Friday, July 3, 2015

Exploring Ottolenghi

It's certainly been more than a few months since I posted on this blog, which certainly isn't to say I haven't been cooking plenty and eating out, because I have. I just haven't had the inclination to necessarily share. 

Over the last week or so, I've been feeling an itch though, so I thought I'd share some of my recent culinary adventures. One of these has been cooking from Ottolenghi The Cookbook that was the subject of much praise when it came out a few years ago. 

There are plenty of vegetable dishes, with delightfully unexpected twists in flavours. My first two dives into this book resulted in a dish of Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic  and another of Mixed Mushrooms with Cinnamon and Lemon.  

Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic
The broccoli dish was surprisingly easy and with a refreshingly interesting flavour. A short period of blanching, followed by a bit more grilling, with a finish of hot, flavoured oil and the dish was done. 

The mushroom dish was a little curious-er. And it featured more than a handful of mushrooms.   

Mixed Mushrooms with Cinnamon and Lemon
At one point, I thought I was going to burn the mushrooms at the bottom of the pan to crisp (you're warned quite sternly to leave the mushroom alone for 5 minutes over high heat). Sure, the garlic burnt but the mushrooms themselves were more than fine. 

For all the worry they caused, in less than 15 minutes I had a fragrantly steaming bowl of mixed mushrooms, with subtle variations in flavours and textures of the mushrooms, and the lift from a few squeezes of lemon rendering the dish anything but boring.

Mixed Mushrooms with Cinnamon and Lemon
So my first experiences with Ottolenghi was a smashing success. Onwards and upwards with trying more recipes; the Harira soup looks interesting, as does the Fried Scallops with Saffron Potatoes, Asparagus, and Samphire. And maybe one day experiencing the original dining experience in London myself.