Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ottolenghi cookbook review

The lovely Charlotte lent me the Ottolenghi cookbook this week, after it being on my wishlist for at least a year. We spent a dangerous 15 minutes before work salivating over the recipes, lots of recommendations of what to make came my way! This book has many gushing reviews on Amazon and I'm afraid I'm just going to add my own! So far I have only made 1 side dish from the book but the ingredients have been bought for my next trial of chargrilled broccoli and sweetcorn and turkey meatballs.

The book is incredibly inviting. The photos bring the food to life and all the desserts look divine, but vegetables are the star of the show here.

I decided to make the french beans and mangetout with orange and hazelnut. It sounded like an awful lot of flavours together, as a lot of the recipes in this book do, but they all worked beautifully together. I couldn't find any mangetout, who knows why, so I used sugar snaps instead. The dish was very easy to put together and tasted delicious. I will have my beans no other way now! You might think that the hazelnuts are unnecessary but they added a whole new dimension to the flavour and texture of the dish.

As the book says, if you don't like lemon and garlic then you won't like many of the dishes in the book, but it definitely isn't something I have a problem with. There are some dishes I'd avoid, I'm not keen on flavours like cumin or fennel so I'd either omit the ingredients or just move on to the next recipe. There are also quite a few lamb dishes (I don't eat lamb since meeting a lovely sheep called Martha on a farm when I was little!!) but again I'm sure I could substitute lamb for chicken.

There are plenty of dishes I do want to try however and as well as the other 2 dishes I have in mind I also want to try the brioche recipe soon, as I am now the proud owner of a stand mixer! No bright red Kitchenaid alas but I'm sure it'll do the same job.

I may well be ordering this cookbook in the near future for myself. Ta Charlotte!
We had the beans with Delia Smith's Braised sausages http://www.waitrose.com/recipe/Delia#
It absolutely doesn't look the same and looks pretty rank in this photo but trust me, it is totally yummy no matter how the apples are cut or how grilled the sauages are! The shallots are cut into our sauce so they melted away into the sauce. Cider and meat is always a big win so how could this dish fail? The beans didn't really go with the dish so we kept them separate!

And I returned to the savoury muffins from my last post, this time making them with mozzarella and cured ham. Very lovely but I think I'd go back to replacing them with feta cheese. It added way more flavour. I also added a small amount of dijon mustard which added a great background flavour.


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