Plenty More:
Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from
London’s Ottolenghi
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Pub Date: October 14, 2014
Ten Speed Press

Israeli-born London star-chef and best-selling cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi has a new cookbook, PLENTY MORE. It is a follow up to PLENTY; JERUSALEM; and his other books. It presents premium, grade-A, food porn for anyone who likes vegetables. The photos alone are worth the purchase of the book.

While most cookbooks are segmented by meal (breakfast, dinner, dessert, etc.), PLENTY MORE is organized by how one prepares the vegetable. It is BDSM for plants.

Chapters are: Tossed, Steamed, Blanched, Simmered, Braised, Grilled, Roasted, Fried, Mashed, Cracked, Baked, and Sweetened. Cracked? Cracked means that you add an egg. Sweetened: you add sweeteners. PLENTY MORE is an example of what separates a good cookbook from a great one. The pictures, the ideas, the creativity, and even just his brief stories before each recipe uplift the reader.

PLENTY MORE opens with a Tomato Salad with Pomegranates. You use four types of tomatoes. Here is a video:

Some of the inspiring vegetable dishes are:

Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt
Fig Salad (the way he describes the sensuality of selecting a ripe fig borders on the erotic)
Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Green Onion
Grilled Lettuce with Farro and Lemon
Cauliflower Cake
Eggplant Kuku (a Persian eggplant souffle-like dish)
Crushed Carrots with Harissa
Root Mash with Wine Braised Shallots
Roasted Brussel Spouts with Pomelot and Star Anise (never.boil.a.sprout)
Quinoa and Wild Garlic Cakes with Salbitxada Sauce (a sharp and lightly sweet Catalan sauce that’s traditionally served with calçots)
Eggplant Tomato Potato
Sri Lankan Eggplant Pahi
Orange & Date Salad
Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad
Membrillo and stilton quiche
Buttermilk-crusted okra
Seaweed, ginger and carrot salad
Baked rhubarb with sweet labneh
Quince poached in pomegranate juice

Another video with Yotam


“I rarely rave about my own recipes but this is one I can just go on and on about. It is the definition of freshness with its sweet and sour flavours and it is also an utter delight to look at.” — Yotam Ottolenghi.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) red cherry tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) dice
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) yellow cherry tomatoes, cut into ¼-in (6 mm) dice
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) plum tomatoes, cut into ¼-in (6 mm) dice
1 lb (454 g) medium slicing tomatoes, cut into 1/4 — in (6 mm) dice
1 red pepper, cut into ¼-in (6 mm) dice
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp (2 mL) ground allspice
2 tsp (10 mL) white wine vinegar
1 ½ tbsp (22 mL) pomegranate molasses
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 cup (250 mL) pomegranate, seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) small oregano leaves

Mix together all the tomatoes, red pepper, and onion in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, allspice, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and a scant ½ tsp salt until well combined. Pour this over the tomato mixture and gently mix.

Arrange the tomato mixture and its juices on a large, flat plate. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and oregano over the top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

– —


“The combination of walnuts, apricots and lavender is as French as a good baguette with butter and ripe brie and it is every bit as invincible.” —Yotam Ottolenghi.

¾ cup (185 mL) plus 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter, room temp, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) walnut oil
1 cup plus 1 ½ tbsp (250 mL; 22 mL) superfine sugar
1 ¼ cup (310 mL) ground almonds
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup (250 mL) walnuts, freshly blitzed in food processor to coarse powder
¾ cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ tsp (7.5 mL) lavender flowers, fresh or dry
15 apricots, halved and pitted

About 6 tbsp (90 mL) confections sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the butter, oil, superfine sugar and almonds in a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in small additions and continue to beat until well incorporated. Fold in the walnuts, flour, vanilla, lemon zest, 1 tsp (5 mL) lavender and 1/8 tsp (. 5 mL) salt.

Line the base and sides of a 9-in (23 cm) cake pan with parchment paper. Pour in the cake batter and level the top. Arrange the apricot halves, skin side down and slightly overlapping, over the top, right to the edge. Bake in the oven for 70 to 80 minutes, covering with aluminum foil if the top starts to brown too much.

While the cake is baking, make the icing. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to get a light, pourable icing, adjusting the amount of sugar or juice if needed. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush the icing on top. Sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp (2 mL) lavender over the top and leave the cake to cool before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

* * * * * * * * * *

Thug Kitchen:
The Official Cookbook:
Eat Like You Give a F*ck
by Thug Kitchen
(aka Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway)
Pub Date: October 07, 2014

thuglife1Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular web site to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (“This might be my favorite thing ever”) and named Saveur’s Best New Food blog of 2013 — with half a million Facebook fans and counting — Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food.

