Husband and wife team Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer of Honey & Co restaurant share two recipes from their new cookbook of the same name…
With a mutual passion for all things culinary, Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer have been wowing customers and critics alike since their tiny Fitzrovia restaurant Honey & Co opened in 2012.
Now the Israeli husband and wife team, who first met in a kitchen restaurant 10 years ago, have drawn on their talent and published their first cookbook.
Honey and Co: Food From The Middle East is packed with tasty recipes inspired by fresh fruit and vegetables, wild honey, big bunches of herbs, crunchy salads, smoky lamb, bread straight from the oven, old-fashioned stews, Middle Eastern traditions, falafel, dips and, of course, plenty of tahini on everything.
Itamar was most recently head chef at Ottolenghi, while Sarit was both head of pastry at Ottolenghi and executive chef at Nopi.
- Honey & Co: Food From The Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich is published by Saltyard Books, priced £25. Available now
- Badargani – aubergine rolls with walnuts & pomegranate
This is a festive, colourful, good-looking vegetarian dish with tons of flavour. You can serve this as a starter if you want, or as a main with some yogurt and a large green salad.
Makes: Dinner for four
4 large aubergines,trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for brushing/drizzling
For the filling
1 large red onion (about 150g)
a pinch of cayenne
100g toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
(reserve 2 tbsp to garnish)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
100g fresh pomegranate seeds (reserve 2 tbsp to garnish)
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped (about 15g to 20g)
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
Heat the oven to 220ºC/2OOºC fan/gas mark 7. Slice each aubergine into five or six slices lengthways. Keep the outside slices for the filling and use the long, inside slices for the rolls.
Brush a baking tray with oil and place the inside slices flat on it. Drizzle with some more oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Roast for 12 minutes, then turn the tray around in the oven to ensure the slices cook evenly. Roast for another 8 to 12 minutes until golden and soft. Set aside to cool.
While the slices are in the oven, peel and finely dice the onion. Cut the aubergine trimmings (the outside slices) into the same sized cubes. Fry the onion in the oil over a medium heat until it starts to soften, then add the diced aubergine and salt. Cook until the aubergine goes very soft.
Remove the pan from the stove and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and taste, adjusting seasoning as necessary. Put a large spoonful of the filling at one end of each roasted aubergine slice and roll them into thick sausages. Place the filled aubergine rolls in an ovenproof serving dish.
If you have filling left over, spread it around the edges of the dish. Place in the oven for five minutes to warm through before serving. Sprinkle the rolls with the reserved walnuts and pomegranate seeds and serve three rolls per person.
- Carrot and butternut fritters
This recipe makes about 25 small fritters, which is enough for six to eight people as a generous mezze, or for four as a vegetarian main course (with some green salad and a dipping sauce). Any leftover fritters can be stored in the fridge overnight and will be great the next day in a lunchbox or a sandwich. You can prepare the fritters in advance and warm them up in a medium-hot oven for five minutes before serving, but they are also great at room temperature. If you can’t be bothered with the dipping sauce, thick natural yogurt is a delicious alternative.
Makes: 25 2 eggs
1 large carrot, peeled (about 150g) 6 sprigs of tarragon, picked and roughly chopped
1 medium potato, peeled (about 150g) ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ butternut squash, peeled and deseeded (about 150g) ½ tsp ground cardamom pods
½ onion, peeled (about 60g) 3 tbsp wholemeal flour
½ tsp plus another ½ tsp salt ½ tsp baking powder
vegetable oil for frying
For the chive sour cream
1 small tub of sour cream (about 170ml)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise
½ bunch of chives, chopped finely
some freshly ground black pepper
Grate all the vegetables on a coarse grater (or food processor) and place in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt and mix lightly.
Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature to draw out the excess water.
Place the eggs, tarragon, remaining half teaspoon of salt, pepper, ground cardamom, flour and baking powder in a bowl.
Squeeze out whatever liquid you can from the vegetables, add them to the bowl and mix vigorously to combine.
Heat about 2cm of oil in a frying pan, and line a plate with absorbent kitchen paper. Scoop little spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry for about a minute until they start to crisp up.
Flip the fritters carefully and fry on the other side for another minute or so till crisp. Remove to the lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
Mix all the chive sour cream ingredients together (I wouldn’t add any salt, as chives have a natural saltiness to them) and serve with the fritters.