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325 of 328 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wait was worth it
I have been eagerly awaiting the US release of this book since its UK release last year.
I have the (UK version) of the first Ottolenghi book, which is easily my favorite cookery book of my (embarrasingly large) collection. I've never been let down by one of his recipes, and I've made most of them.

I was so excited to receive this in the mail, and I can...
Published on March 28, 2011 by drybean

versus
136 of 165 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creative dishes...rare ingredients
This book is artfully done. Full color photos are great. The recipes are inspiring and out of the ordinary. The only problem, measurements are in metric units and some of the ingredients I've never even heard of, let alone able to find them in the grocery store. I think they are items that are eaten more in other countries. As someone who loves exotic gourmet foods,...
Published on February 19, 2011 by Garden Gurl


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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original recipes, but measurements are way off, November 2, 2011
By 
S Hackell (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
Many fresh and exciting recipes with interesting ingredients. Some hits, a few misses, but always unusual. However, the measurements in many recipes are way off. Did anyone test them before the book was published? For example, the Tofu with Black Pepper called for FIVE tablespoons of ground pepper in a dish supposed to serve four people. It was nearly inedible--but when made with about one-fifth the pepper, it was spicy and delicious.
A lot of effort went into the photos and production of this book. Too bad no one took the time to vet the recipes. Still worth a try if you're willing to take the mearements as suggestions and have the experience to adjust them.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars can't wholeheartedly recommend the book for vegetarians who won't have meat to rely on to carry the flavors for the meal, May 20, 2013
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
I am always on the prowl for the latest and the greatest cookbook. Everyone has their preferences and I lean toward cookbooks that feature fresh ingredients, gourmet preparations and presentations, and an international flair.

I picked up Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi with these criteria in mind about a year ago when it was making the rounds as the hot new vegetarian cookbook. The author is originally from Israel and so of course middle eastern culture, ingredients, and technique heavily influence his repertoire. He owns a restaurant in London and for several years he wrote a column for The Guardian press on vegetarian cuisine. Pretty good for a chef who isn't actually a vegetarian. He became well known for his creativity with fresh vegetables and the recipes laid out in Plenty are those that have appeared over the years in his Guardian column.

The cookbook itself is beautiful. The cover art (a shot of a row of roasted eggplants dressed with a yogurt pomegranate sauce) is appetizing and inviting and the book has a soft, thick, and durable cover. The recipes are organized according to main ingredient (a chapter on tomatoes for example) and there are many hand drawn illustrations throughout the book as well as full color photographs of prepared recipes.

Although the recipes are vegetarian, they are not vegan- eggs, yogurt, and cheese are featured frequently. For those who prefer not to exclude meat, I'm happy to advise that Ottolenghi's recipes often provide an excellent base for meals to which meat can easily be included.

Things I have made from this cookbook:

Leek fritters
These were alright. Sautéed leeks and shallots, folded into an egg batter and fried. We dressed them with the suggested accompanying yogurt cilantro sauce and while I found them acceptable and would eat them again, I don't get overly excited at the thought of them; they don't make me drool with anticipation.

Chard and saffron omelets
This dish is a good way to get greens into your diet. A very thin omelet is prepared with a heavy handful of fresh herbs from the garden mixed in, then it's stuff with cooked Swiss chard and sliced potatoes and drizzled with a light garlic yogurt sauce. It was pretty good, but the general audience I cooked it for asserted it would be even better with bacon crumbled into the filling.

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint
I thought this dish was very good, but again better suited as a side than a main entrée. You can't really go wrong with hazelnuts! I'd definitely recommend this as a side to grilled lamb. That would be fabulous and the flavors would play off each other well.

Jerusalem artichokes with Manouri and basil oil
This recipe was difficult to source. I'll save you some time and let you know than in most of the United States, Jerusalem artichokes (which don't look like artichokes at all) are referred to as sunchokes and they're actually a root vegetable. Finding them, and the Manouri cheese took trips to several different grocery stories before I lucked out (Wegman's for the win!). As for the taste of the finished dish, again it was ok. It didn't blow my socks off but it wasn't terrible either.

