Raise your dinner game: exclusive recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book | Food (2024)

Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, head chef at his acclaimed restaurant Nopi, reveal the secret of their tastiest vegetable starters, sides and main courses

Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

Sat 5 Sep 2015 03.00 EDT

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8 years old

Long before I was even vaguely aware of the magical world of rasam, sambal and pandan, I met Ramael Scully (or just Scully, as everybody calls him) on an ordinary trial shift on an ordinary day: a big man with a congenial smile and distinctive, shuffling gait. He had responded to what must have been the fifth online ad that Jim Webb, our head chef, had placed early in 2005, desperately looking for a senior chef de partie. His task would be to create a small menu of hot dishes. There was nothing unusual or particularly promising about this latest recruit, but Jim liked him, which was good enough for me. So Scully got the position and started training to run our evening service. After a few days, he seemed to be doing a decent job, though I still remember one fleeting chat inside a walk-in fridge, when Jim expressed concerns about Scully’s experience and efficiency. I suggested we wait and see.

A few days later, I got my first taste of Scully’s food. He made portobello mushrooms braised in white wine, hard herbs and tons of butter, topped with pearl barley, feta and preserved lemon. He also made the crispest pork belly ever to enter my mouth, with a sharp compote of plums, rhubarb, chilli, ginger and star anise. I was hooked.

Everything that is brilliant about Scully’s cooking was in those two dishes: his ability to combine ingredients with virtuosity and flair (preserved lemon, rosemary, feta and barley), his meticulousness (that heavenly crackling), his generosity (a bottle of wine in each dish), his understanding of both Asian and Mediterranean cooking, and his knack for blending them together in a modern context. His food reflects his background: he was born in Malaysia to a mother of Chinese and Indian heritage, and a father with Malay and Irish blood. At eight, he moved with his mother and sister to Sydney, where he went to school and later catering college.

Scully’s first attempts at creating an evening menu showed his talent and enthusiasm for what I can best describe as “composition”; that is, putting together quite a few complex elements on a plate in a properly thought-through manner. This was the complete opposite of my tendency to throw together a few things on a large platter in a pretty effortless way. Big chunks of roast squash with a drizzle of citrussy tahini and a dusting of za’atar would do us just fine. But Scully always has to add something else: five-spiced crisp shallots, say, or a drizzle of reduced passata with ginger and chilli. He’s also partial to liberal quantities of butter, rich stocks and salty, umami-heavy condiments such as kimchi or ikan bilis (salt-cured anchovies).

Scully’s delight in slow processes, including meandering around Chinatown looking for new ingredients when service is practically on its way, or vegging in bed with a pile of cookbooks until inspiration hits, earned him our love and, occasionally, a fair bit of exasperation. There’s a lot Scully can get away with, owing to his disarming charm, big heart and huge talent.

But we found a compromise: dishes that are a little lighter and simpler than Scully had in mind, and a little heftier and more involved than what my business partner Sami Tamimi and I would normally go for. In short, Scully showed us how to do “restaurant”, we taught him how to do “Ottolenghi”, and the result is this hybrid set of dishes that are now “Ottolenghi haute cuisine”.

In Nopi: The Cookbook, Scully and I have attempted to modify and simplify Nopi’s recipes without losing their essential core. We also suggest alternatives for different cooks: more complicated, cheffy options for those with a bit of time and an adventurous disposition; simpler ones for those who want impressive results, and also to get there pretty swiftly.

I do recommend you act a little bit like a chef, and get ahead with all the chopping and weighing before you start to cook. (You don’t want to be trying to finely chop two green chillies when they are meant to be thrown into a pan two minutes after the onion.) Otherwise, please don’t hesitate to choose every shortcut and ready-made alternative: we use them all the time when cooking at home. Yotam Ottolenghi

Video: watch Yotam and Ramael invent the perfect pudding

Butternut squash with ginger tomatoes and lime yoghurt

Roast wedges of squash have featured at both Nopi and Ottolenghi for a very long time, so any new squash dish has to have very good credentials even to get a look-in. This combination of sweet roasted squash, lime-fresh yoghurt and gingery, oven-dried tomatoes definitely cuts the mustard. You can buy ready-made crisp shallots at Asian food stores. They’re a nice addition, but, with crunch already provided by the cashews, this works well without them. Serves four.

