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Sunday, December 23, 2018

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! : Ottolenghi Simple (Appetite by Random House)

OTTOLENGHI SIMPLE (Appetite by Random House, 2018, 308 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01703-6 $42 CAD hardbound) is by Yotam Ottolenghi, who co-owns an eponymous group of restaurants in London. His collaborators include Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, who have assisted him on his other books. His theme is simplicity for busy cooks, emphasizing (not all together or at once) quicker cooking times, 10 ingredients or fewer, make-aheads, pantry-based, and ease. These are his Mediterranean flavours in 130 streamlined preps, described as "elemental Ottolenghi". And it is all arranged by ingredient: raw veg, cooked veg, rice, grains, pulses, pasta, noodles, meat, seafood, dessert. There is also a lot of additional material on brunches, some menu suggestions, some feast menus, some pantry ideas for basics and spices. And there is a ribbon bookmark, lots of white space, and leading, and good use of bold type. But the book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes for teaspoons and tablespoons, or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: busy people, Ottolenghi collectors.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: vanilla custard with roasted strawberries and rhubarb; spinach- and gorgonzola-stuffed baked potatoes; Puy lentil and eggplant stew; whole roasted sea bass with soy sauce and ginger; lamb meatloaf with tahini sauce and tomatoes; cavolo nero with chorizo.
The downside to this book: very heavy book weight-wise
The upside to this book: great photography
Quality/Price Rating: 92

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