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Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi Hardcover – October 14, 2014
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“No chef captures the flavors of the moment better than Yotam Ottolenghi.”
“Ottolenghi is a genius with vegetables—it’s possible that no other chef has devised so many clever ways to cook them.”
—Food & Wine
“Yotam Ottolenghi is the most creative but also practical cook of this new culinary era—a 21st-century Escoffier. If I had a four-star rating for cookbooks, I would give Plenty More five stars.”
—Wall Street Journal
“Chef Yotam Ottolenghi outdoes himself with the follow-up to his famed book Plenty. Expect even bigger, bolder meatless recipes.”
“Yotam Ottolenghi adds luscious notes to the vegetarian flavor spectrum in Plenty More.”
“Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More is a delicious ode to grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables.”
“A new wave of Ottolenghi fever (and fervor) is about to hit and, thank goodness, there’s no cure. I suggest you simply give in to it, replenish your spice pantry, gather your vegetables, grains and legumes, and celebrate big-time.”
“This smart chef knows flavor”
—Dr. Oz: The Good Life
Plenty More is even better than the original, fresh with the flavors and ingredients of Ottolenghi's most recent travels and readings. There are still many traces of his Middle Eastern influence, but now he's incorporated touches of Southeast Asia, India, New York, and Britain. Who pairs chanterelle mushrooms, black glutinous rice, tarragon, and goat cheese, and does so with aplomb? Only Ottolenghi. Even if you've already amassed a library of his books, you'll learn something new from Plenty More.
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Those who criticize will claim that it contains hard-to-find ingredients, some unfamiliar techniques, unusual combinations of flavors, unfamiliar foods and flavors, long ingredient lists....and that will be very true for most home cooks. But those who get excited about this book, those whose hearts will start racing when they browse through the pictures and pages on the "Look Inside" feature on this product page, will ask and declare:
Isn't that what a fabulous, ground-breaking, cookbook is supposed to do? Is that not what you should be looking for in new cookbook?" I say, "Yes!" Bring on the new flavors and combinations, expose me to the unfamiliar, help my family to embrace new taste sensations.
So I tell myself, and I'll suggest the same to you: Step outside of the box. Get outside of your comfort zone. Start making some outstanding vegetarian dishes.
And this great chef, with his great idea-producing staff, will help you take that (sometimes/somewhat) uncomfortable step forward. This book will provide guidance, coaxing, reassurance to help you retrieve your comfort zone, while expanding your palate and taking on new dimensions as a home cook. Practice makes perfect: The first time you look at a recipe, you may see it as a long list of ingredients. The second time you make the recipe, all the pieces fall into place and you realize it was not hard to accomplish. Suddenly, you'll realize you have another fab veg dish under your belt.
(On the other hand, if your lifestyle does not allow you to tackle daily trips to the market and long ingredient lists, it may not be the right time for you to indulge in this book. You will either consider the book a challenge, or you will say the book is not right for you right now, and pass it by for the time being.)
So, if you choose to take on the challenge, prepare yourself: If you pick up this much-anticipated, worthy, brilliant book, you will be:
--getting very cozy with cilantro: Forty-seven recipes in this book use cupfuls upon cupfuls of cilantro. (I know there are a lot of you out there who will have a difficult time with that...)
---Working on your produce manager to start supplying basil, dill, tarragon, chervil, all the herbs, year-round, just like he does for parsley and cilantro. This chef uses huge, copious amounts of herbs and a large variety of spices. The spices are easy to find, it's the fresh herbs that you find at the store, two or three sprigs in measly little clear plastic bags for big bucks--that will not do for the recipes in this book. (I'm going to have to beef up the plants in my veggie gardens, but even that will not take care of the dill and basil I will need off-season....)
--Going out to search for barberries. (And if you can't find them there are substitutes to use until you convince your produce manager to stock them. (Sometimes sour cherries, or dried cherries or dried cranberries and lime.)) You will also be looking for umeboshi plums at your Asian market.
--Finding a greengrocer that is willing to provide you with baby endive, baby plum tomatoes, purple sprouting broccoli (no regular broccoli in this book), black garlic, sorrel, sprouts, seeds and many more. (Maybe you live in an area that has access to this type of produce, but a majority of us do not have that luxury.)
