Ottolenghi’s Plenty has been an absolute pleasure to review. This man makes you fall in love with vegetables. He serves them in unexpected and delightful ways. Cooking from Plenty made me very happy. And at no point did I feel that there was anything missing due to lack of meat or fish.
So here’s my run through of the eight recipes we tried out, starting with the favourites.
- Aubergine and lemon risotto. Ottolenghi may cook with vegetables but that doesn’t mean his dishes are low calorie. This dish had a lot of butter in, but it tasted so good. Incredibly rich and creamy as you scoop out the goo of a charred aubergine to mix in with the risotto rice.
- Courgette and hazelnut salad. Admittedly we deviated from the vegetable theme here and ate it with roast chicken, but hey we would have been hungry without a bit of protein. Griddled courgettes combined with roasted hazelnuts, parmesan, basil leaves tastes superb.
- Tomato, semolina and coriander soup. So semolina is a rather fascinating addition to this dish. It thickened the soup and even provided it with a few accidental potatoey like dumplings. Tasty.
- Mee goreng. Apparently this is a really famous Malaysian dish, but I’d never had it before. I am now an official fan. Stir fried tofu, pak choi, french beans, noodles and a chilli and soy sauce. Salty and interesting.
- Crunchy parpadelle. A lovely creamy pasta dish made with double cream, sprouting brocolli, mushrooms and an exciting topping of crunchy panko breadcrumbs and lemon zest. I really loved this one!
Also very goods
- Mixed beans with many spices. Jamie chose this and I thought it sounded a bit boring. I was wrong. Beans can be very delicious in the right spicy sauce. So tasty that I had two enormous plates full of the stuff.
- Butterbeans friend with feta, sorrel and sumac. Jamie wasn’t such a fan of this dish, but I love butter beans and feta and dill so I was happy as larry! It was lovely and creamy and comforting with the dill and feta adding a bit of intrigue.
- Soba noodles with aubergine and mango. An unusual and enjoyable dish. The mango gave it an interesting sweet and sour flavour.
I loved cooking from Plenty. Ottenlenghi is a creative genius – the dishes are so colourful and imaginative – they really lit up our evening meals. Although sometimes there’s a lot of butter and cream in his recipes, I think they cancel themselves out because all the vegetables and other ingredients are so healthy. I will definitely be returning to this book for more vegetable worship.