1 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed, then cut widthways into 2.5cm-wide slices
45ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
6 large plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
30g dark muscovado sugar

For the lime yoghurt
120g Greek yoghurt
¼ tsp ground cardamom
Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1½ tsp lime juice

To serve
5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
30g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
10g crisp shallots (optional)

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/gas mark 9. Mix the squash wedges with two tablespoons of the oil, two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large, parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.

Turn down the oven to 170C (150C fan)/gas mark 3. Put the tomato halves skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray, sprinkle with a quarter teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and roast for 80 minutes, until softened.

Put the ginger, chilli, garlic, sugar and a quarter teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to a paste, then spoon on top of the tomatoes and cook for 40 minutes more, until caramelised, then set aside to cool.

Put all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, mix well and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Spread out the squash on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the yoghurt, sprinkle over the coriander, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.

Three-citrus salad with green chilli, stem ginger and crunchy salsa

The combination of sweet fruit and sharp leaves, and the contrast in texture between the fruit and the crunchy salsa, makes this a very unusual salad. There’s enough of a wow factor for it to be a standalone starter, but it also works well alongside simply grilled mackerel or salmon, or leftover cold chicken.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all three citrus fruits suggested: so long as you keep the total weight of fruit the same, the dish works well with just two. When pomelo is not in season, use some white grapefruit.

We tend to think of stem ginger as an ingredient used in baking, but its warmth, and the sweetness of the syrup, bring a lot to savoury stir-fry dishes or salads. Serves eight.

2 oranges (500g)
1 pink grapefruit (400g)
1 large pomelo (1kg)
1 small radicchio (or other bitter leaf), trimmed and cut into 1cm-wide wedges
1 chicory, trimmed and cut lengthways into 8 wedges
50g tender/baby leaf watercress

For the almond salsa
80g almonds, skin on
5 green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
80g stem ginger, finely diced
2 tbsp coriander seeds, pan-toasted for a minute and lightly crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, pan-toasted for a minute and lightly crushed
1½ tbsp poppy seeds
50ml good sherry vinegar
75ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan)/gas mark 3. Start with the salsa. Spread the almonds on a small baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, until nicely toasted. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining salsa ingredients, a quarter teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix and set aside.

With a small, sharp knife, top and tail the oranges. Stand each orange on a board and cut down the sides, following the fruit’s natural line, to remove the skin and pith. Cut widthways into 0.5cm rounds, then cut each round into quarters. Do the same with the grapefruit, but cut each round into sixths. Put the grapefruit and oranges in a big bowl.

Peel the pomelo with a sharp knife, divide the fruit into segments and use the knife to remove all the pith and membrane. Break the segments into 2cm chunks and add to the bowl with half the salsa and all the leaves. Mix gently, arrange on a large platter, spoon over the remaining salsa and serve.

Spiced chickpea patties with coconut and curry leaf paste

At Nopi, we serve these with an extra condiment of sliced cherry tomatoes, grated orange zest and shredded parsley, and a dressing of Dijon mustard, lemon juice and oil; they’re also lovely with fried shallots (homemade or ready-made) sprinkled on top. But they are more than brilliant with just the coconut and curry leaf paste suggested here, a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a squeeze of fresh lime.

For a shortcut, skip the paste entirely and make a simple lime and cardamom yoghurt instead: mix 120g Greek yoghurt with a teaspoon and a half of olive oil, half a teaspoon of ground cardamom, the finely grated zest of half a lemon, and a teaspoon and a half of lime juice.

Don’t be alarmed by not having to boil the chickpeas before they get blitzed: as with our falafel, they get all the cooking they need first in the pan, and then when the patties are warmed through in the oven.

This is not a quick recipe, but it can be prepared in advance. Make the paste up to three days ahead (it also freezes well), while the patties can be prepared the day before and kept in the fridge, ready to be tossed in flour and fried. Serves four.

250g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water with ½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ tbsp ghee, plus 100g extra for frying (you could use vegetable oil instead, but the end result won’t have quite the same rich mouthfeel)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
50g mung dhal, rinsed
5 stems fresh curry leaves (10g)
1½ tbsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1½ tbsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
50g coriander, finely chopped
3-4 large tomatoes, quartered, seeds discarded, cut into 2cm dice
Finely grated zest of 1 small lime
50ml lime juice
120g gram flour (aka chickpea flour)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

For the coconut and curry leaf paste
Coarsely grated flesh of 1 coconut (net weight 250g)
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 dried chillies, deseeded
20g seedless tamarind pulp (or 1½ tbsp tamarind paste)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
75g urid dhal, rinsed
½ medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stems fresh curry leaves
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp ground turmeric
1½ tbsp lime juice

To serve
120g Greek yoghurt

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then pat dry, tip into a food processor and blitz until fine.

