Tuesday, October 28

Cooking my way through Ottolenghi's Plenty More cookbook (a review, so far...)

I've been counting down the months for the North American release of Yotam Ottolenghi's second vegetarian cookbook, Plenty More. But when I first brought it home from the bookstore last week I actually found myself a little overwhelmed. There were so many ingredients I'd never heard of before (what on earth is kecap manis?)!

Though the pictures are incredibly beautiful, the ingredient lists are long (in typical Ottolenghi fashion) and a little overwhelming. But I finally put my hesitations and insecurities aside and dove in. And I have not been disappointed yet.

So far, my favourite recipes are the Braised Kale with Crispy Shallots (pictured at top of post), and the steam-baked aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice (pictured below). They were both unbelievable!!

^^ I loved this new-to-me technique of steam-baking the rice. It literally transformed ordinary basmati rice into something otherworldly! ^^

I've also made the Cauliflower Cake (delicious!), the Tomato and Pomegranate Salad (incredibly flavourful, though I would add half the allspice next time), the Sweet-and-Sour Leeks with goat cheese (also delicious), and the Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Green Onion (not pictured above but it was absolutely amazing!!)

I have about 50 other recipes flagged that I'm dying to try in the future… Pink Grapefruit & Sumac Salad, Hot-and-Sour Mushroom Soup, Honey-Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt, Smoky Polenta Fries… just to name a few!

So yes, I would definitely recommend this book. Don't let the weird ingredients discourage you. This is a great way to expose yourself to new cooking techniques and novel flavour combinations.

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I'm curious, have you fallen in love with Ottolenghi's recipes too? I seriously want to travel to London just to eat at his restaurants!

If you do buy this book, I'd love to hear which recipes you try out and what you thought of them :)

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^^ ps: I also highly recommend Ottolenghi's other cookbooks. I made the above chocolate babkas (Chocolate Krantz Cakes) from his Jerusalem cookbook the other day and they were OUTRAGEOUSLY, sinfully delicious! Recipe available HERE ^^


Natalie said...

Besides the ingredients being impossible to find, I am so not advanced enough to make 90% of his recipes! The majority of times that I've attempted its ended up in 4 hour long cooking sessions with terrible results. The exception - your adaptation of his spiced red lentils. I need you to Vanessa-ify all of the ones you just posted about please!
In summary, I am in awe of your talent ;)

Catherine said...

Like Nathalie said your cooking skills amaze me! I get discouraged just reading the recipes! I've bookmarked a ton of recipes you've posted and never actually got to cook anything. I WILL try your no-knead bread soon though. It's a promise ! :)

Lady Grey said...

@Catherine, you DEFINITELY should try the no-knead bread! It is so rewarding and requires almost no effort on your part. Take the plunge!

Vanessa Cardy said...

How does Zak like them? I so want to try all of these yummy things but also don't want to cook two meals! I guess I should just tell the kids that it is this or nothing... eventually their rumbly tummies will lead them in the right direction.

Lady Grey said...

@Vanessa, Well of course Zac loved the babka :)
but he also LOVED the rice, and surprisingly ate some of the kale too (I think it was the crispy shallots that enticed him), and he liked the cauliflower cake too. I didn't even try to give him the leeks or tomatoes... he's not that evolved yet!

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