Cookbook review: Ottolenghi Simple

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Published by Appetite Books, 2018

Ottolenghi’s cookbooks are temples of taste, inventiveness, spicing and usually a long slog buying ingredients and the time involved to produce his beautiful food. I believe good food does take time, but he is out to challenge me, and he wins.

Simple in Ottolenghi terms means:

Short on time
Ingredients (10 or less)
Make ahead
Pantry available
Lazy
Easier than you think

It’s altogether a mantra for getting dinner on the table as easily as possible. And it does. I was surprised at both the taste and elegance of the recipes which were approachable and so easy to accomplish, although the long cooking times were often long. He is the king of bold flavours.

Ottolenghi has looked for quicker ways to achieve taste by adding interesting spicing and using cooking methods that are not fiddley. There is lots of oven-baking in this book.

The book is not to be dismissed as Lenghi light, it has some cheffy elements but his big bold flavours dance on the pages. Vegetables are the stars for me — his roasted carrots with tahini sauce was a perfectly balanced mixture of sweet, nutty and rich while the slow-roasted celeriac melted in your mouth. The lamb sinyah a Middle Eastern shepherd’s pie with a tahini crust, is worth the price of the whole book.

Simple it may be but the flavour blends and stunning pictures make it a book for both chefs and home cooks.

Click here to order from Chapters-Indigo, $25.50