Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi

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I never understand those people who do not bother to cook "just" for themselves.

OTTO-coverI never understand those people who do not bother to cook "just" for themselves. But then, I cook at the drop of a hat.

One of the joys of co-hosting The Bookish Supper Society - along with my good pal Sarah Hutchings - is that we get to spend ages poring over cookery books, choosing our menus. I have noticed that one of the books that we go back to again and again is Ottolenghi.

He is an Israeli-born writer and chef and his food is Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian, Israeli, and Armenian – with a western twist.  In other words, utterly delicious.

Fresh, vibrant, and not at all cheffy. You know, none of those towers of food with a nasty smear of unnameable sauce on a plate.

This is a cookery book that you can trust. I hate those over-produced cookery books that have too many vintage props and perfect-looking cakes that make you despair of ever achieving the perfect lavender, or rose, or elderflower, or chili sponges that they all seem to love.

No, this is great food, honestly cooked and perfectly described. The pictures are swoonable over; and so is he, to be honest.

Sweet potato gratin, baked artichokes and broad beans, Portobello mushrooms with pearl barley and preserved lemon, roast potatoes with Jerusalem artichokes and sage are some of my favourites.  And every single time I have cooked them, they have gone down a storm.

Hungry? Check out this great book. You will thank me.  And a dinner invitation would not go amiss, either!