Review: Ottolenghi the Cookbook

So a Jew and a Palestinean start a restaurant…oddly, not the start of an inappropriate racial joke, it’s the story behind a popular restaurant in London.  Ottolenghi is one of my favorite restaurants in London and even as a poor graduate student, I would run up to the shop to treat myself to a meringue or tart.

Just looking in the window was drool-worthy: they had a knack for putting out salads, sandwiches and pastries in a way that was effortless, but beautiful.  Ottolenghi’s menu is really diverse and always changing.  They tend to focus on local, seasonal ingredients.  They head to the market and pick whatever looks best.

I was thrilled when I received this book for Christmas from some of our family.   The photos in this book are incredibly appetizing.  The book has a wide range of dishes.  There are a lot of great vegetarian recipes in here.  Vegetables aren’t relegated to side dish status; they are front and center.

While the baked goods section is not gluten-free, a lot of the recipes are naturally gluten-free, including: meringues, macaroons, chocolates and amarettis.  Many other recipes can easily be made gluten-free, since the flour is not always the bulk of the recipe.

The gluten cake is in the back and my g/f version is front and center. Note to those making this dish, double the frosting if you want to frost the sides!

 

Just check out these cakes: I made two versions, one gluten-free, one gluten-y.  Husband and my parents could barely tell the difference between them.  They said there was a very minor textural difference between the two cakes but no difference in taste.  This was probably because, unlike most cakes, flour is not the central ingredient.  Flour was only about ¼ of the total weight of the ingredients.

This is a fantastic cookbook.  I really look forward to trying every recipe in this book.

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