Recommended with reservations

I guess I'm leading to a conclusion that, at least for me, the flavors expressed in Ottolenghi's recipes are good (and good for you) but not strong enough to stand on their own. I plan to fall back on these recipes as side dishes for my non-vegetarian main entrees. I do have a number of other vegetarian cookbooks that feature recipes that are bold and spicy, or rich and deeply flavorful and those are the sorts of recipes that I can center a whole meal around. I can't wholeheartedly recommend the book for vegetarians who won't have meat to rely on to carry the meal. And of course this book is probably not for those who don't a taste for middle eastern cuisine (lots and lots of yogurt, lemons, fresh herbs, olive oil).
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice but not for me, November 28, 2012
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
I selected this book based on all the overwhelmingly good reviews. I want to eat more vegetables and desire to expand my knowledge. When the book arrived, I was excited and immediately sat down to read it and make my shopping list. But, as I looked through it, I realized a few things that make this not a good book for me: it is more gourmet than I am - not a problem for many I'm sure, but most of the recipes take longer than I have as a working Mom. And, too many ingredients are needed and many of them I have never heard of. I don't know how to say it, but it's for "foodies" which I am not. Many people will love this book, I was just looking for some quick new ideas where I could expand the types of vegetables we eat. Good book for many, but not for me.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, bold, fun., September 7, 2011
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
Made the potato tart, the pear crostini, the tomato and couscous salad, and the stuffed onion "shells" for a dinner party, and it did not disappoint. Full of awesome flavor combinations (caramel in the potato tart? Genius!), and lots and lots of beautiful uses of herbs. Some ingredients may be hard to find if you don't have any fancy grocery stores around, but a lot of it is based on staples that have been kicked up a notch or three -- I made all of the above with ingredients from Kroger (except the pickled Chervil leaves for the garnish on the crostini, but the dish didn't suffer for it). This isn't just for vegetarians -- or just for foodies -- if you are interested in adventurous cooking, go for it. I'm hoping to try the eggplant with pomegranate featured on the cover next -- how awesome does that sound? Some of the dishes take time to do properly, but I found the recipes fairly easy to follow.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great book, lousy ebook, June 7, 2013
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This is one book where you are better off buying the physical book, not the ebook. The recipes that start with a sauce or other component are unusable because there is no separation in the ingredients, they all run together so it's hard to tell where one set of ingredients ends and the other set starts.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle book ingredients list not well done, March 10, 2013
By 
In the ingredients list of the kindle book, it is often not clear which ingredients belong to what part of the recipe becuse the ' subtitles' are missing. For example, when reading the recipe, it says mix the ingredients fot the sauce together, while in the ingredients list it is not clear what goes into the sauce and what goes into the main. Sometimes it starts with a subtitle ' sauce' but then it does not show where the ingredients for the main dish starts.
Too much of a puzzle to make it an easy choice to cook from. I hope they will fix it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG. This is an amazing cookbook., October 22, 2011
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
I bought this book on Wednesday and have made three recipes to date. AWESOME! And I am not a vegetarian. They are easy to make. The combintation of vegetables and spices and cheese truly result in a "party in my mouth". Everything about this book is lush. The cover has a bounce to it. The photos are riveting. The recipes are easy to follow. The ingredients are easy to find. I'm making the sweet potatoes with sherry tomatoes and parsnips tonite. And have just order two books for gifts.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavorful and foolproof, September 17, 2011
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
Vegetables are the stars in Plenty. The approach to their presentation is different both in the organization of the cookbook and in the flavor combinations used to prepare them. The cookbook is organized by categories; eggplants, peppers, grains, and green things as an example. The recipes use global flavors. Influences from Asia and the Mediterranean are prominant. What really works, for an average cook like I am, are the techniques and inspiring spice combinations. The recipes are well written and easy to execute.
I have made twenty of the recipes in the last six weeks. Soba noodles with Mango and eggplant, Kisir, and the sweet potatoe cake recipes are exceptional. I live in a beautiful bucolic location where polenta is called grits and sweet potatoes are a staple. That may influence why I find these recipes "a breath of fresh air" compared to our traditional recipes. Don't misunderstand, I wouldn't consider replacing our culinary workhorses but this book offers a chance to put on the fancy culinary shoes and dance in the kitchen.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relies a lot on cheese, February 15, 2014
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
I bought this book after reading all the positive reviews. This book is praised for being the best vegetable cookbook in years. I honestly don't know why. This book is certainly filled with many great recipes, however, a lot of them seem to be more about cheese and other dairy condiments. I'm not opposed to dairy by any means, but I was disappointed that so much of the book was filled with cheesy tarts and other recipes that I feel take away from the vegetable at hand. Certainly not a bad book, but I would not have purchased this if I was able to pre-read, only because I was hoping for something with less dependency on dairy. Moreover, I found many recipes to be no-brainers, such as a recipe for quesadillas. I would recommend this book to someone who wants to incorporate more vegetables into their diet, not necessarily to an experienced cook that already uses a lot of veggies in daily cooking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific even for non-vegetarians, August 17, 2012
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This review is from: Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi (Hardcover)
I have several vegetarian and vegan cookbooks because I really like fresh fruits and vegetables. But I am not a vegetarian and dislike the smug, preachy, sometimes scolding tone in those cookbooks. So this book -- a vegetarian cookbook by someone who is not a vegetarian but just likes fruits and vegetables -- was perfect for me. I liked the author's tone right off the bat.

Anyway, after four months I have cooked mostly through "Plenty." The great majority of the recipes are extremely good, at least to my taste. Here and there they have the sort of vagueness that comes when an expert cook who uses high-tech equipment to cook large quantities of food tries to reduce the scale of a recipe to the sort of equipment and time available to a home cook. Also some of the ingredients are hard to get if you live outside of a big city, as I do. But this sort of issue springs up in almost every cookbook that I own written by a fancy chef. What's most important (to me, anyway) is that Ottolenghi has great taste -- lots of ideas that I hadn't come across but that make sense when you eat them. (Many of these combinations that are unfamiliar to me seem to be legacies of the author's Middle Eastern childhood.)

My only caveat is that when the author tries to use Japanese ingredients he seems to me to be wandering out of his territory, and the recipes aren't nearly as good or imaginative. (My favorite Japanese cookbook is still Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art.) But this is a tiny gripe about a wonderful book. I've already given two copies to friends, and will probably end up giving some more.
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Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi (Hardcover - March 23, 2011)
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