Which of Ottolenghi's cookbooks should I buy?
Are you a vegetarian, or wanting to be inspired to cook more vegetarian dishes? Buy Plenty.
Eaten at his restaurant and want to recreate the style? Buy Ottolenghi, The Cookbook.
Jerusalem...well, it's in the title. Recipes that he grew up with, and that people use in Jerusalem. I don't own it, but really enjoyed the Jerusalem episode in one of his recent TV series.
I've got all of them and am a big fan so I think you should get them all :-) What do you like to cook? I have probably cooked from Jerusalem more than from any other cookbook, but I have a family who really enjoy middle eastern flavours. Plenty is my favourite Ottolenghi cookbook because it has such a wonderful variety of bold and interesting vegetable dishes. Ottolenghi has a very interesting variety of recipes - lots of baked goods - and brings back memories of eating at the restaurant.
All of these books are available at my local library... you may be able to borrow one or two of them yourself, so you can try before you buy.
Ottolenghi - more (but not exclusively) prepared salads, cold foods, baked goods - things they sell in their shop.
Plenty - 100% vegetarian, no desserts. Recipes are the most complex.
Jerusalem - middle eastern food, including (great versions of) some very basic dishes, like hummus. More "meal building" elements. Recipes simpler than Plenty. Contains some desserts, but all Middle Eastern.
I have all three and cook the most out of Jerusalem. All three are gorgeous though.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammy Tamimi's books have been COTMs twice.
Ottolenghi & Plenty
I have all three and I honestly think we cook from each equally, although there are favorites in each too.
We have _Plenty_, and there are tons of appealing recipes. However, they are organized by ingredient rather than type of dish (no sections for soups, entrees, apps, sides ...), which makes it pretty tough to menu plan.
Has anyone created a meal from _Plenty_? I'm eager to see how the dishes could come together.
I don't do soups, entrees, sides etc as a meal. I have multiple main dishes usually serve with carbs instead. If I work from plenty, I would pick a winter vegetable, say, roots and build from there. For example the onion pie I would serve with a roast or sautéed vegetable dish. The paella I would serve with pan fried meat, and maybe a vegetable too.
Hope that makes sense.