Review of ‘Plenty More’ by Yotam Ottolenghi

Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the ARC of this book.

This is a beautiful vegetarian cookbook. It has a wide range of vegetarian recipes inspired by all corners of the globe. The recipes are illustrated by stunning colourful photography, with lovely full page photos which make the food look very attractive.

The recipes are divided into the following sections by techniques:

  • Plenty MoreTossed (salads)
  • Steamed
  • Blanched
  • Simmered
  • Braised
  • Grilled
  • Roasted
  • Fried
  • Mashed
  • Cracked (recipes with eggs)
  • Baked
  • Sweetened (puddings)

I thought this seemed a slightly odd choice. It probably would have been more useful to divide them by seasons, or into meal planners, such as whether they were everyday options or food for friends.

Th introduction isn’t particularly interesting. It felt more like an advert for Ottolenghi’s London businesses rather than an insight into his food ethos or what the recipes in the books were suitable for.

The recipes seem quite simple. In spite of the fact that they often seem to have a large number of ingredients, the instructions are usually very short. There are short introductions to each recipe with information on what to each the recipe with or explanations of strange ingredients or the heritage of the dish.

There’s not a great deal of additional information with the recipes, for example there is no nutritional information such as calorific content.

The ARC I received must be the American version of the book as it used ingredient names such as arugula and cilantro rather than rocket and coriander. It also has American measurements such as cups. As Ottolenghi is based in London, I assume there is a British version of this book with English ingredient names and weights.

Ottolenghi is renowned for using hard to find ingredients. I don’t this most of the recipes in this book are too bad. Although there were a few which contained ingredients which I would not be able to find in my local supermarket/town such as daikon, kohlrabi, barberries, pomegranate molasses, tofu puffs, labneh and pandan leaves. There were also a few which contained ingredients I had never heard of such as dakos (Cretan barley husks), brown beech  mushrooms, panch phorah, shiso leaves and lemon geranium water. So it would be important to read the recipe and plan some of the ingredients before trying to cook anything.

None of the recipes appealed to me enough to make me want to cook them. However, I’m pregnant at the moment with cravings for carb-heavy bad for you food and an aversion to anything green, so these vegetable-heavy recipes which would normally appeal to me are less attractive at the moment.

However, I may try out some of the strange sweet dishes. I like the sound of Grilled banana bread with tahini and honeycomb.

Overall, this seemed like an interesting recipe book which would be a good addition to any veggie’s shelf.

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