Warning this review is biased! Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is one of my favourite cookbook, if not my favourite.
This picture above is not one of my own cookbooks. Mine is stained, worn out, full of post-it notes. A sign it has been used over and over.
I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw it. Love the cover and the beautiful photography that complements most recipes. I discovered it when I was first trying to cut out meat of my diet. I was intimidated by vegetarian cookbooks and I love the fact that Plenty is a vegetarian cookbook written by a non-vegetarian.
Back in 2006, Ottolenghi was approached by The Guardian to write a vegetarian column in their Weekend magazine called The New Vegetarian. Plenty is a collection of those recipes plus some new ones.
Drawing from his Middle Eastern background, Ottolenghi offers here a wide range of vegetarian recipes with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern accents. I have tried many of them and trust me when I say that they appeal to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Expect the unexpected with original ingredient combinations that create strong, innovative and delicious flavours.
In Ottolenghi’s own words “at the centre of every dish, at the beginning of the thought process, is an ingredient, one ingredient – not just any ingredient but one of my favourite ingredients. I tend to set off with this central element and then try to elaborate on it, enhance it, bring it out in a new way, while still keeping it in the centre, at the heart of the final dish.”
The result is a fantastic cookbook no vegetarian or flexitarian kitchen should be without.
Here are a few of my favourite recipes:
- The ultimate winter couscous
- Itamar’s bulghar pilaf
- Barley and pomegranate salad
- Castellucio lentils with tomatoes and Gorgonzola
- Marinated buffalo mozzarella and tomato
- Soba noodles with aubergine and mango
- Sweet potato cakes