Friday, 27 August 2010

A day in the country

I don't own a summer house in Provence or a beach hut in the South of France. I've been hot and sweaty and immensely grateful for having an air conditioner, a piece of useful machinery that has kept me sane the past few weeks. This week I left Tel Aviv for a day trip to the land beyond, for a short yet effective vacanza.
A two- hour drive takes me to the tip of the country, a small village in the upper Galilee, called Matat. This is the closest thing to faraway in the nearby area. There is a house and a balcony, a fire place and a selection of furnaces, all conducted under the crafty hands of Erez Komarovsky.
Erez realized his fantasy, left the big city in favor of a small piece of land. Noise and pollution have made way for a fertile orchard, where everything is edible. There are forgotten local herbs, fresh spices, seasonal fruit and indigenous vegetables, all grown, picked and prepared with love and care, as they ought to be.
This is outside. Indoors is the kitchen; the core of the house. The floor is always covered with bowls overflowing with colorful goods from the garden and baskets with their remains, on their way back to the garden, as compost or chicken feed.
On the morning I arrive a crate of mushroom is quickly transformed to a table centerpiece resembling a giant coral reef that has been pulled out of the water. The furnace is working on full power scorching tomatoes as fresh cheese and mushroom focaccias are proofing.
I spent the morning strolling the terraces, picking herbs, munching on leaves and breathing the the cool breeze. Conveniently, the neighbors are bee keepers and honey is on the tap. Between plum, sage, Marjoram and wild flower honeys, I choose them all. One of each. You can never have too much of a good thing.
Here is a miniature version and as close as it gets to the garden of Eden. Every hour of the day, every month and season nature is echoed; the ever changing surrounding terraced hills, the goods of the land and the celestial food prepared with so much care, love and attention it can bring a grown person to tears.
This would be the equivalent of an artist developing custom made & bespoke pigments with which to paint his masterpieces. Erez has surrounded himself with the finest raw ingredients, making his fantasy edible and digestible, sharing his love for the land and nature through food and conviviality, while making it all seem effortless.
The epitome of local, seasonal, good, clean & fair, on my way back to the city I simply had to balance it out, making a quick stop at IKEA for some consumption therapy and unnecessary carbon foot print acquisitions.


  1. wow, how beatiful! I would love to know what those round pastry filled things are... look similar to something I used to eat in Greece! Oriana

  2. Thanks Oriana :)
    The pastries were excellent indeed.
    Its Focaccia dough filled with sauteed swiss chard and a local fresh cheese similar to feta, that is then rolled and baked in a Taboon.
    Highly recommended.

  3. Nomi,
    Any chance you would share the focaccia with swiss chard and feta like cheese recipe? I would love to have it :) I'm always looking for tasty dough variations.


  4. Hi Rachael,

    I only had the pleasure of eating the stuffed focaccia, and I dont have the recipe, but youre unlikely to go wrong with sauteed swiss chard, aged sheeps milk, salt and pepper.
    Good luck!