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Cooking together with Ottolenghi recipes   Go to last post Go to last unread
#22 Posted : Sunday, November 2, 2014 9:27:20 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: Barb_N Go to Quoted Post
Mushroom and herb polenta from Plenty

As it's almost November I had hardy herbs- parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (really).

Too funny! I love that version of polenta.

Barb, on the chervil, I had good luck with it the past few years when the winter was pretty mild for us. But it HATES the heat so as soon as the DC summer heat hits it dies back. I am not optimistic about seeing it again this spring if the winter is as bad as it is supposed to be, but we will see.
#23 Posted : Monday, November 3, 2014 12:48:48 PM(UTC)

Last night was the Aubergine cheesecake from Plenty More. I had no baby grape or cherry tomatoes and am still trying to find good uses for the fresh tomatoes from the garden, so took a couple of my smaller tomatoes, cut them up and roasted them in a slow oven first.  The roasting was intended to dry them out so they wouldn't muck up the custard, but it also nicely intensified their taste.

Sadly for me, the taste and texture of the cheesecake was great, but it was too intensely eggplanty for me to eat more than a few bites. I hate when that happens because I do like the taste of eggplant, just not the effect on my mouth and throat. I was using my small orange Turkish eggplants and maybe I wouldn't be as sensitive to the large purple glope eggplants. But if I try it again, I thought maybe artichoke hearts would be a good substitute.

I shelled the very last of the chickpea harvest last night, so I am thinking the Spicy chickpea and bulgur soup (also from Plenty More) will be a safer choice next. Too bad Ottolenghi's oeuvre doesn't include recipes with tomatillos, because those are the next vegetable from the harvested garden that I need to use up.

#24 Posted : Monday, November 3, 2014 3:35:45 PM(UTC)

A few Ottolenghi recipes I've enjoyed over the years:

Mushrooms, Garlic and Shallots with Lemon Ricotta -  I used white wine instead of Pernod. And I used a vegetable stock cube, without adding more liquid - the vegetables throw off plenty to make a good rich broth. We had it with rice.

Aubergine Cheesecake - The aubergines didn't turn up in my grocery delivery, so I just made it without. It was gorgeous.

Barbecued leg of lamb with almonds and orange blossom - yum. You need to go gently with the orange blossom, but it is lovely.


Also, not indexed that I could find, this tuna confit salad recipe is delicious.

#25 Posted : Monday, November 3, 2014 4:19:08 PM(UTC)

Foodycat - if you ever see a recipe online (like that Guardian one) you can add it to the EYB Library and your Bookshelf using the Bookmarklet.  I have now added it to the Library - Tuna confit salad.

Though you wouldn't have been able to add this recipe as it had the same URL as the Indian Ratatuouille which had already been added.  Members are not able to add more than one recipe with the same URL, in order to prevent multiple copies of the same recipe being added.  But in newspapers like the Guardian you can get several great recipes on the same page.  If that ever happens, just email us and we will add the recipes for you,

#26 Posted : Monday, November 3, 2014 5:32:07 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Jane Go to Quoted Post

Foodycat - if you ever see a recipe online (like that Guardian one) you can add it to the EYB Library and your Bookshelf using the Bookmarklet.  I have now added it to the Library - Tuna confit salad.


Thanks! I haven't been able to get the bookmarklet to work for me - I think something about our firewall blocks it.

#27 Posted : Wednesday, November 5, 2014 6:32:50 PM(UTC)

Na'ama's fattoush from Jerusalem

I found tomatoes at the Farmer's market- the vendor's tomatoes were the absolute best all summer so I thought I'd try his last of the season. I took the advice of most reviews and decreased the liquid, and used pita chips. I also used the very last of my scraggly basil along with mint and parsley. Yum.

#28 Posted : Wednesday, November 5, 2014 6:41:51 PM(UTC)

Spicy beetroot, leek & walnut salad from Jerusalem

I already had roasted beets, making this easy to put together. I happened to have tamarind paste so I diluted it (not knowing what tamarind water is) but I did think about pomegranate molasses instead (I'm reading SugarFree_Vegan's note after the fact). I think the dressing tasted like a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. That is an ingredient I am more likely to have on hand. I will definitely make this again. Trisha- I did try to grow chervil one year and it did well until it got hot. My chipmunks also like to dig in my herb pots so delicate plants like that don't last long. I've also given up on growing cilantro in the heat of DC summers. Now I stick to the basics (parsley, sage etc; basil, oregano)

#29 Posted : Sunday, November 9, 2014 8:22:18 PM(UTC)

Jerusalem: Stuffed onions

I made a variation of the variation- minced lamb instead of beef. This was everything I envisioned and won high praise. Several fussy steps but none too difficult; I think the vegetarian version will be a stunning Thanksgiving side dish.

