. The book manages to be both culturally informative and mouth-watering, thorough to a T, and at the same time approachable also for the less experienced home cooks.

This book makes a great gift for friends – newlyweds in particular - and is an amazing conversation starter as well: it fits equally well on a coffee table as in the kitchen.

By Joan Nathan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked King Solomon's Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A definitive compendium of Jewish recipes from around the globe and across the ages, from the James Beard Award-winning, much-loved cookbook author and “the queen of American Jewish cooking” (Houston Chronicle)

Driven by a passion for discovery, the biblical King Solomon is said to have sent emissaries on land and sea to all corners of the ancient world, initiating a mass cross-pollination of culinary cultures that continues to bear fruit today. With Solomon’s appetites and explorations in mind, in these pages Joan Nathan gathers together more than 170 recipes, from Israel to Italy to India and beyond.

Here are classics…


Book cover of Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen: A Cookbook

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Author Of Cooking alla Giudia

From my list on Jewish cookbooks you should own.

Who am I?

I’m a food writer and photographer, and my area of expertise is Jewish cuisine. I'm pretty much a nerd when it comes to cookbooks and I think I own all of the available literature on kosher/Jewish cuisine. I was born in Milan, but I live and work in Santa Monica, California, where I also own a tiny business, Café Lovi. In 2009, I co-founded a website called Labna, the only Jewish/Kosher cooking blog in Italy, specializing in Italian and Jewish cuisine. Since then, I have been spreading the word about the marvels of Jewish food, and Italian Jewish food in particular, in Italy and abroad. Cooking alla Giudia is my English-language debut.

Benedetta's book list on Jewish cookbooks you should own

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Why did Benedetta love this book?

Sababa is an Arabic word used in very colloquial Hebrew: it means something along the lines of “everything is cool.” Nothing describes Adeena’s book better than the title of the ebook itself: Sababa is really pretty cool, and so are all the recipes in it. Adeena takes the readers on an imaginary journey to shuk hacarmel, the vibrant street market of Tel Aviv, to shop for ingredients, and proceeds to share recipes for dishes that are fresh, healthy, full of bright and bold flavors. If you are going to read one book about modern Israeli cuisine, this should be it. 

By Adeena Sussman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sababa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"We should all be cooking like Adeena Sussman."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Sababa is a breath of fresh, sunny air."
--The New York Times

In an Israeli cookbook as personal as it is global, Adeena Sussman celebrates the tableau of flavors the region has to offer, in all its staggering and delicious variety

In Hebrew (derived from the original Arabic), sababa means "everything is awesome," and it's this sunny spirit with which the American food writer and expat Adeena Sussman cooks and dreams up meals in her Tel Aviv kitchen. Every morning, Sussman makes her way through the bustling stalls…


Book cover of Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Author Of Cooking alla Giudia

From my list on Jewish cookbooks you should own.

Who am I?

I’m a food writer and photographer, and my area of expertise is Jewish cuisine. I'm pretty much a nerd when it comes to cookbooks and I think I own all of the available literature on kosher/Jewish cuisine. I was born in Milan, but I live and work in Santa Monica, California, where I also own a tiny business, Café Lovi. In 2009, I co-founded a website called Labna, the only Jewish/Kosher cooking blog in Italy, specializing in Italian and Jewish cuisine. Since then, I have been spreading the word about the marvels of Jewish food, and Italian Jewish food in particular, in Italy and abroad. Cooking alla Giudia is my English-language debut.

Benedetta's book list on Jewish cookbooks you should own

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Why did Benedetta love this book?

I have never met Jake Cohen but his book, Jew-ish, makes me wish we were friends, and not only because he has the best book title pun ever. Jew-ish offers a brilliantly modern take on Jewish food and Jake’s personality really shines through every page of it. Jake’s enthusiasm for Jewish food is contagious. I often get annoyed when authors tweak traditional recipes in extravagantly creative ways, but the liberties that Jake takes on Jewish dishes really add a new dimension to them. I thought I’d dread things like Cacio e Pepe Rugelach (rugelach? salty? is it even legal?!), but I must say I’m a fan now: I’m a Jew-ish convert! :)

By Jake Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jew-ish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Jew-ish, he reinvents the food of his Ashkenazi heritage and draws inspiration from his husband's Persian-Iraqi traditions to offer recipes that are modern, fresh, and enticing for a whole new generation of readers. Imagine the components of an everything bagel wrapped into a flaky galette and latkes dyed vibrant yellow with saffron for a Persian spin on the potato pancake, plus best-ever hybrid desserts like Macaroon Brownies and Pumpkin Spice Babka! From elevated, yet approachable classics like Jake's Perfect Challah, Roasted Tomato Brisket, Short Rib Cholent, and Iraqi Beet Kubbeh Soup to innovative creations like Cacio e Pepe Rugelach,…


Book cover of 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Author Of Cooking alla Giudia

From my list on Jewish cookbooks you should own.

Who am I?

