Food History

8 Recipes from a Reigning Queen of Jewish Cooking

April 10, 2017

Joan Nathan’s King Solomon’s Table hit shelves last Tuesday. It's her eleventh cookbook, a breathing historical document that traverses the globe for 170 recipes of the Jewish diaspora, from the Bene Israel fish curry of India to the spicy Arctic char stewed in tomato sauce, or Ahareimi, of Libya.

King Solomon’s Table is the kind of archival work Nathan’s been doing for decades. Once a protégé of Knopf’s Judith Jones and the host of her own PBS show, Nathan, now 74, has long assumed a position as a chronicler (and preserver) of Jewish history through food. She's gone to France in search of the quiches, kugels, and couscous of its Jewish inhabitants; she's looked at Israel's tangled foodways, past and present; she's made recipes for kids observing Jewish holidays.

Nathan has collected, and composed, so many recipes since she began writing cookbooks in 1975. These are a few. If you can’t yet get to King Solomon’s Table, let these recipes hold you over.

What's your favorite Joan Nathan recipe? Let us know in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.