I’ve never been much of a brunch person. Not one to stand in lines, I prefer to be running around doing stuff, then sitting around stuffing myself. Or something like that. Don’t get me wrong, I like to eat. Obviously.
Recently we signed up for a pop-up Israeli brunch crafted by Itamar Abramovitch and Nate Smith because: 1) if I had a ticket, then I assumed I wouldn’t have to queue and 2) I’m a big fan of Israeli food.
On a slightly foggy morning, just behind the Oxbow Market, a small group of us gathered outside to eat a wood-fired feast. I used it as an opportunity to pull out my neglected camera and remind myself how to use it.
We started with lots of yeasty bread to start, accompanied by labneh and tehina sauce.
Next up was the wonderfully zesty citrus salad with mandarins, blood orange and marcona almonds, pictured above. Then came the barely-cooked trout served in a salad.
As we tucked into our first dishes, cast iron pans with rich tomato sauce were bubbling away in the oven, getting ready for the addition of many eggs for shakshuka. We mopped up the tomatoey juices with pita bread.
By now we were fit to bursting, and the sun itself had burst out from behind the cloud, no doubt enticed by all the sunshiney egg yolks. But we weren’t quite done. The finale was a golden rice pudding with a yummy burnt caramel sauce. Delicious.
If you want to cook your own Israeli feast, then I highly recommend the wonderful cookbook, Zahav, introduced to me by none other than Itamar, one of our chefs for the day. See how life comes full circle?