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Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi Hardcover – March 23, 2011
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From the Publisher
The most anticipated vegetable cookbook in years
With more than 120 recipes, organized by ingredient.
Quinoa and grilled sourdough salad
This summery bread salad isn't much short of a whole meal. I have taken the traditional Arab fattoush, changed the bread and bulked it up with quinoa, which is the only grain I dare to use in this salad as it's very light and delicate. A lot rests here on the poor tomato. If your tomatoes are sweet and juicy you may not need as much dressing to perk them up. If they are 'dry' and bland you may want to add a bit more. Leave the prepared salad to sit a little so the bread croutons can soften up - unless you want them mega-crunchy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 9 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a fine sieve, rinse under cold water and leave to dry.
Brush the bread with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, turning them over halfway through. The bread should be completely dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down, then break by hand into different-sized pieces.
Cut the tomatoes into roughly 3/4-ince dice and put in a mixing bowl. Cut the cucumbers into similar-size pieces and add to the tomatoes. Add all the remaining ingredients, including the quinoa and croutons, and stir gently until everything is mixed well together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to brush the bread
- 4 ripe medium tomatoes
- 3 small cucumbers, unpeeled
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped mint
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
- black pepper
"The flavors in Plenty are so bright, curious and new - to my palate at least - it made me wonder, where is our Middle Eastern Mario? And how quickly can Ottolenghi open in New York?" -- Christine Muhlke, food52.com
Ottolenghi's book "Plenty" rose to be a best seller in Britain on its release last year (it appeared here several months ago), and is among the most generous and luxurious nonmeat cookbooks ever produced, one that instantly reminds us that you don't need meat to produce over-the-top food. -- Mark Bittman, The New York Times
"The book that launched the cult. The recipes not only made vegetarian food sexy (note: Ottolenghi wants you to know he loves meat), they also made Western cooks crave Eastern Mediterranean flavors." - Christine Muhlke, bon appetit
"Forget about the fact that it's a vegetarian's best friend, Plenty is the sort of cookbook that any home cook will fall for. It's as meaty as its meat-filled counterparts." -- Charlotte Druckman, food52.com
About the Author
Yotam Ottolenghi is co-owner of four Ottolenghi restaurants, co-author of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and author of the weekly New Vegetarian column in the Guardian newspaper. He lives in London.
Jonathan Lovekin is a lifestyle and food photographer based in London.
Top customer reviews
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 say that the wait for this book was worth it.
The photography is gorgeous, and for those of you who like a picture to accompany every recipe, you got it.
I love how the book is laid out in chapters by main ingredient. This is especially helpful for those who belong to a CSA/Veg Box scheme and are looking for something to do with the chard/cabbage/leeks etc.
The commentary on each recipe is thoughtful and helpful. The flavor combinations that Mr. Ottolenghi uses are thoughtful and interesting, and often allow us to enjoy a vegetable in a way that we had not previously. I often feel like I'm doing my body a favor by making one of his recipes, given that they feature abundant quantities of fresh vegetables and whole grains.
I've never written a review on Amazon before, but I do rely on them heavily when making purchases, so I wanted to pass on what a gem this book is.
Everything I've made has been delicious, beautiful, and unusual. His gift with produce, herbs and spices, and technique makes this such a joy to work with. His directions are clear, and the recipes aren't overly complicated. It's easy to reproduce what you see in the photos. There are lovely photographs for many of the recipes. The binding and paper quality is top notch.
1) Caramelized Garlic Tart. It's positively decadent. A nice green cafe salad was all it needed. My youngest, who detests goat cheese, gobbled hers up and proclaimed it to be the only recipe where goat cheese was fine.
2) The Leek Fritters with their yogurty, garlicky, parsley, cilantro sauce were divine. Once you get the batter together, it's as easy as pancakes.
3) The Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango were so flavorful, fabulously fragrant, and pretty.
4) Black Pepper Tofu. Excellent, but it melted our faces off! There's 8 chile peppers and over 1/4 c of smashed peppercorns in there!
5) Multi-Vegetable Paella - p80. Fantastic! And just a smidge spicy.
I can't wait to try the rest of the book! Buy it. If you love produce, you'll adore it!
I counted more than 120 recipes. They're organized into 15 chapters. Each chapter is given over to one vegetable "Funny Onions," "Mushrooms," or one food grouping, such as "Leaves Cooked and Raw" or Zucchini and Other Squashes." To a recipe, each of Ottolenghi's creations is something special and could be served again and again as a main dish to meat eaters.
It's my guess that at least one and probably more of the recipes will be filed with your favorites, to be prepared and served on special occasions. Any cook can prepare the dishes and the ingredients are easily found. In addition to the Taleggio my two "must have often" are "Soba noodles with eggplant and mango" and "Lemon and goat cheese ravioli." Because of the variety of colors and textures, all the dishes are great to look at. In appearance and presentation, one of the best is "Surprise tatin" a potato tart caramelized with tomatoes and onions.
Ottolenghi owns four crazy-popular eponymous London vegetarian take-aways and this year opened a new sit-down restaurant "Nobi." He writes a weekly column - vegetarian - in London's "Guardian." His feet are firmly planted on the non-meat area of the food pyramid. The recipes in the cookbook are compiled from his weekly newspaper column.
My guess is that "Plenty" is to quickly become a classic that will find a prominent place in most cook's cooking corner. My only gripe is with the seller. I ordered the book in April and had to wait until June for it to arrive. What the heck took so long?
The photography is beautiful and the spirit of the book is good.
It does use a lot of eggs and dairy, so not so good for vegans.