Put one and a half tablespoons of ghee in a medium saute pan on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for five to six minutes, until soft. Add the mung dhal and curry leaves, cook for three to four minutes, until fragrant, then add the ground coriander and cumin, chilli, fresh coriander and a good grind of black pepper. Fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then add 175ml of water. Mix well, cook for two minutes, then add the tomatoes. Saute for a minute, then remove from the heat and add the ground chickpeas, lime zest, lime juice and a tablespoon of salt. Mix well, then set aside to cool before forming the mixture into 80g patties that are 5cm wide x 1.5cm thick: you should have enough to make 12. Set aside in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

For the paste, put the coconut, onion, ginger, chillies, tamarind pulp and half a teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add 120ml of water, blitz to a thick, wet paste and set aside.

Put a large saucepan on a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Add the mustard seeds and dhal, and cook for two minutes, until light golden-brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, then return the pan to a medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook for three minutes, stirring from time to time, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves, fry for a minute, then pour over the coconut milk and add the coconut paste and turmeric. Return the mustard seeds and dhal to the pan, mix well, bring to a boil, then simmer on a medium heat for 30-40 minutes, until thick. Transfer half the sauce to a food processor, add the lime juice, 125ml of water, and one and a half teaspoons of salt. Blitz smooth, then return to the pan and stir in the remaining sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan-assisted)/gas mark 5. Put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and add 100g ghee. Toss the patties in the gram flour and fry in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for five to six minutes, turning halfway through, until golden-brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain, then put on a large baking tray. Repeat with the remaining patties, then bake for five minutes to warm through.

To serve, divide the warm coconut paste between shallow bowls and top each serving with two or three patties. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt on top and a wedge of lime.

Pearl barley risotto with watercress, asparagus and pecorino

We know that the word “risotto” here should be in big inverted commas. People get very protective about the rules of their culinary heritage. (Yotam’s opinion about what is and what isn’t allowed to go into the making of hummus, for example, is as unwavering as an Italian chef’s rules for the ingredients in a risotto.) Disclaimers aside, risotto made with pearl barley has a bite and texture that work very well with this smooth, leafy puree.

Use thick-stemmed asparagus, if you can: they’ll be far easier to shave with a vegetable peeler, to get the ribbons you’re after. When asparagus is not in season, thin ribbons of raw courgette – shaved with a potato peeler – make a good alternative: one medium courgette should be enough to produce about 180g of shaved ribbons. Serves four.

300g pearl barley
2.4 litres vegetable stock
100g baby spinach
200g watercress
90ml olive oil
120g unsalted butter – 80g cut into 1cm dice, 40g left whole
1 medium banana shallot, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
4 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced, stalks included
1 medium leek, green and white parts, thinly sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the asparagus and pecorino salad
200g asparagus (around 10 thick spears), woody stems trimmed
60g pecorino
½ tsp olive oil
1½ tsp lemon juice

Put the barley in a medium saucepan and pour over 1.8 litres of stock. Bring to a boil on a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until cooked but still retaining a bite. Strain and set aside.

Rinse out the pan and fill with fresh water. Bring to a boil, blanch the spinach for 30 seconds, then transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water (this will help prevent discolouration), then squeeze out the excess moisture and set aside. Keeping the pan of water on the boil, add the watercress and blanch for 30 seconds, transfer to a colander, rinse under cold water and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add to the spinach and roughly chop.

Wipe out the saucepan and add two tablespoons of oil and the 40g lump of butter. Put on a medium heat, then fry the shallot and garlic for six to seven minutes, stirring often, until soft but not coloured. Add the thyme and bay leaf, pour in 400ml of the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, until reduced to about 100ml, then stir in the spinach and watercress and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat, lift out and discard the bay leaf and thyme, then, while still hot, transfer to a blender with half a teaspoon of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Blitz, adding the diced butter a few cubes at a time as you do so, and waiting until each batch has been incorporated before adding the next.

Put two tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a high heat. Fry the mushrooms for three minutes, until softened but not coloured, then tip into a bowl, along with any liquid in the pan. Return the pan to a medium-high heat, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil, then fry the leek for three minutes, until softened but not coloured. Leave in the pan and set aside.

