JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST • The New York Times bestselling collection of 130 easy, flavor-forward recipes from beloved chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
In Ottolenghi Simple, powerhouse author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi presents 130 streamlined recipes packed with his signature Middle Eastern–inspired flavors, all simple in at least (and often more than) one way: made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot, using pantry staples, or prepared ahead of time for brilliantly, deliciously simple meals. Brunch gets a make-over with Braised Eggs with Leeks and Za’atar; Cauliflower, Pomegranate, and Pistachio Salad refreshes the side-dish rotation; Lamb and Feta Meatballs bring ease to the weeknight table; and every sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied by the spectacular Fig and Thyme Clafoutis. With more than 130 photographs, this is elemental Ottolenghi for everyone.
As Ottolenghi lightheartedly points out, he is often teased for requiring a surfeit of exotic ingredients in his bestselling cookbooks, which include Nopi and Jerusalem. This collection is meant to remedy that with "simple" dishes, though that simplicity is hazily defined, as many recipes call for a long list of ingredients. In a gimmicky touch, each of the letters in simple has been assigned a meaning (L is for lazy, E for "easier than you think"), and recipes are tagged accordingly. But these categories are coy: dishes tagged with a P, for example, can be made with what readers are presumed to have on hand in the pantry, which in this case includes urfa chile flakes and black garlic. This book may not be as challenging as Ottolenghi's previous collections, but a side dish of harissa chickpeas with flaked cod calls for 13 ingredients, and baked mint rice with pomegranate and olive salsa has 14 ingredients. That said, the chef's imagination shines in items like a cakey beet and goat cheese bread. Comfort food with an international twist rules the day: highlights include baked potatoes and soft-boiled eggs with Italian tonnato sauce, and lamb siniyah, a shepherd's pie with a crust of tahini rather than mashed potatoes. Desserts include a mixture of crushed graham crackers, melted chocolate, pistachios, and rum-soaked raisins refrigerated until set, and a no-churn raspberry ice cream. Claims to simplicity aside, this is yet another appealing cookbook from a pro who seems to turn them out with ease.