This is my kind of food - abundant family-style platters, big color, bold flavors, and generous use of whole grains. Written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, the cookbook is a collection of 140 recipes from the hugely popular UK-based Ottolenghi establishments. You get the full range of Ottolenghi greatest hits here, both sweet and savory along with lots of veg-friendly recipes.
This is such a lovely book and is beautifully produced with stunning photography of both the food and the restaurant. Wonderful generous food for sharing on platters, the vegetables and grains are the stars of the show, rather than a supporting cast. It's easy to pick up on Yotam's favourite vegetables and flavours just from running through the list of included recipes in the vegetable and grain chapter. Aubergines, broccoli, pulses and roots in particular receive star treatment. I've tried quite a few of the vegetable recipes - and the results have been consistently wonderful. I've also tried a few of the fish recipes - tuna with the pistachio crust and papaya salsa (excellent - the salsa in particular was amazing), seafood, fennel and lime salad. Great big flavours.
The baking is particularly wonderful to look at though I don't think I've tried anything yet - but there are quite a few recipes on my 'to do' list - the savoury crackers and parmesan biscuits are there, as is the apple and olive oil cake with maple icing, the orange polenta cake and the pear and amaretto crumble cake. Great big muffins oozing fruit, their signature giant meringues dusted with crushed pale green pistachios and a few recipes for the eternally challenging macaroons. All look wow.
For Ottolenghi fans, Nordljus' blog (nordljus.co.uk) featured Ottolenghi in May - she'd been asked to take photographs of the restaurant - and they are on her blog - very beautiful indeed - as are a couple...
Just a quick thought for those who might not know - The Guardian newspaper in the UK has been running a series of wonderful vegetarian recipes composed/adapted by Ottolenghi for some time.. they're all on the Guardian website www.guardian.co.uk under lifestyle ~ I've tried most of them and can enthusiastically endorse - hopefully a fully vego book will result in due course.
This is a great cookbook -- the recipes are well-laid out and easy to follow, and there's plenty of pictures to let you know how things should look when you've finished. Some of the quantities had me a little surprised, but I trusted the authors and they didn't let me down, the recipes came out perfectly (and who doesn't like high-quality left-overs for later on in the evening when you just need a little reminder of the excellent meal you had earlier?)
I would heartily recommend this book.
I have been very passionate about this book since I found it lurking on the shelves of a shop in Melbourne last year.
With more than a passing nod to their Middle Eastern backgrounds, the two authors have created a very special cookbook, based on the food they serve in their successful Notting Hill eatery. I love the brilliant fresh flavours of everything, the wonderful vegetable and salad dishes and it holds some of what are, currently, my very favourite dinner party dishes. This is a book full of vibrant family recipes and sophisticated meals for dinner parties - something for every occasion. I recommend it to everyone and I am always asked for the recipes of anything I cook from it!
This is a really great book with so much inspiration oozing from each page, that it is difficult to know where to start! Every recipe I've tried has been amazing. Some I've used regularly are Peaches with Speck and Orange Blossom, Fennel and Fetta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac, Cucumber and Poppy Seed Salad, Marinated Aubergine with Tahini and Oregano, Asparagus and Samphire - I could go on. A favourite dinner party dish is the Rack of Lamb with Honey and Corriander - everything can be done in advance and it is really delicious!
I think this book is one I would rescue if I had to leave the house in an emergency!
This is a beautifully designed book. Well laid out with great photography giving it a spot on my coffee table. I have ear marked quite a few recipes and plan to make these over the next few months – reminding me to book some friends for dinner.
The last dinner party we had I made the Harissa-Marinated Chicken with Red Grapefruit Salad. The salad was a refreshing zing with the chicken and the sauce an amazing compliment.
KateP (one of those wonderful and generous friends who has taught me a lot while also expanding my cooking repertoire and palette) gave me the simple idea of a mix of harissa, chopped green olives, oregano, lemon juice & olive oil which you simply rub onto a butter flied chicken and baste throughout cooking. Served with the rest of the Ottolenghi recipe – salad and sauce it’s also delicious.
Both Ottolenghi and KateP have reminded me that the humble chicken can be a tasty, bold & honest centre piece at any dinner party.
This is a great book - I love the feeling of abundance the recipes and photos suggest - it is very 'real' food that hasn't been too tweaked and played around with. There are so many great salads and I think the baking section is great too.
I feel a little bit alone here but I was really disappointed with this book. Picked up a copy online after many recommendations and while the recipes sounded lovely, and the photography of the restaurant are wonderful. I found the actual food phorotgraphy mosty pretty poor and couldn't get past it.
I've since visited the restaurant in London (and LOVED it) and had a look at Plenty - much better presentation so planning on buying it soon and selling my copy of the first book.
I love this cookbook and the recipes in it are wonderful. The only reason for giving it four stars is because some of the ingredients can be hard to find (in Chicago anyway) and some of the recipes sound like they'd be great in a restaurant but not something you'd cook at home. Most things have a fairly long prep time.
Heidi his new book is coming out soon - the Guardian is posting recipes tomorrow so will send them over. Marci's right, nothing here is as simple as it looks, but it's pretty romantic and a good inspiration!
I prefer this book to Plenty because this one seems more practical for everyday use. Also, it has recipes for sweets. :)
As with Plenty, the recipes are healthy and balanced. They're also more kid-friendly than the ones in Plenty. I could imagine a picky six year-old happily polishing off a plate of this food.
Ha, I don't like this cookbook either. I have been to the place in London, and it's good, but the food feels... fussy and 80s to me? Too complicated, too many specialty ingredients, a kind of deracinated fusion that isn't really what I want to cook, though I don't mind eating out that way. Also agree that the photos are hids. And my picky child would not eat a thing in this book.