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DanM

Cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi

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I recently discovered two books by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi though an Amazon suggestion. A brief look at the books show some promise. I was wondering if anyone else on eGullet is familiar with his books or have dined at his restaurants.

Plenty

Ottolenghi

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When I lived in London, I used Ottolenghi's Islington location to cater several events, as well as dining there once in a while. Great, simple food- often surprising combinations that really celebrate the ingredients. Both of his cookbooks are high on my list to get.

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You can check out the recipes in his weekly Guardian article here.

I love his stuff.

Mick

You beat me to it, Mick!

However, if one uses *this link* you get ALL his Guardian recipes (274 so far) - rather than merely the (204 by today) pure veggie ones.

"Plenty" (consisting mainly of republished Guardian recipes) is all veggie; "Ottolenghi" isn't entirely.

He also has a Blog, but hasn't added any recipes for almost a year ... http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/blog/category/recipes

Searching for Ottolenghi's name within eGullet's Kitchen yields 20 posts with a namecheck.

I stand by my 2008 criticism of the just-too-trendy-to-be-practical layout (and typeface) of "Ottolenghi". That apart, it is tasty stuff.


Edited by dougal (log)

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A surprising number of people I talk to list these cookbooks amongst their favorites. I think they are good cookbooks both for recipes and for inspiration to improvise.

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I love both Ottolenghi's cookbooks. Everything I've made has worked well and been delicious. They're not always easy weeknight meals (lots of ingredients and sometimes a little time consuming) but they're worth the effort. If I could only have ten cookbooks, I think two of them would be by Ottolenghi.

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I daresay a few of those 20 posts would be from me - these are two of my very favourite cookbooks. Plenty is my favourite vegetable cookbook of all time, and I make something from it at least couple of times a week. Also a major source for vegetable inspiration..I flip through it for a general idea, and then go off and riff my own recipe. So, well worth the price of admission.

My only two quibbles with his books are:

1. If you followed his recipes to the letter, you would use every pan and pot in your kitchen, unnecessarily, I think. Sometimes, the order of steps makes little sense to me; example - one recipe has you start by toasting 1/4 cup nuts on a sheet pan in a medium oven, turned on specifically for that purpose, before letting them cool and chopping them. Meanwhile, you fry onions in a skillet and proceed. I read that and think, "I'm not heating my oven for 20 minutes and dirtying a sheet pan when I could just toast the nuts for 5 mins first in that same skillet I'm about to use next for the onions!"

Maybe it produces a better flavour to the nuts, I dunno, and doing things in his order (ie concurrently) may save some minutes on the prep but I reckon you'll lose them on the washing up. ;) Anyway, it's a minor quibble, and not something that someone who's got any comfort cooking in their own kitchen will find hard to work around, but now I read the recipe the whole way through, mentally re-order the steps and go from there. There are very few that I like in the order listed, though the end results are undeniably amazing either way.

2. All measurements are metric, weighed, not volumes. Before I got a decent set of kitchen scales, I found this aggravating, but now it's a snap.

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I

2. All measurements are metric, weighed, not volumes. Before I got a decent set of kitchen scales, I found this aggravating, but now it's a snap.

Sadly, they did not preserve this for the US edition of Plenty.

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