Ottolenghi & Tamimi on their most essential - and fun - ingredients

Ottolenghi Spice Cookies

It's a pretty safe bet that every one of our members has heard of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi - their cookbook Jerusalem is, as we described it previously, the Harry Potter of the cookbook world. So we wanted to share this NPR interview with Ottolenghi & Tamimi who, at the very least, deserve kudos for earning their fame the old-fashioned way - not on television or by notoriety -  but by cooking and testing and presenting great recipes. And, despite their success as restaurant owners, emphasizing recipes in their books that home cooks can easily tackle.

The interview is well worth a read: here are a few things we thought were especially interesting:

1) The five ingredients each must have in their kitchens:

  • TAMIMI: olive oil, lemon, garlic, tomatoes, (basmati) rice
  • OTTOLENGHI: olive oil, onion, full-fat yogurt, garlic, and lemon

2) The ingredient that each believes should become more popular: 

  • OTTOLENGHI: Sesame for me is one of the most [underutilized] ingredients. You see it everywhere in all cultures now, but tahini is one of the most magical ingredients. It's one of those condiments that works so well in so many contexts. It can work well in desserts; it can work in savory food. It's a base for dressing. it's just one of the most wonderful things. Tahini, maybe that's the one that's going to make a big splash.
  • TAMIMI: Grape molasses. It's quite sweet - you can add vinegar to it to make a salad dressing and you can drizzle it on an ice cream.

And, for a seasonal taste, the EYB library produced this recipe from Ottolenghi for spice cookies (from Jerusalem) which look awfully enticing (photo courtesy of The Wednesday Chef).


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