Reviewed by Kylie Archer
There are two salads I make when people are coming around for lunch. And both of them are from this book. They are on pages 67 (Roasted Sweet Potato with Pecan and Maple) and 33 (Chargrilled Asparagus, Courgettes and Manouri). Both pages have splatter marks on them from the number of times I’ve made them. They are always greeted by “oohs and aahs” and they both have just enough interest in them for people to think they are amazing.
The first thing you will notice about this cookbook is everything looks incredible. The reason behind this is the authors have a gourmet food shop. Background: their shop in Notting Hill, London is a testament to their food philosophy, everything is fresh, natural, uncomplicated but stunning. The old saying is “sex sells” and when it comes to Ottolenghi food, it’s all very sexy! The colours pop in the food and the taste is equally exciting.
Each chapter has something amazing to offer. The first is ‘Vegetables, Pulses and Grains’. It houses my two salads and also the most fabulous sweet potato gratin you will ever taste. Some of the ingredients are unusual, and you’ll think the combinations just won’t work but there is some wizardry at work in this book and they just do work!
Even if you only ever cooked from Chapter 1, you would never be bored. If you did that though, you’d never taste the Roast chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon.
However, if you need more of a reason to be interested in this book, Chapter 3 is all about baking and patisserie. Giant meringues, beautiful tarts and breads. The photos of the patisserie items will have your mouth watering. Trust me, this section is not for the faint-hearted. There’s even a section dedicated to the Macaroon- with three flavours to try! I love how they have multiple uses for the one item: you make tartlet cases and then there are five different tartlets that use the cases.
There’s one final chapter and that teaches you to make some of the different elements of the dishes you will find in the book such as vanilla essence, crumble, and shortcrust pastry.
Rating 9/10. Even if just for the pictures, this is probably the one cookbook I would save if the world was ending.
I’m a mother of 2, educational designer, and self-confessed cookbookaholic. My husband had to build an ikea bookshelf just to house all of my cookbooks.
I make my own cheese, pasta, jam and icecream. I haven’t yet MamaBaked, but would love to start a group in my area. In the meantime, I’m trying to perfect some “big batch” recipes of my own and cooking vicariously through MamaBake’s Facebook page.