I’m a food writer and photographer, and my area of expertise is Jewish cuisine. I'm pretty much a nerd when it comes to cookbooks and I think I own all of the available literature on kosher/Jewish cuisine. I was born in Milan, but I live and work in Santa Monica, California, where I also own a tiny business, Café Lovi. In 2009, I co-founded a website called Labna, the only Jewish/Kosher cooking blog in Italy, specializing in Italian and Jewish cuisine. Since then, I have been spreading the word about the marvels of Jewish food, and Italian Jewish food in particular, in Italy and abroad. Cooking alla Giudia is my English-language debut.

Benedetta's book list on Jewish cookbooks you should own

Benedetta Jasmine Guetta Why did Benedetta love this book?

Every week on Thursday afternoon I find myself thinking “what will I cook today, to celebrate Shabbat tomorrow?” Even as a food writer, sometimes I run out of ideas. Since December last year, when 52 Shabbats came out, I have a new resource to refer to when I need inspiration. Faith's book includes a variety of classics and new dishes, organized in a way that makes dinner planning a breeze. In particular, I enjoy the fact that the main course recipes are organized by season, with reference to other courses that would complement them well.

The recipes are easy to follow, even if you have never cooked or tasted that specific Jewish dish before.

By Faith Kramer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 52 Shabbats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AS SEEN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Gorgeous" —The Washington Post 

Whether you are a longtime host of weekly Shabbat dinners or new to this global Jewish tradition, 52 Shabbats will spice up your Friday night in one way or another. This book offers a holistic scope of the Shabbat tradition for every reader, Jewish or otherwise. In it you'll find:

Over fifty primary recipes to anchor your menuMore than twenty recipes for side dishes, accompaniments, and dessertsShort essays that detail global foodways and historiesExplanation of the Shabbat ritual

Faith Kramer outlines recipe pairings in a mix-and-match friendly format, incorporating…


Book cover of Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Who am I?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

The Jewish-style delicatessen is one of the great gifts to food enthusiasts. Merwin’s extensive history details how Jewish immigrant cuisine arrived in America and evolved from an object of ethnic foreignness into part of mainstream culture. There are a large number of parallels between Jewish immigrant and Italian immigrant experiences, especially centered on food in places like New York City’s Lower East Side, where both groups congregated. Merwin mixes in pop cultural references alongside deep research. My favorite detail Merwin revealed was that by 1926, New York City had more than 900 different sandwich combinations.

By Ted Merwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pastrami on Rye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award in Education and Jewish Identity from the Jewish Book Council
The history of an iconic food in Jewish American culture
For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled-and in some ways surpassed-the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is…


Book cover of The Babka Sisters

Martha Seif Simpson Author Of Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim

From my list on fun picture books about Jewish holidays.

Who am I?

I’m a retired children’s librarian with years of experience choosing books and presenting storytimes. I’m also a picture book author. My first three published picture books were about holidays. I recently served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, so I had the opportunity to read all the Jewish picture books published from 2020-2023. Many were about holidays, and the books I selected are among my favorites because they are fun to read and they express the joy of these celebrations. (And yes, I consider Shabbat to be a holiday!)

Martha's book list on fun picture books about Jewish holidays

Martha Seif Simpson Why did Martha love this book?

It’s about babka! What’s not to like?

I love the clever wordplay in this story. The sisters’ names are Esther and Hester, and their pets are Lester and Chester. Both sisters claim they bake the best babka, and they ask their new neighbor, Sylvester (whose name also rhymes), to judge their friendly competition. Will he choose Esther’s cinnamon-filled babka or Hester’s chocolate-filled one?

I enjoy the sprinkling of Yiddish words (there’s a glossary in the back), the lively illustrations, and Sylvester’s witty resolution. There’s even a recipe for this traditional Jewish bread. A yummy book for Shabbat or any other day!

By Leslea Newman, Tika And Tata Bobokhidze (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Babka Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The great babka bake-off is on! Esther and Hester’s new neighbor, Sylvester, will gladly be their babka tester, and decide which sister’s Babka is the best. With cat Lester and dog Chester, the new friends enjoy a delicious Shabbat.


Book cover of New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq

Lior B. Sternfeld Author Of Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

From my list on Jewish histories of the Middle East.

Who am I?

I always felt that Middle Eastern studies is different from other fields of history. Its ever-presence in our life, the news cycle, religious life, political life, yet, because of language barriers and other filters, there’s a gap in knowledge that is highly conspicuous when forming one’s opinion. When I started my academic training, I felt like I was swimming in this ocean of histories that were completely unknown to me. I studied the Jewish histories of the region only later in my training and found that this gap is even more visible when talking about the history of Jews in the Middle East, because of misconceptions of antisemitism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political tilt of media outlet, and more. For me, entering this field was a way to understand long-term processes in my own society, and expand the body of scholarship to enrich the public conversation on top of the academic one.

Lior's book list on Jewish histories of the Middle East

Lior B. Sternfeld Why did Lior love this book?

