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Book Review: Ottolenghi FLAVOUR

The Ottolenghi FLAVOUR cookbook is a treasure trove of vegetarian recipes. We share added tips on how to use it for simple everyday cooking.

Book Review: Ottolenghi Flavour

In Ottolenghi FLAVOUR, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage bring their love of cooking to life with over 120 recipes from breakfast to dinner. 

The dishes are inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle East's flavours and influenced by Ottolenghi's travels around the world.

This cookbook will not only teach you how to make delicious vegetarian meals but also how to add exciting new flavours and cooking techniques to your cooking regimen.

Let's open up Ottolenghi FLAVOUR for a deeper look...

First Impressions

Ottolenghi FLAVOUR is a beautiful book. It's total eye-candy from a book-looking perspective! 

I liked Yotam's philosophy for how readers can enjoy this cookbook. They offer 20 base ingredients (some of which may not be as familiar) but not as a must-have grocery list. But instead, ideas list if you want ingredients to pair well with vegetables so that you experiment with your cooking. 

The cookbook aims is to highlight how you can elevate cooking with vegetables to make them more exciting and stand out dishes on their own. 

The book has a good educational element to it and its broken into three parts:

1. Process

Cooking techniques to bring out the magic in your vegetables.

2. Pairing

How to incorporate acidity, heat, fat or sweetness to make your vegetable dish pop. 

3. Produce

Understand how certain vegetables can add more flavour to meals and use them in your cooking. 

This is perfect if you're like me, and the idea of cooking with more vegetables is appealing but you can't seem to get past cooking the same lentil bolognese or cauliflower dahl that the family is now complaining about [sigh]!  

Tips for simple everyday cooking using Ottolenghi FLAVOUR

As you take a deeper look through the cookbook, the simple everyday cook (like me) might think, this is super-fancy (while your mouth is watering at the same time)!

On page 301, Yotam does a good job of breaking down the cookbook to help you navigate more effortless recipes that use one pan in less than 30 minutes or less than an hour (that's my kind of cooking!) Which is great!

Don't be afraid to skip ingredients if you don't have them or substitute with something similar, I do this with almost every recipe I cook— if it's mid-week and I don't have the ingredient on hand I substitute or omit! 

The names of some of the recipes are pretty fancy-sounding which might feel intimidating at first. Try to look past this, as you read you'll find it's quite down-to-earth and enjoyable to read. The book has a great education element to it with some super-cute vegetable illustrations. 

You might also notice some ingredients that don't sound familiar, like Cascabel Chillies or Nigella Seeds, for example. In these cases, you could skip them if you don't have them available or take the 'cascabel' from the chilli and use your everyday chilli, like chilli flakes!

Start small and build as you go. Try making a salad or dip from the cookbook to begin with I'm eyeing off the Broccoli Two Ways (Page 186) next! 

Is Ottolenghi FLAVOUR Worth Your Money?

The Ottolenghi FLAVOUR Cookbook is an investment at $55. When you look at the work that's gone into its preparation, the stunning photography and recipes you can see why. 

If you've wanted to expand your culinary skillset and explore more fun ways to cook with vegetables, it is a beautiful book like Yotam's former Plenty cookbook series.


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