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Aug 3, 2009 02:01 PM

*August 2009 COTM* OTTOLENGHI: Roots, Pulses and Grains, Soups

Our Chowhound August 2009 Cookbook of the Month is Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi; and all online recipes by the authors.

Please post your full-length recipe reviews here for dishes from the cookbook chapter Vegetables, pulses and grains sections Roots, Pulses and grains, and Soups, and online recipes with those ingredients.

Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, or include a link to the online recipe, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe. Let us know if you would like to make the recipe again, and if you would change anything in the future, too.

Please see the main Cookbook of the Month thread for some useful links.

Lists of the recipes from these book sections, along with links where applicable, and the opportunity to request paraphrases, may be found at these links:


Pulses and grains:


A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating and enjoy!

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  1. Sauté of chickpea, butternnut squash and chard (from Ottolenghi website)

    I had all the ingredients to hand so made this for a weekday lunch the other day. It was slightly labour-intensive, but not too bad as I used canned chickpeas rather than dried. I also roasted a whole butternut squash and made the couscous salad recipe on p80 at the same time to take to a party.

    You drizzle the squash with oil, season and roast in the normal way for about half an hour. Fry an onion with caraway seeds, sugar and cumin, then add chickpeas, butternut squash, chard and a little water and cook for 5 mins or so. Add lemon juice and serve with yoghurt sauce, which is greek yoghurt, garlic, lemon, olive oil and mint.

    I loved the combination of flavours here, especially the caraway, which I would never have thought to use in a recipe like this. The yoghurt sauce is delicious too. It's healthy too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: greedygirl

      This sounds very good. I've saved the recipe. I bet it would be nice with canellini in place of chickpeas, too.

    2. Couscous with dried apricots and butternut squash (p 90)

      I'd already roasted the butternut squash for the recipe above, so this came together quite easily. You sauté a sliced onion in a couple of T of olive oil, until golden. Soak the dried apricots for 5 minutes in hot water, then drain and chop. Bring chicken or veg stock to the boil (I used veg), adding a pinch of saffron and pour over the couscous along with some EVOO (I've just realised I forgot the EVOO!). Cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes or so, then fluff with a fork and add the onion, squash, apricots, cinnamon, lemon zest and loads of fresh herbs. I used the suggested tarragon, mint and parsley, but he says pretty much anything goes.

      It's the herbs that make this dish - you really do need a lot of them. I liked this dish, but I wasn't in love with it, probably because I'm not wild about dried apricots. People at the party really liked it though. It would be a nice side dish for all things lamb, and probably chicken too. I also think that you probably do need the extra EVOO which I forgot to put in!

      1. Roasted Red and Golden Beetroot, Roots, Pg. 63

        This was the 2nd recipe I've made from this cookbook and it was one of the nicest presentations of farm fresh beets I've ever made. We shopped for the vegetables at one of our favorite farms (Tendercrop for those in the Boston area) and followed the recipe to the letter with one exception. I had 6 smallish red beets and 1 golden beet in the bunch I picked up. They were roasted in a 400F oven for about 45 minutes as per instructions. (Because of dietary restrictions I did not use the sunflower seeds that were called for).

        While the beets were roasting I prepared the dressing: Maple syrup, sherry vinegar, EVOO, 2 garlic cloves (I pressed them), chervil leaves, and baby spinach leaves are mixed together in a bowl. When the beets are cooked through and have rested for a few minutes till ready to handle comfortably, they are pared, sliced and/or quartered and added to the bowl.

        The finished dish was really quite tasty...slightly sweet.... a little acetic and made a flavorful accompaniment to the chimichurra marinated chicken we had grilled.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Oh oh oh this sounds nice nice nice--beets galore I saw yesterday and bought not one! I don't think I've ever used chervil--that will be interesting too.

          1. re: Gio

            OLD thread! Gio, could everything be done a few hours in advance and then assembled at the end or are the beets still warm and should be that way? Thanks, gf.

            1. re: c oliver

              Hah! Five years ago and you expect me to remember, CO? That's a good one. All I can do is venture to say that as I read the report I believe that this a beet salad, given that the dressing consists of oil & vinegar, spinach leaves and seasonings and all. LOL. So... have at it.

              Roast the beets, wash and dry the spinach and chervil, wrap well individually, and put into the fridge till ready to put it all together. I wouldn't make the vinaigrette till you're ready to dress the salad though. Buon appettito!

              PS: Look what I found. You have to do the conversions. It's easy via Prof. Google.


              1. re: Gio

                LOL, Gio! I had the same thought after I posted. Had someone asked me I'd have said "are you kidding me?????" Thanks as always for your help. Having this with Will Owen's pork shoulder and the Wolfgang Puck rice cooker risotto. Mmm.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Oh good! I hoped you wouldn't think I was being snarky. That's just the way my brain works. Dinner sounds grand.

