Skip to main content

A nearly Ottolenghi dinner





Ten days ago, this book came to my attention and after a surprisingly brief interval, I had it in my hands. I had never heard of the Ottolenghi mini-empire in London, probably because I last went there in March 2007, and hardly had any time to take a full foodie tour of the city. Also, I guess I'm not very trendy, so I was kept in the dark as to the existence of their three cafés-restaurants-delis.

Anyhow, behind the Italian name Ottolenghi hide, not only Yottam Ottolenghi himself, but also his partner and co-chef Sami Tamimi. Both come from Jerusalem, one an Israeli boy of mixed European descent, the other a Palestinian, and their food obsession has led them both to London. The food is rich in colours and flavours, the savoury recipes ripe with lemons, fresh herbs and tons of garlic. The book has a huge array of recipes for vegetables, making even much-hated veg like cauliflower appetizing. It also gives many ideas for pulses and grains, so all in all it's a good investment for vegetarians and others looking for new ideas to use up those veg box leftovers. But that's not all, folks, baking is another strong point of the book, as apparently it is in their delis. Breads, focaccie, cakes, brownies, biscuits, many many goodies for the keen home baker to reproduce. Nothing very fancy (no three-layer cakes with complicated icings) but everything totally mouthwatering.

I chose to start with the radish and broad bean salad and the roast chicken with za'atar and sumac, but given that I had only one lemon and no fresh coriander or parsley, I had to cheat a little. Nevertheless this was a fantastic dinner with distinctly Middle-Eastern flavours.
The salad was good and pretty, with the wedges of radishes and the green gems of broad bean halves, the cumin and the saltiness of preserved lemons.
The chicken was absolutely delicious, with the tang of the roast lemon, the sweetness of the onions and the za'atar, which is a tangy/herby/sesamey combo of its own. I omitted the stipulated allspice and cinnamon as they didn't appeal much to me. My za'atar already contains sumac so I used only that, and not too little of it ( necessary if you want to taste it in the finished dish). I also left out the pine nuts at the end because I was too exhausted for them.

Roast chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon (adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook)
serves 4
1 free-range chicken, cut into four
2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsps olive oil
1 1/2 tsp allspice (pimento)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
200ml chicken stock or water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp za'atar
20 g butter
50g pine nuts
4 tbsps flat-leaf parsley, chopped

In a large bowl, marinate the chicken with the onions, lemon, garlic, oil, spices (bar the za'atar- but since I used only that I put it in and added extra before roasting), stock, S&P. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight or a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to an oven tray, skin side up. Sprinkle with za'atar and roast for 30-40 mins.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a frying pan and brown the pine nuts.
Serve chicken with the nuts, parsley, a drizzle of oil and more sumac/za'atar if you wish.

More recipes I can't wait to try :

Puy lentils with sour cherries, bacon and gorgonzola
French beans and mangetout with hazelnut and orange
Asparagus and samphire
Cauliflower fritters
Grilled aubergine and lemon soup
Roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey
Brownies
Sticky chocolate loaf
...

If you want to find out more about the author, read his weekly column in the Guardian.

Comments

Kelly-Jane said…
That looks like a wonderful supper, this book is at the top of my to read pile!
This looks wonderful. I have the book and agree it's great. So far I've only made some cupcakes though.
Anna said…
I have this book too, but don't know why, I'm not really drawn to it, even though everything looks very delicious....
Katrina said…
just the recipe I was looking for!

is there an accompanying rice dish to go with the chicken? it's my plan for the Xmas dinner..

Popular posts from this blog

Mijoteuse...gadget ou vraiment utile? Le point

La mijoteuse électrique, ou slow-cooker, ou encore crockpot (une marque), un objet encore assez rare dans nos contrées, a fait son apparition chez moi il y a peu. Depuis, je suis convertie. Mes amies anglo-saxonnes qui en possèdent s'en servent beaucoup, surtout l'hiver, il faut dire, et je me suis laissée tenter pour plusieurs raisons.

1) La mijoteuse permet d'utiliser quelques minutes de temps libre pour préparer son repas à l'avance, par ex. du matin pour le soir, ou du midi pour le soir, voire la veille ou juste quelques heures avant. Si elle est programmable, c'est encore mieux. Super avantage quand on travaille, et/ou qu'on a peu de temps le soir (bains à donner, bébé à coucher, etc.)

2) La cuisson, très douce, permet d'exalter les saveurs. Un bourguignon devient ainsi très aromatique, la viande super tendre, après avoir cuit sur une journée entière (un peu comme après réchauffage le lendemain).

3) On peut faire cuire avec peu de mat.gr. et réaliser tout…

La Réunion en recettes : cari de lotte et son riz au lait de coco

Enfin, je réalise d'autres recettes réunionnaises. La cuisine de la Réunion, au carrefour des continents, à l'image de sa population, associe des saveurs européennes, asiatiques, indiennes et africaines.
Je vous propose le cari de lotte, tout simplement parce que je cherchais du poisson ce samedi-là, et que les queues de lotte m'ont tapé dans l'oeil. Pauvres lottes décapitées sur l'étal du rayon poissonnerie, eh oui, la lotte est moche, tellement moche qu'on l'appelle poisson-diable en allemand et en anglais (mais aussi poisson-moine/monkfish), aussi, on la propose souvent débarassée de son faciès.

Oui, mais une fois rentrés à la maison, que faire de ces deux beaux filets? Ni une, ni deux, j'ouvre mes tomes de Nigella et Jamie et compulse les index, mais les recettes ne m'emballant pas trop, je pense soudain à en faire un cari et j'ouvre alors Cuisine des Iles de l'Océan Indien (Edisud), ramené lors de mon dernier voyage à la Réunion il y a pr…

Chocolate gelato, glace au chocolat sans oeufs et sa variation vanille

Another delicious recipe filched from bakingsheet, a chocolate gelato, ie an ice-cream made with a base of milk, cocoa powder and cornstarch, so very light and egg-free, plus easy to make. Click here for the original recipe.

Piquée chez Bakingsheet, comme d'autres recettes extra, cette glace au chocolat type gelato est très maigre car elle ne contient pas d'oeufs, ni de crème. Si on traduit gelato par glace italienne, on a tout faux bien sûr car cette glace se tient aussi bien que les autres.

J'étais assez étonnée d'apprendre qu'on pouvait faire une base de crème glacée simplement avec du lait et de la maïzena*, mais ma curiosité est récompensée puisqu'il s'agit de l'une des meilleures glaces au chocolat que j'ai mangées (et donc faites). Tout aussi bonne, voire meilleure, peut-être, que le sorbet au chocolat noir de Pierre Hermé?


3 tasses de lait - 75cl
2/3 tasse de sucre en poudre ou 140g environ
3/4 tasse de cacao non sucré-90g
1,5 cs de maïzena

Porter …