When I cook, I try to free myself
from any restrictions.
I try not to cook from my head,
but to cook from my stomach.
It’s not about knowledge.
It’s about being tuned to the ingredients.
I use only seasonal ingredients.
Fennel seeds, the chilies,
the salt, the sugar.
It’s like being a jazz musician.
You just do, you just do.
So this is an amazing pot from India
that actually you cook in it.
Okay, so let’s pick something.
We’re going to go for our lovely salads.
Wai, wai, wai, wai, wai.
(Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.)
It’s the best.
Very heavy metal.
Do you like heavy metal?
(gentle guitar music)
I love watermelon.
We in Israel eat all the time watermelons.
All summer long, we eat with it,
feta cheese, but with a small twist.
So let’s start by cutting the watermelon.
For the salad, I need only the red part.
Let’s do another one.
Watermelon in Israel
is the classic dessert.
We have tons of watermelons.
This is the seedless one,
but the heirloom kind is with the seeds.
And when I was a child, in Tel Aviv,
every day in the afternoon,
there was lots of watermelons
and they will shout
for al ha Sakin, al ha Sakin,
“on the knife,” “on the knife,” literally.
And we come and will cut half
of the watermelon.
We loved it, I love this
moment of al ha Sakin.
Let’s cut it into cubes.
Bite sized, kind of.
(knife thunking and clattering)
There are many ways to
choose a good watermelon.
Sometimes they’re too ripe.
Sometimes they’re not ripe enough.
You tap it.
Tap your fingers on top of the watermelon,
it has to be, you have to feel the echo,
like you do for eggplant in a way,
or like you do for a
bread when you want to see
if it’s ready.
Okay, and now let me take the purslane
that we took in the garden.
Purslane is a lovely
herb that we used to give
to the chickens here in Israel.
There’s a lot of pectin in it,
like in okra and in quince.
And so they add it to their
soups in order to thicken them.
You just separate the
leaves from the stem.
Let me crush some black pepper.
And I’m going to add some black pepper.
Put some gray salt.
Not too much.
And then I put the cheese on top.
It’s a feta cheese, but it’s a local one
that is made not far away.
In Tzfat, it’s a city, it’s an old city,
not far away from here.
And this is a very distinct feta cheese
that is made out of sheep milk.
The idea of this salad is the
sweetness of the watermelon
and the crunchiness of it,
and then the softness of the leaves,
the softness of the cheese,
contrasting textures and flavors.
Drizzle on some olive
oil and this is ready.
Renowned chef, baker, and cookbook author celebrated as the “Godfather” of modern Israeli cuisine, Erez Komarovsky takes viewers on a journey to discover the roots of his Middle Eastern cuisine. Starting from the bustling markets of Tel Aviv, Israel to his blissful home in the North Galilee, Erez teaches viewers how to bake his “flowering” Challah and Pita breads, plus his signature dishes including Lamb Kebabs, Hummus Mezze with Falafel, Harissa Chicken, Fish Crudo and more.