657 of 676 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars St Otto of Lenghi , we love you.
Moro, Jamie, Diana (Henry) ... I've bought all those books this year, excitedly scanning through them and bookmarking the pages of lots of yummy looking recipes to try. But how many have I actually got round to trying? Probably one or two recipes per book. They inspire, excite and suggest other ideas, but as for slavishly following the recipe, nah - you can kind of work...
Published on 5 May 2008 by victoria sponge
45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit underwhelming
I got this cookbook based on recommendations of friends, and the reviews here. I love cooking, and I really enjoy cooking challenging recipes with complex flavours. Looking through the book the recipes looked great, but for each of them that I have made I've found them a bit disappointing really and could be improved by a few creative alterations to the recipe. The...
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by redclock
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657 of 676 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars St Otto of Lenghi , we love you.,
Moro, Jamie, Diana (Henry) ... I've bought all those books this year, excitedly scanning through them and bookmarking the pages of lots of yummy looking recipes to try. But how many have I actually got round to trying? Probably one or two recipes per book. They inspire, excite and suggest other ideas, but as for slavishly following the recipe, nah - you can kind of work it out for yourself.
But St Otto is different - every meal we've eaten this week has been a revealing and faithful recreation of his great works on the streets of London. Admittedly I was already a convert. Ever since his huge, puffy piles of meringues beckoned me into the tiny Notting Hill shop about 4 years ago, I have been hooked. St Otto takes simple, everyday ingredients you use all the time at home - broccoli, chilli, garlic and olive oil, for example - and somehow transforms them into something magical that tastes so much more than everyday. You come out of their shops thinking 'How did they do that? How did they make that aubergine taste so smoky? Why don't my mushrooms taste like that when I fry them in olive oil? Why is their lemon and pistachio cake so squidgy?
Well, the cookbook generously reveals all. Garlic and lemon are likely to be involved (they start by saying that if you don't like lemon or garlic, you should skip to the end) - but there are no weird secrets underpinning the Ottolenghi magic. No intricate labours of love. This is easy to prepare food that is perfect for relaxed meals with big groups of friends.
They just have an extraordinary understanding of which flavours and ingredients work well together and how to combine them in just the right amounts (usually more generous than you are used to) to create something that piques your interest as well as your tastebuds. You can spot that they lived an interesting life as journalists and philosophers before following their love of food, as the book is a joy to read, with a style that is as warm and relaxed as the food itself. These are people you want to come and sit down at the table and share the food with you.
If you like modern, light and singingly fresh food that draws on the best of the Middle Eastern side of the Mediterranean, this is the book for you. If you think you already know how to knock up easy meals like roast turkey breast, couscous salad and french beans with hazelnuts without needing to invest in a cookery book, thank you very much, then it's even more imperative that you buy this book as it will lift both your everyday meals or cooking for friends to new heights. As for me, I'm off to check the price of Kenwood Chefs so I can recreate the joy of their meringues or brioche in my own home too. Praise be!
135 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best cookery book for 2009,
As an avid buyer of cookery books, most of them are read without any food being cooked as a result, I want to recommend this book to anyone who wants to actually cook dishes.
The authors describe the recipes as inventive yet simple and that is exactly the case. Their dishes taste great, look appealing and with lowish effort from the cook. The instructions are absolutely clear and hints for ways of serving are given.
I am vegetarian and found loads of recipes I have and will try.
A great present for any cook, but read it yourself before you give it away.
133 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one cookbook this year....,
buy this one! I have to admit, I don't live in London so I had no idea that Ottolenghi was even a shop - I thought it was a restaurant :-) I bought it purely on the strength of the other reviews.
It wasn't a bad decision! The book is visually stunning, with enough recipes to keep you going all year - I am always envious of people who can take something completely mundane (like broccoli) and turn it into a showstopper just by adding some garlic and chilli. Genius.
If you like cooking with ingredients such as bulghur wheat, sultanas, pomegranate, this is probably the book for you. But is also full of recipes for cakes, muffins and meringues. Buy, cook and enjoy!
