Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

 

 

Ebury Press 2010

RRP: £25

What a refreshing, arthritis new vegetarian cookery book.  By his own admission Yotam Ottolenghi is not a vegetarian but that is not important as he has put together an inspiring collection of recipes that any vegetarian would be proud to make!  He has an excellent pedigree having written a vegetarian column in the Guardian weekend magazine since 2006 (for which he received some angry letters from vegetarians since he was not one!).

The book is grouped into chapters that centre round one main ingredient – mushrooms, online onions, tomatoes, cereals… there is even a section on ‘green things’.  It is a lovely book to read, peppered with anecdotes about the origins of the recipes and beautiful colour photography.   What appealed to me most was the imaginative blending of fresh ingredients to produce dishes with a difference.  There is a great reliance on fresh herbs so unless you grow these yourself you need to plan and put them on the shopping list.  This would also apply to some of the specialist ingredients but many recipes did not require unusual or unheard of foods.

I immediately found recipes I wanted to try –stuffed Portobello with melting Taleggio, multi-vegetable paella and soba noodles with aubergine and mango.

Have I made anything yet?  Yes – I was tempted into making the Halloween soufflés.  Light fluffly soufflés containing pumpkin puree – delicious!  They did take me slightly longer than my usual goat cheese’s soufflés but then making a recipe for the first time usually does.  The mushroom lasagne worked well – the mixture of cheeses was delicious although it slightly overpowered the flavour of the mushrooms.

What’s next?  I think it will be the Caramelized garlic tart but with 3 medium heads of garlic in the recipe maybe it is one for when I am at home for the weekend!

Reviewed by Clare

(picture: Ebury Press website)

 

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