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Ottolenghi: The Cookbook Hardcover – International Edition, May 1, 2010
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1) Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic – p41. Terrific spicy, garlicky broccoli.
2) Organic Salmon with Red Pepper and Hazelnut Salsa – p 139. This is a fantastic salmon dish. The salmon itself gets careful and minimalist treatment, then gets a salsa or roasted sweet peppers, hazelnuts, herbs, lemon, and apple cider vinegar.
3) Puy Lentils with Sour Cherries, Bacon, and Gorgonzola – p 81. The lentils soak up a shallot and vinegar sauce, then get dressed in bacon, cherries, spinach and gorgonzola. Delicious.
4) Seared Tuna with Pistachio Crust and Papaya Salsa – p 140. This tastes like a tropical vacation. He gives two options for the pistachios. You can toast them first for a flavor boost, or leave them untoasted for that aesthetically pleasing bright green. I went for the flavor.
5) Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake – p 199. So decadent and rich. The caramel sauce is oozy and the macadamias are dressed in a crunchy caramel. The oatmeal cookie crust gives it a nice earthiness.
6) Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash – p 80. Divine. Caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, dried apricots, a trio of herbs, and olive oil flavor the couscous. It’s served cold which will make it the perfect make ahead summer side dish for grilled whatever.
7) Parmesan and Poppy Crackers – p 187. These are lovely. I didn’t have enough poppy seeds to cover both logs of dough, so I did one in poppy seed and the other in everything bagel topping, and it was a very happy accident. I did it again on purpose the second time.
8) Eggplant-Wrapped Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter – p 28. These are my favorite thing in the book so far. They’re even yummier than they are adorable. The lemony sage butter is the perfect complement to the delicate flavor and texture of the gnocchi.
9) Roasted Sweet Potato with Pecan and Maple – p 67. Delicious! Wonderfully sweet and fragrant.
10) Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt – p 50. These are very rich and filling.
Some others I have flagged to try are: Peaches and Speck with Orange Blossom * Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey * Cucumber and Poppy Seed Salad * Etti’s Herb Salad * Marinated Eggplant with Tahini and Oregano * Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yogurt * Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and Manouri * Haricots Verts and Snow Peas with Hazelnut and Orange * Caramelized Endive with Serrano Ham * Roasted Red and Golden Beets * Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish and Sorrel * Carmague Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios * Roasted Beef Fillet with Arugula and Horseradish Sauce * Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar, and Lemon * Turkey and Corn Meatballs with Roasted Pepper Sauce * Butternut, Carrot, and Goat Cheese Tartlets * Sweet Potato Galettes * Pistachio Shortbreads * Lime and Basil Macarons
I come to this opinion from the perspective of someone who cooks almost exclusively vegetarian dishes. "Ottolenghi" is about two-thirds non-meat in content. Lots of terrific new vegetable entrees and sides, with the usual emphasis on freshness, herbs, nuts and Middle East/Mediterranean spices. What's really new in the author's approach in this cookbook is a generous section on desserts (most of them adaptations of classics) and many recipes for sauces that can be used with a lot of different entrees or as dips, spreads, etc.
I'm just getting started in using this new book--and in fact started with dessert! How does chocolate chestnut bar sound? A kind of exotic brownie, but richer and creamier than the traditional approach. Killer taste. The same chapter includes a fine recipe for a more traditional brownie, but clearly better, judging from the ingredients.
I'm a total fan of this guy and his books and have been giving them as gifts for the past year. I even gave one to a Moroccan friend who is a wonderful cook, but who became an instant admirer and regular user of Ottolengthi's "Plenty". So get the new one or at least one of the earlier books--it/they will change your life.
If I have anything negative to say it would be that I think there are too many full page photos. The pictures of the recipes are lovely and helpful but I could do with more of them and less of the 'fill in' pictures. Are they there to fill in space or for an artsy filler.
Having said all that I am very glad I bought it and am going to steadily work my way through the recipes.