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*August 2009 COTM* OTTOLENGHI: Larder

Caitlin McGrath Aug 3, 2009 02:27 PM

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 Larder, and online recipes for basics that are unattached to recipes that fit well in other threads.

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 this link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6417...

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. oakjoan RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 3, 2009 05:18 PM

    One thing I've found recently when making a couple of different dishes calling for za'atar is that the cookbooks always seem to say "available at a good spice or Middle Eastern store". I was in a rush the first time I made a dish which called for za'atar and decided to look it up on the internet. There are lots of recipes and it's easy to make. Most of the ingreds are things you'll probably have on hand.


    * 1/4 cup sumac
    * 2 tablespoons thyme
    * 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
    * 2 tablespoons marjoram
    * 2 tablespoons oregano
    * 1 teaspoon coarse salt


    Grind the sesame seeds in food processor or with mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

    12 Replies
    1. re: oakjoan
      smtucker RE: oakjoan Aug 3, 2009 05:27 PM

      I wish I had had this ratio several weeks ago! I bought some hand packaged za'tar at the market recommended by Anna Sortun in Spice. In fact, I may have a lifetime supply since even the smallest bag was substantial, though only about $2.00.

      1. re: oakjoan
        Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan Aug 3, 2009 05:32 PM

        This is interesting, Joan, as most za'atar I've found has only sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, and salt, but no other green herbs. In fact, not all za'atar has sumac, but all have thyme.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          oakjoan RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 3, 2009 07:37 PM

          Interesting. I just picked a recipe at random and I loved the marjoram and oregano tastes.

          Caitlin: Do you mean za'atar recipes or pre-packaged spice mixes or both?

          1. re: oakjoan
            Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan Aug 3, 2009 08:00 PM

            I was speaking of commercially sold za'atar, but this also reflects the descriptions I have read in cookbooks. Apparently, the term refers to the thyme (traditionally wild thyme), and whether it includes sumac depends on the geographic area. Some parts of the Middle East eat sumac, some don't, I guess.

            1. re: oakjoan
              Rubee RE: oakjoan Aug 3, 2009 08:31 PM

              The one I use - Penzey's - is just sumac, thyme leaves, white sesame seeds (whole, not ground). and salt.

              1. re: Rubee
                yamalam RE: Rubee Aug 4, 2009 09:00 AM

                I forget whether it was the store, or Spice where I heard this but the "thyme" in some za'atar is actually jordanian thyme, which is closer to summer savory.

                1. re: yamalam
                  Rubee RE: yamalam Aug 4, 2009 10:53 AM

                  Hi Yamalam!

                  That reminds me - how did you like the green Jordanian za'atar. Did you say you got it at Baiz? I know that's the one Sortun prefers, though I've never had it. I think she mentions it's more herbal (like the version oakjoan posted) than the red za'atar with sumac I've been using.

                  Also, can someone let me know which Ottolenghi prefers in his recipes? Thanks!

                  1. re: Rubee
                    Caitlin McGrath RE: Rubee Aug 4, 2009 11:49 AM

                    Rubee, in the ingredients section, they describe za'atar as a mixture of thyme, sesame, and salt, and note that it's often used with or mixed with sumac, so they're talking about the green version. The roast chicken recipe calls for za'atar and sumac, as you know; I had Penzey's za'atar, so I used that in place of the two.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                      Rubee RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 4, 2009 12:18 PM

                      Thanks Caitlin! You're the hostess with the mostess, so organized with this month's COTM, and full of useful information - especially helpful to those of us who don't have the book. Thanks!

                    2. re: Rubee
                      yamalam RE: Rubee Aug 4, 2009 08:21 PM

                      I did get it from Baiz, and I love it. I've been putting it in salad dressing, mixing it into hummus, salsa, on flatbread, in omelettes. Like someone else mentioned, I have a ton of it, despite buying the smallest bag. I figure this means you should put it on everything!

            2. re: oakjoan
              Gio RE: oakjoan Aug 4, 2009 11:57 AM

              Many thanks for your recipe, OJ... considering I'm not supposed to eat seeds grinding them first is a great option.

              1. re: oakjoan
                The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Aug 6, 2009 10:41 AM

                Ah, this is really helpful, Joan, thank you!


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