I’ll admit it: I’m a total fangirl of Yotam Ottolengi’s recipes. Here are some reviews.
*Starred Review* The true definition of a melting pot, it seems, can be found through foods, or so Ottolenghi and Tamimi contend. As former residents of Jerusalem and now well-acclaimed London restaurateurs, they have compiled a luscious, photographic collection of 120 recipes with origins encompassing various religions, countries, and, occasionally, continents. The history of the city and of foods found there are sprinkled throughout the text, as are visuals not only of recipes but also of the people who inhabit Jerusalem and beyond. Expect discourses on the humble aubergine (eggplant); za’atar, a native herb; hummus wars; and even Georgian cuisine. The book’s leisurely pace picks up with the introduction of dishes, some familiar but many not, that include fattoush, latkes, mejadra, clear chicken soup with knaidlach, pan-fried mackerel with golden beetroot and orange salsa, and helbeh (fenugreek cake). Measurements are computed in grams, and, unfortunately, the more exotic ingredients, such as arak and zhoug, might prove elusive to all but the most avid chefs. Yet the passion and skill evident in this collection of Mediterranean cuisine are contagious. –Barbara Jacobs
“Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the most exciting new talents in the cooking world, with four fabulous, eponymous London restaurants and a weekly newspaper column that’s read by foodies all over the world. Plenty is a must-have collection of 120 vegetarian recipes featuring exciting flavors and fresh combinations that will delight readers and eaters looking for a sparkling new take on vegetables.
“Yotam’s food inspiration comes from his Mediterranean background and his unapologetic love of ingredients. Not a vegetarian himself, his approach to vegetable dishes is wholly original and innovative, based on freshness and seasonality, and drawn from the diverse food cultures represented in London.
“In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts.”