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May 1, 2011 05:38 AM

May 2011 Cookbooks of The Month: PLENTY AND OTTOLENGHI: THE COOKBOOK

Welcome to the discussion thread for PLENTY and a revisit of OTTLENGHI. We will use this thread for general commentary, recipe planning, links, and any other issues related to PLENTY. Since OTTLENGHI: THE COOKBOOK is a revisit, we will add new reviews to the existing reporting threads.

If you're new to Cookbook of The Month, you may want to visit the link below to see how it works:

The threads below are organized according to the chapters in PLENTY, but please post about online recipes in whichever threads are appropriate to the dish.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that 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 to Gio for her help with this thread!

Roots, Funny Onions

Mushrooms, Courgettes, and Other Squash

Capsicums, Brassicas, The Mighty Eggplant

Tomatoes, Leaves Cooked and Raw

Green Things, Green Beans

Pulses, Cereals, Pasta, Polenta, Couscous

Fruit with Cheese

ETA the original Ottolenghi thread:

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. Hi bayoucook, thanks for getting us off to a good, quick start to the month! I'm very excited as I wasn't here for the first round of "Ottolenghi" month so I'll be cooking from both books.

      If you still are able to edit, do you think you could add the link to the "Ottolenghi" COTM directly in your post above so folks know where to post those reviews? Caitlin also has some great info in there about conversions and ingredients/food names and cooking terms that might be useful for folks cooking from either book. Thanks so much bayoucook.

      Tonight we're having the Roast Chicken w Sumac, Za'atar and Lemon from Ottolenghi and I haven't yet decided on a starter or side(s). The chicken smell delish though, it's been marinating since yesterday evening!!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        BC... You're going to Love that roast chicken. The flavors are soooo exciting. Once you make and taste the Za'atar you're going to want to use it on everything.

        1. re: Gio

          Thanks Gio, we're really looking forward to it. I was debating whether or not to make my own Za'atar and read the great discussions on the original Ottolenghi thread. When I went to my local Persian market the shop keeper highly recommended a mix they have from Jordan so I picked some of that up and thought I'd give it a try since it was so inexpensive. I do plan to taste it first as I'm cognizant of the comments around "bitterness" and I've noted that this mix does contain sumac. It really smells wonderful though!

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Do you know in which thread I would be able to find the za'atar discussion? I was thinking of making my own from a recipe in 'Soul of a New Cuisine', but would love to read up some more info on the mix before I go that route. I've been unsuccessful in my quest for the za'atar conversation thus far, so a point in the right direction would be appreciated!

            1. re: Allegra_K

              Sure Allegra, here's the link to the very first (non-COTM) Ottolenghi thread. The Za'atar discussion is in and amongst the conversation about the Chicken dish I'm making tonight:


              Then here's a link to a Za'atar recipe from Epi (which includes sumac):


              Another one I found that sounded yummy:


              And in case you're interested, a previous Chowhound thread on uses for Za'atar that I found:


              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                Thank you for going above and beyond, Breadcrumbs! Good luck with your chicken; it sounds marvelous!

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Does anyone know if butter beans are lima beans or are they different legumes?

          11 Replies
          1. re: BigSal

            Hi BigSal. Yes, butter beans and lima beans are the same. Here's a link to Epi's food def'n for Lima bean. You'll see their note that they are also referred to as butter beans:


            Happy cooking!

            1. re: BigSal

              you might take a look at this more detailed explanation.

              what I can buy frozen in my ny grocery store as butter beans (small white limas) for the US southern clientele are different I think from what Ottolenghi in the UK calls for. I think he is specififying larger white dry beans . thats what I used to make his bean salad recipe last year, anyway.

                1. re: Gio

                  no, the butter and lima beans are a rounder and flatter shape and a different species, from cannellinis.. the recipe could probably be made with cannellini but its not going to be exactly the same. I used some big flat beans from a polish grocery that seemed to correspond to the type Ottolenghi recommended. I think you can get goya or other large white dried limas at an average grocery store.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Thank you. After a search I found that Gigantes beans can be bought on line here:

                    1. re: Gio

                      Thanks (to all) for sorting this out for me. I happen to have gigantes in the pantry.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          well sure but they are a very different bean. This recipe (if its the one I am thining about has you put fully cooked dried beans into a sauce. So any starchy bean you like could be tried.

                    2. re: jen kalb

                      Butter beans are a large flat dried white bean - similary to the ones commonly used in Greek cooking, which are called gigantes, I think. I've never seen them fresh or frozen.

                  2. An awful lot of the recipes in Plenty are available online at the Guardian site:

                    There are links to a majority of the recipes in Ottolenghi: The Cookbook in this thread:

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Thanks so much Caitlin. I hope folks find this, you really did an amazing job of pulling all this great info pertaining to the OTTOLENGHI: Recipe Lists, Cookbook Recipe Links, Paraphrases for the original COTM.

                      I have to admit, when I come to this thread, I have to really concentrate to remember how I get back to the original Ottolenghi posts, somehow it's just not immediately apparent this month. It feels a bit like a "Plenty" month.

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Breadcrumbs: I hope it doesn't turn out to be mostly a Plenty month because I want to try at least a couple more MEAT recipes from Ottolenghi No. 1. I've made that za'atar and sumac chicken recipe a few times with great success, but it has been a while.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          That chicken was wonderful oakjoan, we just loved it. I hope you're right and Ottolenghi gains some momentum, so many great recipes!

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            I'm going to try to cook alternate weeks from the 2 books. We started with Plenty for the first week then next week we'll cook from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook... etc. There are so many recipes in each book that merit attention. Where Does the time go...?