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Cookbook Cookalong No. 11 – Simple

Let me start by confessing that I’m a big fan of Ottolenghi – I use a lot of his recipes in my kitchen. I borrowed Jerusalem from a friend a few years ago ( I gave it back, honestly!) and tried lots of recipes from it. As a result Lamb shawarma became a favourite on my buffet menu along with a version of his chicken with freekeh .

I bought Simple about 2 years ago but had only cooked one dish from it before this week – I think because the ingredient lists were shorter than his norm I kind of treated it as ‘Ottolenghi Light’ adn pushed it to the back of the shelf. Having rescued it for this week’s cookalong I’m going to try a few more recipes from it

Simple Book cover

So what did I cook:

The dish that topped my Facebook poll was Bridget Jones’ pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa (p.246) . Apparently this dish was introduced after it was in Bridget Jones’ Baby – the salmon was delicious – the timings were spot on and the salsa was almost perfect. Almost. I’m not against dried fruit in savoury dishes – I grew up with sultanas in curries. I just don’t think the currants added anything to this dish and next time I make it they will not be included. Also I’m going to take on board a suggestion from Sinead and use black olives instead of green for colour.

salmon with salsa
Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa
Pine nut salsa
Salsa

I also made the Cauliflower ‘tabbouleh’ (p.46). I love tabbouleh but am still on the fence about the use of cauliflower as a grain substitute so I was interested to see how this dish would work. And even with the allspice, it did😊 . I can see this becoming a regular here over the summer months – with lots of fresh herbs from my garden ( if I win the slug battle 🤞 ). It will complement the barbeque perfectly.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

My verdict:

I feel like I should apologise to this book for ignoring it for so long (what do you mean – of course books have feelings). This week I also tried the roasted asparagus with almonds, capers and dill – yum! Next on my list is the ciabatta fritatta. However if you are buying your first Ottolenghi book I’d say have a look at Jerusalem or Plenty . Also check out Ottolenghi’s recipes and articles online. You’ll find the salmon recipe here and the cauliflower one here (along with a few more interesting ideas)

Dinner is served

If you missed my Simple Cookalong you can catch up here


The Friday Cookbook Cookalong happens every Friday at 6.30 pm on my facebook page – why not drop by and say hello – we’re a friendly bunch 😊

Happy Cooking!

Yvonne xx

If you’d like to join the weekly Hey Pesto! cookalong or attend one of my online cookery classes then please click here  for details. 
📷Special thanks as always to Jeff Harvey for the great food photography 📷