When in Doubt, go with Ottolenghi

Julie and Julia was a successful book and movie about a woman who cooked through 500 of Julia Child’s recipes from the Art of a mastering French Cooking in a year. Yes, Julia Child was iconic, but I could not imagine eating through nothing but French food for a year. Now two weeks of eating French food in France is one thing, but the world has discovered that everyplace on earth has good food.

If ever I was limited to only cook from the books of one chef I would chose Yotam Ottolenghi in a heart beat. In my humble opinion the Israeli born British chef is the most exciting food writer of our time.

This morning I worked in the garden and after the harvest I asked Russ what he wanted for dinner that used eggplant? He turned to his iPad and in a flash had pulled up a recipe of Ottolenghi’s from the New York Times Cooking section called Chemoula Eggplant with Bulgar and Yogurt. I looked at it and told Russ that was the winner as it used plenty of things that I had in the garden and all the rest I had on hand.

Now Yotam’s recipes almost always involve a lot of ingredients, but I have a well stocked pantry and like his flavor profiles, using lots of cumin, coriander, fresh mint and lemons.

I did substitute a half a Burrata ball for the yogurt because we needed to use that up, but other than that I followed the recipe fairly closely. Russ declared it was a huge hit. Of course, I can take no credit for inventing it, just growing the food and following the recipe.

In a similar fashion to Julie and Julia I have cooked at least half the recipes from Yotam’s book Plenty More. That is practically unheard of for me because I tend to read cook books for educational inspiration and hardly ever follow a recipe directly. I have pared my cook books down to under 350 from a high of over 500, but most of them I may have only cooked one or two things from.

So pick a seasonal ingredient you like and do a search on that word and Ottolenghi. I guarantee if he has a recipe using that ingredient you will love how the dish turns out. I am yet to be anything but wowed.

One Comment on “When in Doubt, go with Ottolenghi”

  1. beth says:

    He sounds great! Wow, 500 cookbooks!

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