Iraq was home to about 150,000 Jews until 1948-1951. Baghdad was a very much Jewish city. Iraqi Jews were very assimilated, but there was very little known about the political and social history of Iraqi Jews beyond the Zionist story. While many of the Iraqi Jews did indeed view Zionism as a viable solution for them, overlooking Jewish involvement in Iraqi national and communist organizations misses several of the most fascinating transformations of any Jewish community in the world. In this book, Bashkin analyzed the social, cultural, and national participation of Iraqi Jews from within the perspective of Iraqi society. Interestingly, many of the patterns continued even after their migration to Israel.

By Orit Bashkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New Babylonians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi patriots, their community-which had existed in Iraq for more than 2,500 years-was displaced following the establishment of the state of Israel. New Babylonians chronicles the lives of these Jews, their urban Arab culture, and their hopes for a democratic nation-state. It studies their ideas about Judaism, Islam, secularism, modernity, and reform, focusing on Iraqi Jews who internalized narratives of Arab and Iraqi nationalisms and on those who turned to communism in the 1940s. As the book reveals, the ultimate displacement of this community was not the result of a perpetual persecution on the…


Book cover of A Book of Middle Eastern Food

Elisabeth Luard Author Of European Peasant Cookery

From my list on cookbooks published at moments of change.

Who am I?

I’m a home cook, not a restaurant chef. I add a pinch of this and splash of that. As a chronicler of other people's culinary habits, I need to understand why we cook the way we do. At its simplest and most basic, what goes into the ancestral cooking-pot depends on who we are, where we live, and where we come from. Which is why whenever we want to remind ourselves who we are, we look for traditional recipes in culinary bibles produced at moments of change. I was born at a moment of change myself, in bombed-out London in 1941, at the height of the Blitz.  

Elisabeth's book list on cookbooks published at moments of change

Elisabeth Luard Why did Elisabeth love this book?

After President Nasser expelled her family along with most of Egypt's Jewish population in the 1950s, young Claudia Douek, art student in London, began to collect memories and family recipes from her fellow refugees.

The subtext is what it means to be a woman - young or old - obliged to create a new life in an alien land. I once asked Claudia why it is that so many cookery writers are of Jewish descent (as am I): "Simple. We need to remember who we are." 

A stylish writer with an artist's eye who's also a serious historian, Middle Eastern is the book I treasure not only for culinary inspiration (authenticity guaranteed), but for the accuracy and accessibility of her beautiful prose. 

By Claudia Roden, Alta Ann Parkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Book of Middle Eastern Food as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 500 recipes from the subtle, spicy, varied cuisines of the Middle East, ranging from inexpensive but tasty peasant fare to elaborate banquet dishes.


Book cover of In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story

Ilan Pappé Author Of Ten Myths About Israel

From my list on understanding modern Palestine.

Who am I?

Ilan Pappé is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of PalestineThe Modern Middle EastA History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Ilan's book list on understanding modern Palestine

Ilan Pappé Why did Ilan love this book?

There is no better way of understanding what it means to be a Palestinian than reading a personal account. When this account is written by one of the veteran activists on behalf of Palestine in the West and a scholar by her own right, the reward is even greater for the reader of this autobiographical tale.  

By Ghada Karmi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Search of Fatima as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ghada Karmi's acclaimed memoir relates her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humor describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in 'Little Tel Aviv' and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine. Ghada's personal story is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. "In Search of Fatima" reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians…


Book cover of Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century

Alan Verskin Author Of A Vision of Yemen: The Travels of a European Orientalist and His Native Guide, A Translation of Hayyim Habshush's Travelogue

From my list on the life stories of modern Middle Eastern Jews.

Who am I?

I am a history professor who is drawn to history out of a love of recovering and making accessible otherwise forgotten voices and stories of the past. I’m especially interested in relationships between Jews and Muslims and how they’ve dealt with minorityhood, displacement, colonialism, and modernization. I’ve written four books, two focusing on Muslims and two on Jews, as well as numerous articles. Among my greatest pleasures as a scholar is seeing my readers begin with an interest in the stories of one religious group (either Muslims or Jews) and then become so curious about the drama, joy, and conflicts of the era that they become interested in the stories of the other as well.

Alan's book list on the life stories of modern Middle Eastern Jews

Alan Verskin Why did Alan love this book?

A true academic page-turner, Family Papers is an intimate, intergenerational portrait of an Ottoman Jewish family from Salonica, a city that a young David Ben Gurion once dubbed “the most Jewish city on earth.” Sara Abrevaya Stein describes their transformation as they are buffeted by the events of the twentieth century that nearly extinguish them and see them dispersed and living under “Greek, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, British, Indian and Brazilian rule.” Stein’s book is simultaneously a powerful lesson in the historian’s craft and a compelling introduction to an era that saw borders redrawn, nations invented, and Jewish identity reimagined.

By Sarah Abrevaya Stein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Papers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers and editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars of the twentieth century, however, redrew the borders around them, in the process transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across boundaries and hemispheres, stretching the familial diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil, and India. In time, the Holocaust nearly eviscerated the clan, eradicating whole branches of the family tree.

In Family Papers, the prize winning Sephardic…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Jewish history, the Middle East, and the Holocaust?

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