#3 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 9:54:37 PM(UTC)


Originally Posted by: Jane Go to Quoted Post

Tomato and pomegranate salad - Plenty More p.15

This is the first recipe in the book and YO says "I rarely rave about my own recipes but this one I can go on and on about".  It was good but one thing I can go on and on about is how long it takes to make!  Tomato and pomegranate salad sounds simple doesn't it?  Not when you are cutting into 0.5 cm dice 1340g (almost 3 lbs) of tomatoes, pepper and onion.  I made half quantities and it took ages.  You could finely chop them but with ripe tomatoes you would end up with mush, which is not what this salad looks like.  And it did look pretty, a mix of red, yellow, green tomatoes, red pepper and red onion.  It's quite sweet with the pomegranate seeds and a dressing made with pomegranate molasses.  I found the oregano flavor a bit overpowering when I caught a leaf. I think I'll skip that next time.  It is good just be aware that you won't want to make this one for a crowd.  Oh, and I think the quantity is enough for 6 not 4 as a side salad.  I served it with plain grilled salmon.

I agree about the time taken Jane and for the result I would say it wasnt worth it.

#30 Posted : Monday, November 24, 2014 11:15:45 PM(UTC)

I was reminded that I didn't report on the Spicy chickpea and bulgur soup from Plenty More. I made it more complex than required by using our own homegrown dried chickpeas, so had to cook those first. And then I had to make my own harissa, since I don't trust any commercially available harissa to be within my heat tolerance. Not really sure where I would buy commercial harissa paste around here, anyway. The final product was good, but was only soup the first day, right after I added the bulgur. By the time we got to the leftovers, the bulgur had soaked up the liquid, so it was more of a spicy chickpea and bulgur stew. The optional feta cream (made with yogurt and sour cream rather than creme fraiche, another product not easily available here) gave it a good flavor boost that put it beyond a run of the mill chickpea and bulgur soup/stew.  I'd definitely recommend using the feta cream.

But the best part of the dish was the chickpeas--guaranteed to be freshly dried, since I did it myself this fall, they plumped up beautifully when cooked and were tender and sweet. Next year's garden is going to feature even more chickpeas than this year. We ate about half the crop green this year, but next year will make sure to let more beans mature.

#31 Posted : Sunday, November 30, 2014 11:08:25 AM(UTC)

Wow!  I live in an apartment with no balcony so I envy the homegrown chickpeas!  

I made the Cauliflower and cumin fritters with lime yogurt from "Ottolenghi".  They were fabulous.  I love the fact that these books really make vegetables come alive.  It makes you want to forget about meat altogether and just cook these incredible foods. My husband, who is a meat lover would disagree however.  

A number of the recipes are complicated though and definitely not for week night cooking.  Looking forward to retirement and the prospect of being able to spend my time cooking through these books.  

#32 Posted : Friday, December 5, 2014 4:04:15 PM(UTC)

Tonight we had the chicken sofrito and the roasted sweet potatoes with fresh figs, both from Jerusalem. I took pretty big shortcuts with both, for the sake of time and washing up. My shortcuts worked on the sweet potatoes (roasted the sweet potatoes in smaller pieces, then added the spring onions, chilli, balsamic vinegar and figs and returned it to the oven for 10 minutes to glaze) but I think I need to try the chicken again.

#33 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2015 10:40:45 AM(UTC)

No-one has posted here in a long time! Have you all stopped cooking from Ottolenghi? Surely not! I'm cooking from Jerusalem this month as it's our book of the month at my cookbook club at my local library (great fun!). The dishes I've cooked so far:

Cod cakes in tomato sauce - this took quite a long time to make but was very good. There are a couple of timesavers not in the recipe instructions. I minced the herbs in the processor with the bread crumbs - I don't see the point in finely chopping that amount of herbs by hand. Another reviewer suggested putting the fish into the processor too. I didn't do that as I wanted small flakes of fish rather than a mushed texture - for me it's worth the time to finely chop the fish by hand.

I also mixed the water in with the sauce before putting in the fishcakes - I didn't like the idea of pouring water in top of the fishcakes/sauce (that seemed off to me). Someone would have to have an enormous frying pan to cook all 8 fishcakes at once (with room for flipping them). I had to do mine in 2 batches which added another 10 minutes to the cooking time. If I had more time, I would have chilled the cakes for 30 minutes as he suggests as the cakes didn't flip well, some broke up.

I thought the end result was great though I found the sauce too sweet - I will skip the sugar next time.

Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad - lovely combination of flavors. I'm a big fan of roasted cauliflower and the combination with parsley, hazelnuts and the sweet/spicy dressing is wonderful. I skip the celery as I rarely have that in the house, though I always have the other ingredients.

Roasted butternut squash & red onions with tahini & za'atar - this is the recipe I cook most from the book. I now roast whatever vegetables I have to hand though usually butternut squash is there. The most recent combination was squash, Brussels sprouts and red peppers. The toppping of za'atar, parley, pine nuts and tahini sauce elevates the roasted vegetables into something quite special. I eat this on its own for my dinner and never feel I'm missing animal protein.

#34 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:53:11 AM(UTC)

I'm sorry to see this ended so abruptly!  I'm just getting ready to buy my first Ottolenghi books.  I enjoyed reading everyone's posts.  I wish it would gain momentum again.  Why did you all stop posting?

I'm also very new to eat your books so I'm just learning how to use it also.

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