                  1. re: Gio

                    You? Snarky? In a public place????? Never :)

                    That risotto is pretty darn good to be so easy. But I'm not using my super special from Eataly Carnaroli :)

            2. re: Gio

              Gio, we all liked this a lot! Even our friend who I think of as as slightly picky LOVED it. And I see using that dressing on a number of other things. Thanks, kiddo.

            3. Broad Bean Burgers -- found online:


              These are certainly tasty, and seem healthy and wholesome. Unfortunately I had to use a substitute for one of the main ingredients. The recipe calls for a mash of potato and fava (broad) beans, equal amounts of each. Unable to find fresh or even frozen favas I substituted a pairing of baby limas and pinto beans. (Why limas and pintos? It just seemed suitable..!) So these beans and potatoes were mixed and mashed with a small amount of chopped spinach, an egg, breadcrumbs, olive oil. Also turmeric, mild green chili, crushed garlic, cumin, fennel ."Fresh coriander" is cilantro--I used dry ground coriander seed instead. Once everything is patted into patties, coated in flour and chilled for an hour (to firm up), fry in -- sunflower oil. I never used sunflower oil before, but I noticed it's especially.. silken-- or something-- I liked it. No taste, like olive oil has, but can take high temps. ($3.99 for 16 oz. bottle @ Whole Foods)
              The patties held together, and browned nicely.
              Recipe calls for a sauce of sour cream & oil & chives & lemon juice--I just squirted a lemon half, stroked a butterknifeful of sour cream over the finished "Broad Bean Burgers". They're called "burgers", but I wouldn't serve them in bread or buns--just by themselves with a topping or sauce. Too mooshy to squeeze between 2 slices of bread with your teeth.
              I should say I kept comparing these with falafel -- my falafel recipe is *somewhat* easier than these fava burgers. Similar in flavor, but the textures are different. Party, I'd use falafel. Dinner, or comfort food, or kids, I'd use Broad Bean Burgers.
              Not much too see, but I took a picture anyway.

              1. "crushed new potatoes with horseradish and sorrel" on page 63--these were great, but, well, I don't really see how the instructions lead you to "crush" but not "mash" the potatoes, but no matter, the mashed potatoes were GLORIOUS. Oh my, we just couldn't stop eating it. We used arugula and a splash of lemon sauce instead of sorrel (which was the authors recommended substitution for the sorrel), and didn't bother with the spring onion or sprouting herbs garnish (I couldn't find any sprouting herbs at my market...), but it was still great. Ours was a little too dry (maybe because we were not getting the essence of "crushed" potatoes and were effectively mashing them instead?") so, I added another 100 grams of greek yogurt (we used 2% Fage) and a splash of nonfat milk. This is a keeper!

                Here's a link to the recipe on Ottolenghi's website which also includes a photo that is much better than mine:

                My photo, such as it is, is below.


                17 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I am so excited to be posting my first recipe I cooked from this book! I spent all of July collecting favorite recipes off the internet, and I plan on spending all of August trying them. This post is for the Kosheri (lentils, basmati rice and vermicelli noodles with lots of yummy spices). I downloaded the recipe off the Cooking Up a Storm blog...sorry I don't have a site to plug in here but you should be able to find it with this much info. If you can't let me know and I'll paraphrase it.

                  I made this dish for a pot luck and it got rave reviews. I served it at room temperature with the sauce on the side. I was a little weary of the sauce but it turns out it really adds a nice extra something to the dish that ties everything together. I would highly recommend this dish.

                  1. re: dkennedy

                    Sounds nice, and even a tad healthy! I assume this is the recipe?


                      1. re: dkennedy

                        Kosheri is also in the book, p. 86 and it is really, really good.

                    1. re: dkennedy

                      Kosheri is one of those dishes that is served in special shops all over Egypt. We called it a salute to carbohydrates. I've yet to make it myself, but I may give this a whirl one day when my son isn't home for dinner. He didn't like kosheri and was teased relentlessly about it. I'm glad you used the sauce, dkennedy. That provides the real flavor to the dish -- that and the fried onions on top!

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I made the crushed potatoes as the side to sumac and zaatar chicken.

                      I had picked some purple potatoes, so I thought this would be a good use. We were not at all impressed, but it could be because of my substitutions.

                      The potatoes were new purple, instead of regular.
                      Horseradish was bottled, instead of fresh.
                      Regular yogurt, instead of Greek.
                      No Sorrell.
                      No sprouting herbs.
                      No spring onion (I still think it is there in the fridge somewhere and hiding from me).

                      Net result was dry, tangy, lumpy potatoes! I don't associate any of these qualities with my mashed potatoes...........dreaming of Goin's mashed potatoes........

