When I ask fellow cooks about their favorite cookbooks of the last several years, there is one name that invariably comes up: Ottolenghi. Yotam Ottolenghi's brand of Mediterranean, vegetable-forward cooking gained followers and fans at his London delis and restaurants, but it found an even wider and more avid audience through his books.
What makes Ottolenghi so special? Let's cook through some of his recipes and talk about why people love his recipes so much. This week we're going to bring you five of his recipes, all wonderful for lunch, and some thoughts on his roots in the deli and the lunch counter. Nearly any Ottolenghi recipe is very, very good to eat for lunch, and this first recipe, for a rice and chicken salad, exemplifies that perfectly.