Let Leah Koenig be your guide to the centuries-long history and culinary splendors of Roman Jewish food. These dishes feature everything I love about Jewish cooking—warming stews, pickled things, international flavors from Jewish diasporas, and, of course, creative takes on cooking with matzo, seen through the lens of Italy's produce-driven cuisine. Koenig’s recipes are fresh and weeknight-friendly with crystal clear explanations on less-obvious techniques, like preparing and frying Roman Jewish artichokes.
— Lucy Simon - Food & WinePortico
celebrates the Roman Jewish community and its cuisine. There’s pasta e ceci, a hearty tomato-based chickpea and pasta stew that requires just a few pantry staples and has quickly become a go-to recipe in my household, along with the velvety zucchini marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar. Though the braised artichokes are a labor of love, every minute spent trimming the tough outer leaves is worth it: Simmered with garlic, olive oil, and white wine, each bite is tender and flavorful. I’d love to return to Rome, but for now, I’ll make do by cooking out of Koenig’s book.
— Genevieve Yam - Bon Appétit
Jewish-food authority Leah Koenig celebrates the unique cuisine of the Jewish community of Rome (the oldest in Europe) in Portico
, a collection of more than 100 recipes. The compendium is named for Via del Portico d’Ottavia, the road leading to Rome’s Jewish ghetto, where the city’s Jewish community still thrives. And the recipes within are nothing short of transcendent, including classics like stracotto di manzo, a wine-braised beef stew, and carciofi alla giudia, the quintessential fried artichokes. It’s a great place to begin exploring the wide-ranging parameters of what we call Jewish food.
— Dorie Chevlen and Samantha Schoech - Wirecutter
The kind of cookbook you can page through like a novel, reading for culinary wisdom, but also for deeply heartening stories and maybe a little life advice . . . Portico
is equal parts transportive and engrossing, with Koenig herself acting as historian, anthropologist, student, and teacher. You’ll want to flip through these pages over and over, and over again.
— Zoe Denenberg - Epicurious
To say [Portico
] was worth the wait is an understatement; I’ll be spending this fall working through its garlicky pumpkin spread, fried artichokes, spaghetti with tuna and tomato, and, duh, the Roman flatbread. Plus, from its typeface to its photography, this is just a classy, beautiful volume that feels upscale but approachable (read: your mother would approve).
— Adam Rothbarth - Vice
Jewish Roman food is one of those culinary side streets very much worth our time and attention, and I will be cooking out of this book for some time to come.
— Christopher Kimball - Milk Street
It was only recently that I explored the food of Rome’s Jewish community. Between olive-oil-soaked vegetables and crispy fried artichokes, I couldn’t get enough. I can’t wait to bring these recipes into my own kitchen with Koenig’s newest cookbook.
— Sheela Prakash, author of Salad Seasons, in Food & Wine
A gorgeous, heartfelt book that shines light on a uniquely delicious corner of Roman cuisine. A fascinating read—and a delight to cook from!
— Gwyneth Paltrow, actor, CEO goop
A talented interpreter of both cuisine and culture, Leah Koenig combines her celebrated research skills and cooking chops with a tenderness that brings Rome’s Jewish recipes and stories to life. I’m heartened to know that any time I want, I can simply open Portico
to bring authentic, soulful Jewish Rome into my home kitchen.
— Adeena Sussman, author of Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen
How do you distill Europe’s most ancient Jewish cuisines into a single volume without compromising their richness? Ask Leah Koenig, who has assembled recipes that paint a complete portrait of Rome’s cucina ebraica, from long-rooted favorites like concia and pomodori a mezzo to the spiced and garlicky cershi and tbeha of the Libyan diaspora.
— Katie Parla, author of Food of the Italian Islands
Koenig is a genius at interpreting traditional dishes in a progressive, respectful, and of course, unbelievably delicious way.
— Jenny Rosenstrach - Dinner: A Love Story
Sumptuous . . . Koenig delivers a lively tale of modern-day Roman Jewish food culture, peppering it with bright and enticing photography and histories and anecdotes from Jewish chefs, butchers, and others living in the Eternal City.
— Jessica S. Levy - Booklist
Koenig’s well-researched journey delivers a wealth of history, detailing waves of immigration that shaped Roman Jewish cuisine.
— Sarah Tansley - Library Journal
A vibrant culinary tour. . . . Koenig’s inviting introduction to Roman Jewish fare is sure to inspire home cooks of any faith.
— Publishers Weekly