--Embracing bitter flavors (not excessively bitter, but complimentary bitter. I don't want to scare you off....It is usually in the form of brassicas, other greens and some root vegetables.)
I'm not talking extremism here, because there is a gentleness, a coaxing, involved in these recipes; nothing in excess (well, except the herbs); just an invitation: What can a bit of bitter green hurt you? What can cups of beautiful herb leaves hurt you? What can a new tart berry, or any new ingredient hurt you if it is done as a complimentary flavor? What can bold, lively colors hurt you?
Did you like his first book "Plenty"? You will be so pleased with this new one! Ottolenghi got you to get comfortable with veggies in his first book; in this one he helps you own them. He--and his restaurant co-workers--have blossomed, and surged forward, and taken charge of the vegetable world; legumes and beans and eggs, too. They revel in it and cozy up to all the possible flavors--then help you to do the same.
Measurements are in both US/Imperial and metric. Page layout is easy for the eyes to follow. Type style and size are easy on the eye. Photos are many and superior (in all ways).
There are too many great recipes for me to start calling them out. I suggest you take a browse through the "Look Inside" feature on this product page. It shows you many salad recipes from the "Tossed" chapter of the book. Coming so near to November and American Thanksgiving and everybody's Holiday Season, I could not help but picture so many of these beautiful dishes as part of a Holiday table. Plenty that can be made ahead of time, and they are stunning to behold.
Here are more of my notes, if you still can't decide whether or not to add this to your collection: (You know you can stop reading any time, don't you?)
Simple, beautiful, luscious:
--Celery salad with Feta and Soft-Boiled Egg, with lemon segments, capers, chiles and cilantro.
--A touch of fish sauce on pomelo.
--Quinoa included in salads: Tart apple and celery root with lemon, chile and cilantro; cannellini beans with parsley, mint, scallions and lemon.
Worth the price of the book:
--The technique of beginning to caramelize sugar, then adding halved fresh figs, then continuing the process. He does it in a non-stick pan. Does it with oranges, too.
**I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher. Having it in hand for the past few months, I will have to let it go now. But I will be putting a book order together soon, and this will definitely be on my list! EDIT: I purchased this book from Amazon, and you can see the "Verified Purchase" tag at the top of this review.
1) Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad – p20. This is such a crisp and refreshing salad. This was supposed to be an even showier pink and purple dish, but my grocer doesn’t carry purple Belgian endive. Maybe you’ll be luckier. Penzey’s carries sumac if your store doesn’t.
2) Eggplant with Black Garlic – p158. This is my favorite in the book so far. So deliciously earthy and rich. If you haven’t bought black garlic before, the head feels very soft, similar to when you roast it. You want soft, but not defeated feeling.
3) Fava Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta – p222. Divine spread! The fava beans take some mindless time to skin, but it’s not difficult at all.
4) Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad – p54. This is fabulously fragrant! The lemons are blanched and then tossed in olive oil, a little sugar, salt, and chiffonaded sage, and roasted a bit. The pairing of that lemon with tomatoes, pomegranate, onions, and herbs is absolutely magical. I adore this salad.
5) Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho – p90. Such a refreshing combination! I never would have thought about pairing those, but it makes sense. I always put a pinch of sugar in my marinara to balance the acidity.
6) Carrot and Mung Bean Salad – p169. The beans are flavored with a cumin, caraway, fennel oil, with garlic and vinegar. The carrots are slightly sweetened and caramelized. The sharpness of the feta rounds it out so nicely. Great salad!
The book is vegetarian but don't let the skinny vegetarians scare you off. I like meat, but find this book fantastic. No need to have meat every day when you have such tasty vegetarian fare.
I give the book four stars, because it is not the best book of Ottolenghi and I have all four of them. Here is a summary
Ottolenghi - first book, was very nice, but has kind of been superseded by the two subsequent books (four stars)
Plenty - my favorite (five stars)
Jerusalem - nice, but not really special. (three stars)
Plenty more - this book, also nice, but less nice than Plenty (four stars)
Most recent customer reviews
Glanced through the book, then threw it in a corner.