“Oh my goodness. You have so many cookbooks. Do you cook from them all?”
This is the question asked by most people who are perplexed by the size of my collection. In fact the IKEA shelf that I purchased specifically to house them is now full and there are books overflowing onto the floor. Most of the books that end up on the floor are far too obese for the lean wooden shelves Ripailles – yes, I am talking about you.
Quite often I purchase a cookbook for its potential. This is the possibility of creating something that will satisfy my greedy appetite. If I only get one ‘great recipe’ out of a cookbook, then I consider it worth its value, at the very least.
I recently purchased Ottolenghi – The Cookbook and was flabbergasted by the quality and diversity of the recipes. I could not flick pass one page without cooing, pointing or bookmarking it. Every recipe is filled with vibrant ingredient combinations that are not only healthy, but delicious. The other thing that astounded me was that the ingredients used in the book can be accessible (in my opinion).
I could not settle on a recipe, so I randomly flicked open a page in the salad section and landed on the Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt. I did the same for the Meat and Fish section and got the Roast chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon. Both recipes turned out fantastic.
It is cookbooks like this that puts half the books in my collection to shame.
The post for Roast chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon will follow in the next few days.
Recipe from Ottolenghi – The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi
3 medium eggplants, cut into slices 2cm thick, or into wedges
olive oil for brushing
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
a handful of pomegranate seeds
20 basil leaves
coarse sea salt and black pepper
a small pinch of saffron strands
3 tablespoons hot water
180g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/ For the sauce, infuse the saffron in the hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary, then chill.
2/ Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Place the eggplant slices on a roasting tray, brush with plenty of olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the slices take on a beautiful light brown colour. Let them cool down.
3/ To serve, arrange the eggplant slices on a large plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle the saffron yoghurt over them, sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and lay the basil on top.
Tips from cookbookmaniac.com
* Although the recipe states that it makes enough to share between 4 people. Pizzaboy and I were left wanting more. I would probably double the eggplant quantity.
* The ingredient list for the Saffron Yoghurt yielded a large quantity. I think I’ll halve the amount next time.
* The raw crushed garlic was quite harsh in its taste. I suggest roasting it in the oven along with eggplant for 10 minutes before adding it to the yoghurt to sweeten it up a bit.
* This recipe was delicious! Pizzaboy licked the bowl at the end. This is always a good sign.
Please share this:
sweetlifeJuly 27, 2010 at 5:23 am
great recipe, I agree I purchase my cookbooks for inspiration and if I get a great recipe even better, love the pic of the pomegrante!!
MariaJuly 27, 2010 at 7:14 am
Amy, I am so convinced I need to buy that cookbook! This dish looks absolutely delicious!
JulianaJuly 27, 2010 at 7:45 am
Oh! This roasted eggplant looks fabulous with pomegranate and yogurt…so refreshing look!
john@heneedsfoodJuly 27, 2010 at 9:46 am
That shot of the eggplant on the tray is just beautiful. Such a simple dish!
Richard ElliotJuly 27, 2010 at 10:26 am
Looks like a beautiful salad. I’ve bougt my sister and Ottolenghi cook book for her birthday, so I’m pleased to hear it is a winner.
I was given Matthew Evans The Real Food Companion over the weekend. I’ve been drooling over the book for the last few days, it’s fantastic!
Ellie (Almost Bourdain)July 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm
Keep hearing goodness about this cookbook…… I am waiting for my copy to arrive. Excited. This dish looks great.
OohLookBelJuly 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm
This really is a gorgeous book. And you know it’s good when even the vege recipes get a thumbs up from the male species. PS: the basil looks so lusciously good, too!
Lisa @ bakebikeblogJuly 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm
oh my how delightful is this dish!!!
I know what you mean about cookbooks though! I have so many boxes filled with them – just waiting to be unpacked when we move into our new house!
AnhJuly 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm
All the comments about the book have been glowing! And I do love the concept of this dish 🙂
Mark @ Cafe CampanaJuly 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm
The cookbook company should totally make you their spokeswoman. This book looks great I have seen a few recipes from it now and I think I need it.
Angie’s RecipesJuly 27, 2010 at 9:31 pm
The salad looks extraordinally awesome! Love the combination of the flavours in this salad.
Helen (grabyourfork)July 27, 2010 at 11:50 pm
Such a sexy looking dish. Love the combination of flavours and textures. Could totally see this being served in a fancy restaurant. And serves four people? I could entire that entire thing on my own!
JaneEYBJuly 28, 2010 at 1:10 am
And Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book Plenty is just as inspiring as his first. The guy is a culinary genius!
pigpigscornerJuly 28, 2010 at 5:23 am
I bought the book too, love it!
Kitchen ButterflyJuly 28, 2010 at 7:07 am
Love it, I’ve heard so much about Ottolenghi and have not yet given in. Oh Lord, help my Ikea bookcase too………………..
cityhippyfarmgirlJuly 28, 2010 at 8:01 am
I would never have thought to put all those combinations together, and they look lovely. Pomegranate just looks cool.
My cookbook collection isn’t actually that big, I love most of them though. Have hinted for a few for my birthday though (which is months and months off!)
MichelleJuly 28, 2010 at 9:15 am
Saffron and greek yogurt. Yum. 🙂
Rhonda (thedaintybaker)July 28, 2010 at 9:28 am
This looks absolutely delish!! Such freshness in all the combinations.
ReemskiJuly 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm
Yep, have done this dish myself…spectacular. Great book.
Maria@TheGourmetChallengeJuly 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm
oh wow, what a stellar recipe! And to think only vegetables have gone into that recipe. I wonder if I can dupe Daz into eating this. Looks just fab!
danaJuly 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm
i keep hearing about this guy, it’s officially time i got his book… your pictures are amazing, the whole thing in fact! so glad to discover you.
my collection is getting there. we will have to move next year and i am dreading packing them.
MaryMohJuly 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm
I have a lot of cookbooks…mainly to drool over the pictures 😀 It’s lovely to browse through before sleep hopefully to dream about it…..haha. Love your dish here…..healthy and delicious….mmmm. Thanks very much for sharing.
kimJuly 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm
OH wow! I love the saffron yoghurt idea! TOo bad saffron is so expensive. I love Greek yoghurt in general. 🙂 Wonderful as a dip with toasty bread.
tigerfishJuly 29, 2010 at 7:34 am
I do enjoy pomegranates but peeling them is a chore. Though they are tips for easy removal of those luscious red fruits/seeds, I still wish someone could do it for me.
mademoiselle délicieuseJuly 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm
Hehe…AU-BER-GIIINE! And with yoghurt – sexy =D
angieJuly 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm
Awwww that sounds so delicious! And Ryan is an avid eggplant fan so I will most likely have to bookmark this to do soon.
Conor @ HoldtheBeefJuly 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm
I’m an aubergine fiend and this looks awesome. Great mix of colours. Fighting the urge to get clicking on the Book Depository… must resist…
TrissaAugust 3, 2010 at 10:51 pm
You sound like you are worse than I am – I thought I was bad with 360 cookbooks- you certainly have more than that! But I agree – the Ottolenghi cookbook is a must have! Argh!
pandaAugust 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm
i gave up putting post it notes in this book. i was pretty much bookmarking every page. probably the best way to tackle this one is start from page one and cook your way through!
DanOctober 6, 2010 at 6:48 am
Yum, this looks fantastic! I live very close to one of the Ottolenghi cafes in London and your version looks just like his! The book is such a page turner filled with so many goodies to try. I am obsessed with his food. Have you seen the latest one called Plenty? Check it out if you can…