Sunday 6 January 2013

Ottolenghi – Enticingly Sensual Food

Ottolenghi Main
If you visit Ottolenghi, anywhere in London, expect to queue, not just to eat, but to buy any of their own brand ingredients such as Lebanese Za’atar, Sumac, chutney and ketchup.  And if you can resist the display of desserts and cookies in the window you’re a far stronger person than I am………

For anyone with a love of fresh, tasty, innovative Mediterranean based food then this is one you have to add to your list if you haven’t already.

There are already three recipe books;  Ottolenghi the Cookbook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, and Jerusalem, all of which offer inspiring recipes with wonderful photography which makes your mouth water, immediately.

Don’t come to Ottolenghi if you’re a well cooked roast meat fanatic, come here if you love sensory flavours, spices, beautifully cooked salmon, rare tuna and seared beef, and a display of vegetable and grain dishes (and cakes and desserts) you simply won’t find anywhere else such as

Roasted squash and marrow with chilli yoghurt, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and coriander,
Char-grilled broccoli with chilli and garlic,
Red quinoa, brown and jasmine rice salad with sesame seeds, dried fruit and herbs
Baked purple onion and chickpeas with goat’s cheese, za’atar and pine nuts

Ottolenghi Salads

As they say themselves:

”Our food is familiar and straight forward, yet highly innovative.  It is familiar because it is personal. It is made and served by group of people who love preparing food as well as indulging in it, gorging on it, chatting about it endlessly. It is a way of life, somewhere between a healthy obsession and a bad habit we can’t kick.
This fixation pushes us to experiment and invent, to look at what we prepare from extraordinary angles and try to make it even tastier, more sensual and vibrant. Drawing on an abundance of culinary traditions – with a focus on the Mediterranean – we strive to surprise and stir. And we do this using bold flavours and daring colours, no apologies. Our favourite ingredients are of this “noisy” type: lemon, pomegranate, garlic, chilli.”

Ottolenghi Cakes and Desserts
You can order the recipe books as above, visit them at the Ottolenghi addresses here or go online and buy their ingredients from their online store

Go there, somehow, you won’t regret it.  Writing this has made me extremely hungry – I’ll be visiting them tomorrow…..