NEW COOKBOOK: Ottolenghi Simple – Recipe Extracts

Words: Crush

The name Ottolenghi has become synonymous with many things over the years, from showcasing Middle Eastern cuisine to elevating the humble veg, even creating sweet treats that will boggle. So, we were ecstatic to hear of the newest addition to his growing cookbook collection, the release of  Ottolenghi Simple, a new book dedicated to removing the fuss from cooking. Something every single busy human will murmur a grateful ‘thanks’ for.

Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

In fact, he’s so committed to the idea of keeping things easy, that even the title and concept of how the book is put together is based on that:

S – short on time: less than 30 minutes
I – 10 ingredients or less
M – make ahead
P – pantry
L – lazy
E – easier than you think

In a time where food is so under the spotlight and producing award-winning dishes is often the expectation, this is a refreshing take on food preparation. We’re not all master chefs after all, and often we just want to put together something delicious that doesn’t take hours or lots of expensive ingredients.

Three cheers for this book that’s cover to cover full of yummy, simple dishes that still deliver on flavour while keeping things realistic and easy.

Recipe Extracts from Ottolenghi Simple
by Yotam Ottolenghi, Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth

Excited by the concept of this new book? Us too! We have two recipes from the book that you can get started on right away.

Iranian Herb Fritters


 Makes 8 fritters to serve 4–8
(depending on whether everyone is having one, in
a pitta, or two as they are)

These can be snacked on as they are, at room temperature, or else served with a green tahini sauce and some extra herbs. If you want to make the tahini sauce then just blitz together 50g tahini, 30g parsley, ½ crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1∕8 tsp salt. Once this is all in the blender, blitz for 30 seconds and pour in 125ml water. Holding back on the water allows the parsley to get really broken up and turns the sauce as green as can be. This sauce is lovely spooned over all sorts of things – grilled meat and fish and roasted vegetables, for example – so double or triple the batch and keep it in the fridge. It keeps well for about 5 days. You might want to thin it with a little water or lemon juice to get it back to the right consistency.

These fritters are a bit of a fridge raid, using up whatever herbs you have around. As long as you keep the total net weight the same and use a mixture of herbs, this will still work wonderfully. The batter will keep, uncooked, for 1 day in the fridge.

Alternatively, pile the fritters into pitta bread with condiments: a combination of yoghurt, chilli sauce, pickled vegetables and tahini works well. You’d just need one fritter per person, rather than two.

40g dill, finely chopped
40g basil leaves, finely chopped
40g coriander leaves, finely chopped
1½ tsp ground cumin 50g fresh breadcrumbs (about 2 slices, crusts left on if soft)
3 tbsp barberries (or currants)
25g walnut halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
8 large eggs, beaten
60ml sunflower oil, for frying

  1. Place all the ingredients, apart from the oil, in a large bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick pan and place on a medium high Once hot, add ladles of batter to the pan. Do 4 fritters at a time, if you can – you want each of them to be about 12cm wide – otherwise just do 2 or 3 at a time. Fry for 1–2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden-brown. Transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate and set aside while you continue with the remaining batter and oil.
  3. Serve either warm or at room

(page 22 of Ottolenghi Simple)

Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad

It was a little moment of revelation, I remember, when I first combined roasted cauliflower and raw grated cauliflower in the same dish. So different from one another, but working so well combined. This is lovely as it is, served as part of a spread, or spooned alongside some roast chicken or lamb. Don’t throw away the leaves of the cauliflower here. They’re lovely to eat, roasted and crisp, or grated raw as you would the rest of the cauliflower. If you want to get ahead, roast the cauliflower up to 4–6 hours in advance. Keep at room temperature and then just combine with the remaining ingredients when ready to serve.

Serves four

1 large cauliflower (800g)
1 medium onion, roughly sliced (130g)
80ml olive oil
25g parsley, roughly chopped
10g mint, roughly chopped
10g tarragon, roughly chopped
seeds from ½ medium pomegranate (80g)
40g pistachio kernels, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ tbsp lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Coarsely grate a third of the cauliflower and set aside in a bowl. Break the remaining cauliflower into florets, roughly 3cm wide, and add these to a separate bowl with the cauliflower leaves, if you have any, and onion. Toss everything together with 2 tablespoons of oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then spread out on a large parchment-lined baking Roast for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, put the roasted vegetables into a large bowl with the 50ml oil, the grated cauliflower and the remaining ingredients, along with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Toss gently, just to combine, then transfer to a platter and serve.

(page 91 of Ottolenghi Simple)


Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi, Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth (Ebury Press)
Photography by Jonathan Lovekin

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