                      1. re: cpw

                        Oy, what a bummer. We loved these, but we used our CSA potatoes, lots of Greek yogurt, arugula (+lemon) and freshly grated horshradish. I think all of these things combined made it really a knockout. I was going to say, "especially the freshly-grated horseradish." But then I'd have to add, "and the Greek yogurt". And "and the arugula..."

                        For the record, these aren't supposed to exactly be creamy mashed potatoes, but an "in between" mashed potatoes and potato salad. I personally have a hard time imagining that in between place, but they aren't supposed to be creamy.

                        Of course, I'm sure Goin's mashed potatoes are fab, so, if you don't have access to freshly-grated horseradish, Greek yogurt and arugula (or sorrell), then you might as well stick with what works for you!


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I know that these potatoes were crushed and mashed, therefore I wasn’t trying to mash them. And I have had crushed potatoes before which I have enjoyed.

                          “if you don't have access to freshly-grated horseradish, Greek yogurt and arugula (or sorrell), then you might as well stick with what works for you!” – you are suggesting that I am not suppose to use substitutions?

                          1. re: cpw

                            Hi cpw, sorry if my post was confusing, when I suggest that you should stick with what works for you (i.e., what you have etc.) I was fully supporting you in making whatever substitutions you need to/wish to for whatever reason, due to availability, personal taste, dietary restrictions or, if you're like me, you goof up or whatever.

                            If you've read any of my COTM posts from last year (not that you should have, but if you did)'d probably know that I am the queen of substitutions or adapting recipes, particularly when I was on Weight Watchers. Of course, I also wanted to try new things and learn new things, but I had other real constraints in life that I needed to work with. So, when I say, "Do what works for you" I mean it and live it!

                            Could you talk a little more about what you understand the difference between "crushed" potatoes and mashed potatoes to be? I was really struggling with that and think I was well on the road to making "mashed potatoes" when I realized maybe I wasn't supposed to be going down that road. I don't think I've ever had "crushed" potatoes. Any tips for me along those lines? I could sure use some help on that.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Thank you DQ. And, ofcourse I read your posts.

                              Crushed potatoes are boiled and sort of just crumbled, like a step before mashing. Crush them either with a fork or lightly with a masher.

                              I had a soup in Russia more than a decade ago, which had crushed potatoes, some tangy grean gently cooked leaves in a creamy base. I now think the leaves were sorrell. I had completely forgotten about this soup until you made me talk about crushed potatoes.

                              And Paula Deen (+many others) make their smashed potatoes, with loads of butter.

                        2. re: cpw

                          I made these tonight as well. They were ok but a bit dry. I used jarred horseradish (drained but I threw extra in) as well as the arugula and lemon combo. I also had spring onions that I added as well. Since I thought it was on the dry side, I added more greek yogurt, but I don't think I added enough. I didn't add all the spring onions because it looked and tasted like I had enough.

                          All the veggies and potatoes came from the CSA box or farmer's market.

                          1. re: beetlebug

                            My potatoes as well as the yogurt had also come from the farmers market, therefore pretty fresh. Same thing happened to me, I kept adding more and more yogurt, till I felt that I had enough. And there was enough tang already that I did not feel like adding lemon.
                            Oh well, we still ate it.

                            1. re: beetlebug

                              We also added a splash of milk, in addition to another 100 grams of yogurt. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't. I think I added that milk because I was going for more of a mashed potatoes outcome, and this is really meant to be almost (but not quite, apparently) a potato salad. If you look at the photo on their website, you can see chunks of whole potato left. They say to make sure to crush most of the hard chunks, but I guess it's not clear to me how, exactly, to do that without going for a full mash.

                              Though the authors say jarred is okay, I really think this dish needs the fresh, not jarred, horseradish.


                            2. re: cpw

                              you wouldnt want the waxy neew purple potatoes for this dish - it just wouldnt have the right texture and without the greek yogurt and herbs?
                              too bad

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                I think you are right on the mark with the purple potatoes.

                            3. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish and Sorrel, Page 63.

                              Looks like some varied results upstream here, but we were very happy with this dish. I saw it as more of a warm potato salad. I used baby red potatoes, fresh sorrel, jarred horseradish (no fresh to be found), and fage yogurt. And of course, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I just smashed the potatoes a bit, there was still plenty of particulate matter. I plated it with upland cress and sliced scallions. The sorrel added a nice flavor, next time I might even add a bit more than the recipe states.

                              The funny thing about this dish is that I kept wanting to taste more salt, even though I had actually added enough. I realized that I was looking at the red potato skins and expecting to taste prosciutto! Maybe I'll try it that way next time.

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                I made this last night using the king of new potatoes - Jersey Royals. I used sorrel, but didn't have any land cress so just used spring onion for the garnish. Absolutely loved this dish - had to force myself to stop eating it!