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By The Gods - The Humble Cauliflower Transformed,
as i write this i have a freshly cooked bowl of the cauliflower and cumin fritters (to be found on page 50) gently steaming at my side. i can tell you it is delightful.
when i saw this recipe i knew i wanted to try it. so looking in the depleted fridge i came across most of the ingredients and set to. i had no fresh parsley so used dried and no shallots so used a small cooking onion. the results were sublime and can't wait to try it with the proper ingredients.
and the rest of the book? well that will be tomorrows handy work. thankyou ottolenghi for returning my enthusiasm for cooking back to me. a cherished book already.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best,
Great recipes that work! not only excellent bed-time reading but a full on working cook book that no kitchen should be without.Clear, exciting recipes, great flavour combinations, easy to read and the photography is simply fantastic. Buy for your family and friends, they will love you forever.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genuinely excellent recipes,
This is a superb book. The recipes are innovative, carefully thought out, nutritious and delicious. The majority of the ingredients are readily available, and the recipes are mostly simple and straightforward to follow.
Additionally, the book is beautifully produced, and good value for money. Even if you already cook a lot of mediterranean food, this is still well worth buying, as the authors come up with combinations of ingredients that you'd never think of yourself. Highly recommended.
81 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cookery books in years,
I'm a big fan of Ottolenghi, having eaten there a few times. I was really looking forward to this book and it didn't disappoint. There's a fresh take on everything and even though some recipes (french beans, mangetout in a hazelnut and orange dressing) are little more than assembly jobs, they're great for inspirations. I love the layout, the recipes, everything. Buy it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fabulous,
I have shelves full of cookery books. Some, like Jane Grigson, are timeless and also make great bedtime reading. Others, like this one, gain their place from the recipes alone. This is a fabulous conucopia of recipes, most with a Middle Eastern flavour so lots of lemons, salads, herbs and garlic. This gets top marks because the recipes are new and different (try the mackerel with green olive dressing), they are easy to follow and easy to make although sometimes the list of ingredients is a bit daunting, and every time I open the book, I want to make one of them.
There are new twists on method (heating the sugar and adding it all at once when mixing meringue was new to me but it works if you watch the sugar in the oven), ingredients you may never have heard of and combinations which you won't have tried (try the amaretti with sour cherries - quite delicious). Pretty much everything I have tried from the book works (unlike, dare I say, some of Nigella Lawson's recipes which don't despite the alluring build up and mouthwatering photographs) although I find the oven temperatures have to be fiddled around with a bit first. In common with many other recent cook books some of the photos are a bit random (why have a woman with her back to you and why have her in anyway?) but there are plenty of the food itself, and unlike some other reviewers I found the design and white space quite appealing and in tune with the recipes themselves.
So this gains top marks from me. Don't read it in bed though - it will either make you hungry or have you leaping out to make something when all right thinking people are asleep....
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My cookbook of the year,
Flavour, flavour, flavour those are the three words I'd use to describe the food produced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi in their two London establishments, and they certainly deliver that in this book which contains much of the food they routinely serve. The recipes, are so clear and well-written that it is easy to replicate the amazing tastes that are their hall-mark. I've only had the book for ten days but have already made four of the dishes, every one a winner. I have also had to fight off my daughter who thought she might take the book away to Cambridge with her - buy your own copy say I!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book for healthy exciting restaurant quality food at home,
At great recipe book if you are hoping to make restaurant quality delicious food at home with interesting but quite easy to source ingredients. Especially good for impressive healthy salads, and vegetarian food that is a bit special. For an occasion choose several dishes (as they do the wonderful Ottolenghi restaurant) but for normal meals just one or two with your normal favorite dishes. If you like the Tessa Kiros cook books (Falling Cloudberries is our favorite if you haven't come across her yet), and Moro books this is a must. The beautiful photography and design is a bonus, and makes the book a great gift. Highly recommended!
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Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Sami Tamimi