A Week of Lunches from Ottolenghi

updated Jun 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Yotam Ottolenghi and his London cafes embody the most modern ideal of lunch: colorful, vegetable-forward, Mediterranean-inspired. To open one of his cookbooks, such as Plenty or Jerusalem, is to feel like opening the door into one of his delis — overflowing with fresh, smart food that is wholesome and inviting.

This week we asked Ottolenghi to share some of his favorite lunch recipes with us, and today we have them all for you. From a chickpea sauté to a savory cauliflower cake, these make-ahead lunches will make eating out look boring in comparison.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

The Lunches

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The Recipes

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Your Cooking Plan

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All the recipes in this series are intended as make-ahead recipes that can be factored into your dinner plans and then repurposed for lunch the next day (or several days!). They are also all delicious eaten either warmed or at room temperature, straight from your lunch bag. Here are a few ideas for incorporating them into your weekly meal plan:

Roast Chicken & 3-Rice Salad

Make a roast chicken for dinner and serve the 3-rice salad as a side. Shred the leftover chicken and mix with the leftover salad for lunch.

Legume Noodle Soup

This soup can go straight from the dinner table to lunch without much embellishment! The noodles can get a little mushy if left in the soup overnight, so you might cook them and store them separately, and then add a handful of noodles to each serving individually.

Cauliflower Cake

This is another one that needs no embellishment to turn it into lunch. Pack a light salad to make this a complete meal.

Bread Fritters

If you happen to be at home for lunch, these fritters are quick and easy to make from scratch. If not, they’re great as a side dish with dinner and can be eaten at room temperature the next day alongside a salad for lunch.

Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

This makes a great side dish with almost any spring dinner — baked fish, grilled steak, you name it. It’s a light lunch on its own. You could add a scoop of rice or a poached egg to make it more substantial.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Your Shopping List

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At the grocery store:

  • Yellow onion (3 large)
  • Red onion (1 medium)
  • Green onions (2 bunches)
  • Garlic (2 heads)
  • Cauliflower (1 small head)
  • Carrots (4 medium)
  • Red chiles (4 mild)
  • Baby spinach (5 cups)
  • Swiss chard (3/4 pound or 8 cups)
  • Rosemary (1 sprig)
  • Basil (1 bunch)
  • Flat-leaf parsley (2 bunches)
  • Cilantro (2 bunches)
  • Dill (enough to make 1 cup chopped)
  • Mint (1 bunch)
  • Chives (1 ounce)
  • Tarragon (1/3 ounce)
  • Shiso (20 leaves, or a few handfuls of arugula)
  • Lemon (2)
  • Limes (4)
  • Eggs (7 large)
  • Eggs (4 extra-large, or see recipe notes for substituting regular large eggs)
  • Clarified or unsalted butter (5 1/2 tablespoons)
  • Sour cream (2/3 cup)
  • Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups coarsely grated)
  • Feta cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
  • Whole roasting chicken (3 1/4 pounds, or substitute 4 1/2 cups cooked chicken meat)
  • Vegetable stock (8 1/2 cups)
  • Reshtesh or linguini (3 1/2 ounces)
  • Chickpeas (1 15-ounce can)
  • Basmati rice (1 cup)
  • Wild rice (1/3 cup)
  • Brown rice (1/3 cup)
  • Dried chickpeas (2/3 cup)
  • Dried lima beans (2/3 cup)
  • Yellow split peas (1 cup)
  • All-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • Turmeric (2 teaspoons)
  • Cumin (1 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Sweet paprika (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
  • White sesame seeds (1 tablespoon)
  • Caraway seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Nigella seeds or black caraway (1 teaspoon)
  • Sesame oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Thai fish sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • White bread (4 slices or 3 ounces)

In your pantry (check to make sure you have them):

  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)