Cookbook: Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
Overall Impression: Ottolenghi's follow-up to Plenty lives up to lofty expectations, delivering gorgeous and exciting vegetarian recipes.
I am so in love with this cookbook. Admittedly, I went into it biased, since Ottolenghi's previous works are my some of my favorites for vegetable-centric inspiration, but I also think this history made me judge the book more harshly, doubting it could live up to its predecessors. The great news is this book is more than the B-side to Plenty; it's a volume of absolutely stunning dishes with dynamic flavors.
Recipes I Tried
- Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Lemon p. 75
- Slow-Cooked Chickpeas on Toast with Poached Egg p. 106
- Corn Slaw p. 145
- Honey-Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt p. 163
- Coated Olives with Spicy Yogurt p. 208
- Spicy Scrambled Eggs p. 253
- Bitter Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream p. 295
Cooking From Plenty More
Plenty More is intoxicating to thumb through, with tempting titles and ravishing photos. Ottolenghi's recipes take into consideration the visual results just as much as the flavors, so much that the "vibrant" in the subtitle applies to the dishes' colors just as much as tastes.
The recipes are uncomplicated, applying international or surprising spins on familiar applications, like crushed coriander seed to roasted carrots and Angostura bitters to berries and cream. I was easily able to execute the dishes on weeknights and the week I tested the recipes was one of the most delicious we've had in a while. I love how the cookbook helped me make meals my family found approachable but pumped with extraordinary flavor.
What Could Be Better
Some of the recipes have long ingredient lists, but in most cases the length is inflated by a plethora of spices; for example, the spicy scrambled eggs include seven different spices. Because the cooking techniques are straightforward, I would argue the book would be a great resource to someone interested in branching out from salt and pepper.
The only time I think this might be a disadvantage is in the case of hard-to-find ingredients. If you live somewhere that za'atar or preserved lemons are difficult to come by, there may be a few recipes you are tempted to skip.
My only other concern about the cookbook is the chapters are divided by cooking method — "Steamed", "Blanched", etc. Aside from a couple of the chapter titles ("Cracked" for egg dishes and "Sweetened" for desserts), I don't find the categories helpful in the kitchen. I'm more likely to pick up a book and flip to a season or meal of the day if I'm not looking for a specific ingredient or dish in the index.
Plenty More is a visually stunning book filled with recipes that add inspiring flavors to everyday cooking. Its dishes will entice vegetarians and omnivores alike to eat more vegetables.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
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