I enjoyed this unpretentious, educational cookbook, and it is all vegetarian.

thugs2The cookbook is already a top ten best seller in the United States. Sadly many of their book talks on the West Coast were cancelled this week when bookstores and fans found out that the writers are not criminals or thugs. Did they really think they were? Conde Nast’s Epicurious blog outed them as blonde 27 year old Californians in East Hollywood. Come critics said that their book and blog are a form of “digital blackface” and that their use of curse words is a misappropriation of a “black thing.” They are saying that “thug” is a code word for blach. To me, the criticisms are very confusing… the critics seem to be racist when calling the authors and publisher racists.

There are more than 100 recipes for their best-loved (blogged) meals, snacks, and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that sh*t.)

The chapter heading are:
1. Carpe F*cking Diem: Breakfast
2. Short order Sh*t: Salads, Sammies and Minimals
3. Big Ass Cup of Cozy: Soups and Stews
4. The Munchies: Salsas, Sips + The Snack Life
5. The Main Event; Burritos, Bowls, and Other Bomb Ass Meals
6. Sweet Talk: Baked Goods and Motherf*cking Desserts

Interspersed in the cookbook are “Basic Sh*t” skillet points, including how to roast garlic; how to build a salad; tofu versus tempeh; how to cut up a mango; how to bake tofu; and how to make a vegetable broth from scraps.

Highlights include Quinoa Oatmela (1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal and 1/2 cup of almond milk); Tofu Scramble Tacos; Mixed Veggie and Tofu Chilaquiles; Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes and how to make your own pancake mix (measure out a bunch of sh*t; make 12, freeze them and eat them whenever the f*ck you want); Whole Wheat Biscuits; and Baked Okra and Potato Hash.

Some Short order items are Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Sauce; Moroccan Spiced Couscous; Roasted Broccoli and Millet Pilaf; Lemon-Mint Quinoa (mint is not just for gum); Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad (salad is plant nachos); Baked Spanish Rice; Cold Citrus Noodles with Cucumbers and Carrots (hits the effing spot); 5 Spice Fried Rice with Sweet Potatoes (takeout can’t touch this); Apple Baked Beans (apples are dope); Barley Stuffed Peppers; and Braised Winter Cabbage and Potatoes (give cabbage an effing chance).

Some Cozy Cup ideas are Lemony Red Lentil Soup; Pozole Rojo; and Wedding Soup with White Bean Balls and Kale. Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites are a unique Munchie. Some Main Events are Ravioli with Tofu Ricotta; Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna; Silky Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta with Zucchini and Basil Ribbons; White Bean and Lentil Burgers; and Roast Veggie Fries. And three baked goods are Carrot Cake Cookies; Carrot and Apple Muffins; and Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffins.

Here is a sample recipe.

Serves 4
1 pound pasta*
¼ cup pasta water**
1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, about 3 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium nectarines, chopped into bite-sized pieces, skin on, about 1 ½ cups
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup basil sliced into thin strips

Cook the pasta according to the package directions or your instincts, whateverthefuck you normally do. Measure out your pasta water like we tell you below and set that shit aside.

While your pasta is cooking, grab a large skillet or wok and warm it up over a medium heat. Add the oil. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and cook those little fuckers until they start to shrivel up a bit, about 4-5 minutes. Add the nectarines, garlic, and salt and cook for another minute more just to warm up the nectarines. Yeah, garlic and nectarines. Calm the fuck down and just trust the method. Now turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, then toss in the pasta. Start mixing that shit up as you add in the pasta water.

Fold in the basil and taste. Add more lemon juice, vinegar, basil, or salt. You know what you want to get the flavors right by you. Serve right away with some extra basil on top so it looks legit as fuck.

If you end up with leftovers, you can also enjoy this motherfucker cold. It’s damn delicious and involves no effort.

* Spaghetti or angel hair is best. Whole wheat is great if you roll like that.
** No, this isn’t some weird, fancy shit you buy at the store. Right before your pasta is done cooking, take a metal measuring cup and scoop up some of that water right in the pot and set it aside. All the starch in the water is great for filling out a light sauce so you don’t have to add a shitload of oil. You’re fucking welcome for that trick.


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