During the Olympics, I got into the London spirit by cooking a few recipes from Israeli-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi. It went okay, not great, partly because I pulled some random recipes from the internet, and since they were British recipes, it was a challenge to execute. A few weeks ago, I spotted a copy of Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty, in the library so I figured I’d try again.
Bottom line is that Ottolenghi is not Good Enough. Which is not to say that his recipes are not good, but just that they were not easily adaptable to the Good Enough method of cooking. They involve too many ingredients and too many steps. For example, this mushroom lasagna called for five kinds of cheese! I’m not kidding.
Here are a few other dishes I made:
The recipe suggested serving this mushroom dish with crusty bread. Ha ha! If I served my family mushrooms and bread for dinner, they’d vote me off the island so fast! I added the rice blend. The dish was tasty, but in typical Ottolenghi fashion, the recipe involves peeling lots of shallots. Not fun.
Actually this was amazing. It was glazed sweet potato spears with green onion and goat cheese. The recipe also called for fresh figs, but there were none too be had. I served it with tuna cakes and a yogurt sauce.
There were a few other recipes that were keepers, but I’ll save those for their own blog entries.
To be honest, two weeks of cooking from Plenty made me dread cooking dinner. Knowing that I had a multi-part endeavor in front of me kind of took the joy out of cooking for me. But the occasional foray (especially when it’s not a work night) wouldn’t be so bad.