Feb 082014


Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

File Size: 7961 KB
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 3, 2013)
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English

Available for the first time in an American edition, this debut cookbook, from bestselling authors Yotam Ottolenghi  and Sami Tamimi of Plenty and Jerusalem, features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s four eponymous restaurants—each a patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery rolled into one—are among London’s most popular culinary destinations. Now available for the first time in an American edition and updated with US measurements throughout, this debut cookbook from the celebrated, bestselling authors of Jerusalem  and Plenty features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.

The recipes reflect the authors’ upbringings in Jerusalem yet also incorporate culinary traditions from California, Italy, and North Africa, among others. Featuring abundant produce and numerous fish and meat dishes, as well as Ottolenghi’s famed cakes and breads, Ottolenghi invites you into a world of inventive flavors and fresh, vibrant cooking.

I had never heard of Ottolenghi before and when I saw this cookbook, the title was the first thing that grabbed my attention, and then the blurb sealed the deal.

The first thing I want to say about it is that it is the most interesting cookbook I’ve ever read. The recipes are very different than what I’m used to making, and they all sound easy enough to prepare.  The photos were amazing, and the stories shared about his family made me feel as if I knew them. They were very close and I liked that.

The contents are:
Vegetables, legumes, and grains
Meat and fish
Baking and patisserie
The Ottolenghi people

My favorite recipes were the salads. I love a good salad and there was such a variety. Some of them had ingredients that I would have never thought to put together. Even days after finishing the book I catch myself thinking “oh, I could make a salad with …

If you’re a cookbook lover, check this out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

All the recipes sound very flavorful. Here is the first one I want to try:

Chickpeas And Spinach With Honeyed Sweet Potato
serves 6-8

Stew Ingredients
1 16 oz can rinsed and drained chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 t coriander seeds (if you cannot find, substitute ground coriander)
1 tbsp tomato paste
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

Honeyed Sweet Potato Ingredients
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ thick slices
3 c. water
3 1/5 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Yogurt Sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried mint or 1 T fresh chopped mint
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Prepare the sweet potatoes
Place all sweet potato ingredients in a wide saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer 35-40 minutes, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has cooked away. Turn over halfway through to cook evenly. Remove from heat and keep warm.

2. For the yogurt sauce
Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. For the stew
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring, until golden brown. Add the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the tomatoes, sugar and ground cumin. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and chickpeas. Cook for 5 more minutes.

4. To serve
Spoon stew into bowls, gently arrange sweet potatoes and their remaining liquid on top. Spoon the yogurt sauce on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves.


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  18 Responses to “Ottolenghi ~ The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi”

  1. I’ve never heard of that restaurant either but you’ve piqued my interest about the cookbook!

  2. I have two or three of his cookbooks and although the recipes look easy enough and the photographs are amazing, I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked out of them. You are inspiring me to give them a go.

  3. Ah, so glad you reviewed this because I have a question. In the US version, is the cover padded? I have always wanted to own this book but my aversion to all things kitsch wouldn’t let me buy a cookbook with a padded cover–that is just bizarre. On the other had, I lived in London and loved going to Ottolenghi, the deli. The food was always fresh and, as you say, the combinations were so inventive.

  4. Hadn’t heard of this restaurant either. Will look for the cookbook at the library to check out the recipes!

  5. This sounds like a really interesting cookbook but I’m not sure I could get anyone else in my family on board! Unfortunately Scott is very meat and potatoes and so we don’t do a ton of venturing outside the lines. I do love chickpeas though!!

  6. I’m putting this on my library wish list right now! Thanks!

  7. Mediterranean salads are the best! I love the sound of the recipe you included.

  8. I have not heard of this restaurant either, but your high praise has me intrigued.

  9. I recently got his veggie cookbook, but haven’t tried any of the recipes yet. I bet the yogurt sauce makes this recipe extra delicious.

  10. That style of cooking is very appealing and that recipe sounds amazing!

  11. I like his recipies a lot. I have his book Plenty.

  12. I’ve been intimidated by this book, probably because of the size and the photos. We cook a lot of vegetarian dishes, and the extra time they take for washing/chopping veggies, etc. is usually worth it! I’ve seen this cookbook at the library, and will check it out sometime to see what it’s like.

  13. I love the combo of sweet potatoes and chick peas. Might have to try this one!

  14. I’ve seen this cookbook and others by the same author. The photography in them is beautiful.

  15. Yum. Just the photo on the cover is making me hungry.

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