To make the salad, run a vegetable peeler from the base to the tip of each asparagus stem to create long, thin ribbons. Place these in a bowl, then do the same with the cheese, running the peeler along it to create thin ribbons. Add to the asparagus, along with the oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a crack of black pepper, mix gently with your hands and set aside. Don’t make this salad too long before serving: it won’t improve for sitting around.

To finish the dish, add the barley and mushrooms to the pan of leeks and pour over the remaining 200ml of stock. Mix well, then put on a medium-high heat and cook for three to four minutes. Add the watercress and spinach puree, stir for a final minute to warm through, then add the lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt and a grind of black pepper. Mix through and serve at once, with the asparagus and pecorino salad on top.

Lentil and pickled shallot salad with berbere croutons

Berbere is a hot spice mix popular in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking. There are lots of spices in the mix – cloves, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, allspice, nutmeg – but the dominant ingredients are chillies, garlic and ginger. It’s widely available, but if you can’t find it, use hot smoked paprika instead. Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of the black radish, either – the contrast with the red looks great, but it’s the kind of thing you can get only from specialist stockists, so just double the number of red if that’s all you can find.

Make more croutons than you need: they keep well in a sealed container for up to five days and are lovely for sprinkling on any soup or salad that can handle a bit of a crunchy kick. The dish has got enough substance and kick to be a standalone light lunch, but it also works as part of a mezze spread.

With thanks to Gena Deligianni, from the early days of Nopi. Serves six to eight.

300g puy lentils
8 banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
75ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp good sherry vinegar
150g sourdough bread, crusts removed, roughly torn into 2cm chunks
1½ tsp berbere spice (or 1 tsp hot smoked paprika)
25g coriander leaves, whole or chopped
20g rocket, roughly chopped
1 large golden beetroot (or purple beetroot), washed, skin left on and cut into 2-3mm-thick slices
½ large black radish, washed, skin left on and cut into 2-3mm-thick slices (optional)
10 small red radishes, washed, skin left on and cut into 2-3mm-thick slices

For the dressing
1 tbsp good sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
1½ tsp orange blossom honey (or other floral variety)
3 tbsp olive oil

Rinse the lentils and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until cooked but retaining a bite. Strain, rinse under cold water and set aside until completely dry.

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/gas mark 4. Put the shallots in a bowl with three tablespoons of the oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Spread them out on a parchment-lined baking tray and roast for about 12 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Remove, pour over the sherry vinegar, mix and set aside.

Put the sourdough pieces in a small bowl with the remaining two tablespoons of oil and the berbere spice. Mix well, spread out on a parchment-lined oven tray and roast for 12-15 minutes, until crusty and light golden-brown.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and mix well.

Just before serving, put the lentils and shallots in a bowl with the coriander, rocket, beetroot, radishes and half the croutons. Pour on the dressing, mix well, then transfer to a platter. Sprinkle the remaining croutons on top and serve.

Celeriac puree with spiced cauliflower and quail’s eggs

The puree works well on its own as an alternative to hummus, but, combined with the other elements here, makes a substantial starter or even a meal in itself if served with warm, crusty bread or white pitta. We prefer to fry the eggs (those crisp edges work so well with the puree), but soft-boiled work, too, if you prefer.

As with many of these dishes, the main elements in this can be made in advance and put together just before serving (in this case, before the eggs are cooked). If you make the puree a day ahead, cover it with clingfilm that touches the surface, to prevent a skin forming. The puree is better eaten at room temperature rather than fridge-cold, so take it out of the fridge at least half an hour before serving. Serves six.

For the celeriac puree
60ml olive oil, plus 1 tbsp to serve
1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 large celeriac, peeled and cut roughly into 2cm pieces (600g net weight)
500ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika

For the spiced cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp ras el hanout
1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely grated
2 tbsp finely diced preserved lemon skin
90g almonds, skin on, toasted and roughly chopped
50g parsley, roughly chopped

For the quail’s eggs
2½ tbsp olive oil
6 or 12 quail’s eggs

First make the puree. Put the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat, add the onion and fry for five to six minutes, stirring often, until soft and starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and bay leaves, cook for another minute, then add the celeriac. Fry for eight to 10 minutes, stirring often, so it’s golden brown on all sides.

Pour over the stock, bring to a boil and simmer on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the celeriac is cooked through. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves and transfer to a blender or food processor. Blitz to a smooth puree, then add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Put the oil for the cauliflower into a large saute pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and saute for five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, cook for two minutes, then add the ras el hanout and cook for another minute. Pour over 100ml water, stir through for a minute, then take off the heat. Stir in the cauliflower, preserved lemon, almonds, half the parsley and a teaspoon of salt, and set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, divide the puree between six plates. Drizzle half a teaspoon of oil over each portion, spread the cauliflower on top and sprinkle over the smoked paprika and remaining parsley.

Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, crack each egg individually into the pan and fry for 30-60 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper, then place an egg or two on top of each portion of cauliflower and serve at once.

Jerusalem artichoke soup with hazelnut and spinach pesto

We originally served this soup at Nopi topped with some quick pickled shimeji mushrooms. We’ve gone for a different garnish here, but, if you like the idea of the mushrooms, put 150ml rice vinegar in a small pan with two star anise, a small stick of cinnamon, a teaspoon of pink peppercorns, half a teaspoon of whole cloves, two tablespoons of sugar, 100ml water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Set aside to cool, then add 200g mushrooms and leave for 15 minutes. Spoon on top of the soup when you serve. Any leftover mushrooms are delicious in a mezze spread. Serves six.

1 tbsp olive oil
30g unsalted butter
2 banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium leek, trimmed and washed, cut in half lengthways, then thinly sliced, white part only
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1.2kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thinly sliced 1-2mm thick
250ml dry white wine
500ml full-fat milk
700ml vegetable stock
10g chives, finely chopped, to serve
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

For the hazelnut and spinach pesto
50g blanched hazelnuts
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
30g baby spinach
10g tarragon
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1-2 green bird’s eye chillies, deseeded

First make the pesto. Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan)/gas mark 3. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray, roast for 15 minutes, then remove and, once cool, roughly chop. Set aside 30g and put the remaining 20g in the small bowl of a food processor with the remaining pesto ingredients and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Add two and a half tablespoons of water, blitz to a smooth, runny paste and set aside.

Put the oil and butter in a large saucepan on a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute for three minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the leek, garlic, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and cook for three to four minutes, until soft but gaining no colour. Add the artichokes and cook for 12 minutes, stirring from time to time, until beginning to soften and caramelise. Pour over the wine, bring to a simmer and cook on medium heat for three to four minutes, until reduced by a quarter. Add the milk and stock, and bring to a boil. Skim the surface of any impurities, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the artichokes are cooked through and soft. Remove from the heat and blitz in a blender until smooth; add a bit more stock if you need to thin it down.

To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and drizzle over the pesto. Sprinkle with the chives and remaining hazelnuts, and serve at once with a final drizzle of oil.

Corn cakes with beetroot and apple salad

These manage to pull off the trick of being totally light but utterly creamy all at the same time. Other cheeses also work instead of the feta: gorgonzola, for example, if you want something a bit punchier.

If you want to go for restaurant-style presentation, use the corn husks (rather than baking parchment) to line the muffin tins. They look lovely, like little bamboo baskets. Just peel off the husks – you should have about 18 pieces – discard any stringy bits and place in a bowl of water. Set aside for 30 minutes, for the husks to soften, then trim with scissors to make them shorter and easier to line the muffin tins.

If you are looking for a shortcut, serve the corn cakes with a crisp green salad, rather than the beetroot and apple, or with radishes, halved and tossed in some olive oil with a good pinch of coarse sea salt.

If you use a regular muffin tin, in which the moulds are 5cm wide at the base and 3cm deep, you’ll make 12 muffins, so everyone gets two. Or use a larger muffin tin, where the moulds are 7cm wide and 4.5cm deep, to make six larger cakes, so that everyone has one. Serves six as a generous starter or light lunch.

5 medium corn cobs, husks removed (or 500g frozen corn kernels, defrosted)
3 small banana shallots, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely crushed
1 tsp ground cumin, lightly toasted
1 tsp celery seeds
15g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp baking powder
80g unsalted butter, melted, plus 20g extra for greasing the moulds
2 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp plain flour
60g feta, broken into 6 or 12 chunks (depending on the size of your muffin tray)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper

For the salad
120g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp good sherry vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp fennel seeds, roasted and coarsely crushed, plus ½ tsp extra to garnish
½ tsp celery seeds
15g parsley, roughly chopped
2 medium raw beetroot, peeled and julienned
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and julienned (if prepared in advance, keep covered with water with some lemon juice, to prevent discolouration)

To serve
5g baby basil or small basil leaves

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas mark 6. Grease the muffin moulds very well with butter and line with squares of baking parchment (or the corn husks), cut large enough so that the sides rise a couple of centimetres above the tray.

