The great thing about this book is that a non vegetarian can pick this book up and a red flag screaming 'Vegetarian! Vegetarian!' does not wave frantically from it's pages. Perhaps it is because Yotam Ottolenghi is happily omnivorous, but the book to me is a book that is full of beautiful dishes full of flavour, colour and texture and just so as it happens also meat free. In the bookshop I work in, this book sells itself and it is easy to see why.
So far I have only made some of the salads adding my own tweaks at times, which this style of food certainly permits. I love the chapter groupings, which range from groups of ingredients like, 'Pasta, Polenta & Couscous' through to chapters on single ingredients like, 'The Mighty Aubergine', which make referencing quite straight forward. The flavours of the first Ottolenghi, that delicious middle eastern/mediterranean/british blend are all here. The recipes are all savoury which I like - I have never really understood the point of dessert chapters in vegetarian books!
I think too, that the production values and design of this book are a lot nicer than the original Ottolenghi, which I always felt suffered a little with some of the digital photography not looking quite as sharp as it could. The photos in Plenty are gorgeous - sumptuous, close and very naturally styled and the paper stock is matte rather than shiny, which I think really suits food photography. The beautiful drawings of vegetables...
What I find about Ottolenghi's recipes is that they take ages the first time you make it, but really speeds up when you're making it a second, third, fourth time.And though they can be time consuming, they're not difficult (though they may have a complicated number of steps, and usually involve a lot of prep). This means that the recipes are surprisingly accessible, given the ambition of the flavours.
Sometimes I question the recipes because they call for an inordinately long list of ingredients. But you have to trust him and go with it and I find that there are tastes coming out of this cookbook that I've never managed to cook at home before. It really does add something completely new to my cooking, and it's rare that you get to say that about a book.
This is one to read, re-read, to cook from time after time.
This cookbook is amazing - it really gets me thrilled the moment I see the wonderful pictures, fast-read the recipe, run to buy what is missing to make the dish and start cooking in a snip of time. And I must agree with the other comments: it is so easy, you just follow the clear instructions and you can trust that something marvelous is boiling in the pot. Already made a gorgeous caramelised fennel with fresh goat's cheese and a delicious green beans curry pot - within 24 hrs after I bought the book.
I was thrilled to bits to finally get my hands on this beautiful book. I live in Australia, so I haven't been to the famous restaurant/cafe "Ottolenghi", but I am deeply in love with their food since I bought the cookbook of the same name. When I heard there was another one out by Yottam Ottolenghi I knew I had to have it.
I am not disappointed. This is a gorgeous book. The gold embossed, white cover is slightly padded so it is a pleasure to pick up and hold, the photos of the food are as beautifully styled and lit as I would expect and the recipes are really the icing on the cake!
It is divided into chapters by the general theme of ingredients which are all vegetables, grains and pulses. Most of the dishes could just as easily be a main or a starter and all look wonderfully tempting. I think this will become my standby for vegetables for the foreseeable future.
Just noticed Amazon is selling a Kindle edition of this book for $2.99. I already have the hardcover copy so didn't purchase, but that seems like an amazing price if you want the E-book.
Just ordered this based on other reviews and I have to concur with the overall sentiment. It's a gorgeous book – so much so that I am a little worried about brining it into the kitchen. I tend to be a little hard on cookbooks (I blame this on my teeny-tiny kitchen and lack of running water – things get out of control fast!)
The fun, cushy cover and the large matte photography make it a very tactile book. I love the quirky arrangement of the chapters and the classic line drawing sketches (similar to the cover art) that proceeds each one. I am smitten with every recipe in the Funny Onion chapter, though I do have a penchants for alliums. I also appreciate the fact that Ottolenghi is not a vegetarian. And although I was a veggie for a good 15 years and I still cook predominately vegetarian meals, I certainly relate with his overall philosophy on the matter.
I tagged a handful of recipes while perusing the book over lunch today. Parsnip Dumplings in Broth, Crusted Pumpkin Wedges, and Lemon & Goat's Cheese Ravioli are at the top of my list.
I like that this book was written for both vegetarians and meat-eaters who want to supplement their meals with good tasty sides. Although I am more of a vegetarian by choice I live with a person whose meal is not complete without the meat (&then there are my visiting children!) This book is a good source for myself and for them. I can eat quite well on what I cook out of this book and they dine quite well on what I cook plus their meat. But that having been said, I am finding more and more that they can be satisfied without the meat when the flavor and interest is as good as what I find to tempt them in this wonderful book. I have marked many recipes and have just decided to go through them. My daughter saw the book one day recently and was very interested to know if it was something she would be interested in. Absolutely!
If you're looking for ways to liven up your vegetable cooking - this is the book to buy. I'm not vegetarian but like to have meat-free meals about 4 days a week and this book - as well as Ottolenhgi: The Cookbook - are my go-to bibles for inspiring flavour and ingredient combinations.
Many of the recipes serve 4-6 so I often try to halve them for our household of two - but have found the leftovers for many of the salads tend to be great for lunch the next day.
I must admit that very long ingredient lists put me off some recipes - but I would probably still tackle these for special meals with friends and family as they look so tempting.
Whenever I make something from either Ottolenghi cookbook I always get compliments and requests for the recipes, which I take as a good sign!
Love. Just got this the other day and it looks amazing. I have been following the column off and on and it is nice to have everything in one place. Can't wait to start cooking.
Love this cookbook. The photography and presentation are beautiful and it offers a wonderful variety of vegetairian cuisine. Only "hard" part is converting the measurements from the metric system, but I have gotten by just fine so far!
This is simply one of the most beautiful and tempting cookbooks I own. Even my determined carnivore of a husband has been enthusiastic about the truly creative and satisfying creations in this book!
This is a book for which vegetarians have been waiting forever. The recipes are well-balanced in salt and fat, so you can dine from this book every night. Ottolenghi is adept at combining different tastes and textures - sweet, chewy, salty, creamy, acidic, crisp, spicy, crunchy, you know. Don't be intimidated by the ingredients. They may seem exotic and hard-to-find, but you will be able to find most of them at your local grocery store. Also, any cookbook encouraging people to eat more vegetables is welcome at a time when most food is devoid of nutrients (and taste).
I feel really good about having this book, due to the fact that it has so many unique ,vegetarian and healthy dishes, when I feel like I've been a bad girl and eaten too much cake I can cook something from this and feel good again. This is a crowd pleaser too, your friends will be so impressed because you make all this nuveau cool healthy food. Kudos.