Mix all the salad ingredients except the beetroot and apple in a bowl.

Hold each cob vertically on a chopping board and use a large, sharp knife to shave off the kernels: you should end up with about 500g. Discard the cob and put the kernels, shallot and garlic in a food processor. Pulse for three or four seconds, just until roughly processed and not a wet puree, then add the fennel seeds, cumin, celery seeds, tarragon, baking powder, butter and egg yolks, plus a teaspoon and a half of salt and a very good grind of black pepper. Blitz a few more times, to combine – some of the kernels will still be whole – then transfer to a bowl and fold in the flour by hand.

Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk to firm peaks. Fold a third of the whites gently into the corn mixture (don’t overwork it) and, once incorporated, fold in another third, and then repeat with the last of the egg whites. Divide the mix between the moulds and insert a chunk of feta into each, pushing it halfway down the corn mixture: the cakes will puff up around the cheese when they cook. Bake for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of your moulds, until the cakes have risen and are golden and fluffy. The cakes will still be a bit wet at this point, so remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the tray.

Gently mix the beetroot and apple into the salad just before serving. Serve the warm cakes with the salad alongside, sprinkled with the extra fennel seeds and the basil leaves.

• Next week: part two of our exclusive extract from Nopi: The Cookbook, featuring fish, meat and desserts. This is an edited extract from Nopi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, published next week by Ebury Press at £28. To order a copy for £18, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846.


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Raise your dinner game: exclusive recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book | Food (2024)


Does Ottolenghi have a new cookbook? ›

Ottolenghi fans, rejoice: 2024 will see the release of a brand-new cookbook from the acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and bestselling author.

Are Ottolenghi recipes complicated? ›

Some of the recipes are fairly straightforward but he does have a reputation for including some hard to get ingredients and some recipes can be very involved. I really enjoy his recipes and find they are very tasty.

What style of food is Ottolenghi? ›

From this, Ottolenghi has developed a style of food which is rooted in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions, but which also draws in diverse influences and ingredients from around the world.

Is Ottolenghi A Vegan? ›

The guy's an omnivore but his recipes are overwhelmingly vegetarian and vegan. His vegetarian (not vegan) cookbook Plenty< spent years near the top of Britain's bestseller lists.

What are the criticism of Ottolenghi? ›

The only real criticisms heard by the industry about Ottolenghi's earlier books were that that the ingredients lists were too long, and the recipes too complicated. "So Simple was simply genius," says Jane Morrow. Each book is very much a hands-on process, with a core team of long-term collaborators.

Why is Ottolenghi so popular? ›

Although Guardian readers frequently complain fondly about Ottolenghi recipes, his championing of hitherto obscure foodstuffs like pomegranate molasses or spices such as sumac have made him nationally famous. By the time he was on the Haaretz news desk Ottolenghi knew he wanted to cook.

What is the most difficult food to make in the world? ›

The World's Most Difficult Dishes to Prepare
  • The Fugu Puffer Fish. A Japanese delicacy, this deadly dish's organs contain a neurotoxin 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide. ...
  • Mole Poblano. Some date this difficult dish from as far back as 500 years ago. ...
  • Soufflé ...
  • Turducken. ...
  • Consommé
Nov 14, 2017

How many cookbooks does Ottolenghi have? ›

Eight volumes have followed: the all-vegetable cookery books Plenty (2010), Plenty More (2014) and Ottolenghi Flavour (2020); Jerusalem (2012); NOPI (2015); the dessert cookery book Sweet (2017); Ottolenghi Simple (2018); and most recently a series of Ottolenghi Test Kitchen (OTK) books: OTK: Shelf Love (2021) and OTK: ...

Why did MasterChef stop the cookbook? ›

Cookbook publisher Bloomsbury Absolute has stopped selling former "MasterChef" contestant Elizabeth Haigh's debut cookbook following allegations that she plagiarized content from another cook. The cookbook, titled "Makan," was Haigh's first foray into the publishing world and was initially released in July.

Is there a new Eat Well for Less cookbook? ›

Featuring a foreword from new presenters Chris Bavin and Jordan Banjo, budget-friendly meal planners and top tips, Happy & Healthy will help you stress less in the kitchen and teach you how to make quick and nutritious dishes.

What is Ina Garten's newest cookbook? ›

Go-To Dinners

Cooking night after night during the pandemic inspired her to re-think the way she approached dinner, and the result is this collection of comforting and delicious recipes that you'll love preparing and serving.

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