Yotam Ottolenghi‘s ubiquity—his new documentary; his many cookbooks; his columns in The Guardian—may well have to do with the fact that his best recipes are instant classics. Try his lamb meatballs with barberries, yogurt and herbs, and you remember them for life. They are head-turners. They are iconic.
Known for his genius treatment of vegetables in books like Plenty and Plenty More, the restaurateur, seven-time New York Times best-selling cookbook author and James Beard Award winner recently joined forces with co-author and dynamic self-taught chef, Ixta Belfrage, to produce Flavor. Their stunning cookbook, which debuted in the U.S. last week, is devoted to bringing out the maximum flavor from vegetables; they zero in on what Yotam calls the “three Ps”: “process, pairing, and produce.” Veggies can be just as flavor-saturated as meat and fish, he insists, if you keep these three things in mind.
Yotam and Ixta will celebrate the launch of Flavor by joining us for two events in their virtual book tour:
• Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage In Conversation with Joe Yonan
Monday, October 26th at 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST
• Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage In Conversation with Melissa Clark
Wednesday, October 28th at 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST
Tickets will include an autographed copy of Flavor and a link to attend one of our virtual book events. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
The London-based chefs were kind enough to share two recipes from Flavor with us that showcase the Ottolenghi process at its wisest. Here they are. (We hope you have food in the fridge; you’re about to be ravenous!)
Confit Garlic Hummus With Grilled Mushrooms
• 5 oz (140 g) brown button mushrooms, quartered
• 4¼ oz (120 g) shiitake mushrooms, roughly torn in half
• 1 garlic clove, crushed with the side of a knife
• ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
• 1 lemon: finely shave the peel to get 3 strips, then juice to get 2 tbsp
• ¼ oz (5 g) thyme sprigs
• 1½ tsp maple syrup
• 1½ tsp flaked sea salt
• Black pepper
• 1 dried cascabel chile
Confit Garlic Hummus
• 2 heads of garlic, top fifth cut off to expose the cloves
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Flaked sea salt and black pepper
• 3 tbsp ice-cold water
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp tahini
• Scant 2 cups canned chickpeas
• 1 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
• 1½ tsp parsley, finely chopped
- For the mushrooms: Heat a large grill pan on high heat and add all the mushrooms, spread out (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan). Grill for about 8 minutes, turning throughout, until all sides have dark char marks. Add the mushrooms to a medium bowl with the crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon strips, lemon juice, thyme, maple syrup, salt, and a generous grind of pepper. Mix well.
- Add the dried chile to the grill pan and cook for 4 minutes, until fragrant. Roughly chop the chile and add it, along with its seeds, to the bowl with the mushrooms and set aside to marinate for 1–2 hours.
- For the hummus: Preheat the oven to 425°F (200°C).
- Drizzle the heads of garlic with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes, until the cloves have softened and are golden brown. Remove the foil and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the cloves, discarding the papery skins.
- In a food processor, combine the cooked garlic, water, lemon juice, tahini, chickpeas, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and ¾ tsp salt. Blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go, if necessary.
- Spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, creating a large well in the center with the back of a spoon. Stir the dill and parsley into the mushrooms, then spoon into the well, along with the oil and aromatics. Serve at once. Serves 4 or more as part of a mezze platter.
Butternut Squash, Orange and Sage Galette
• ¾ cup (100 g) all-purpose flour, plus more to dust
• ¼ cup (30 g) whole-wheat flour
• 2 tbsp quick-cook polenta
• 1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves, (about 6 leaves)
• 1½ tsp superfine sugar
• ¾ tsp flaked sea salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 4 tsp olive oil
• 6 tbsp (80 g) unsalted butter, fridge cold and cut into ½-inch (1½-cm) cubes
• ¼ cup (60 ml) ice-cold water
• 1 small butternut squash, skin on, seeded and sliced into ½-inch (1-cm) thick half-moons
• 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch (1-cm) rounds
• 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more to drizzle
• 2 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves, plus whole leaves to serve
• 2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
• Table salt and black pepper
• 1 head of garlic, top fifth cut off to expose the cloves
• 1 large shallot, skin on, top trimmed to expose the shallot
• 2–3 oranges: finely zest to get 1½ tsp, then juice to get 2⁄3 cup (160 ml)
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• ½ cup plus 1 tbsp mascarpone
• 1 egg, beaten
- For the pastry: Mix together both flours, the polenta, sage, sugar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the butter and incorporate by lightly squashing each cube between your fingers. Don’t over-work; you want chunks throughout the dough. Add the water and use your hands to gather the dough together—it will be quite sticky. Transfer to a well-floured work surface and roll into an 11 x 7-inch (28 x 18 cm) rectangle, dusting the rolling pin, surface, and pastry as you go. Fold the longer ends toward each other so they meet at the center and roll out once. Fold the shorter ends the same way, roll out once, then fold in half to make a square. Form the dough into a 5½-inch (14-cm) wide circle, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For the filling: Preheat the oven to 450°F (220°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss the squash and carrots with the 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp of the chopped sage, the caraway seeds, 1 tsp salt, and plenty of pepper. Spread out on the prepared baking sheets. Drizzle the garlic head and shallot with a little oil, wrap individually in aluminum foil, and add to the sheets. Roast the squash and carrots for 25 minutes, or until golden brown, and remove from the oven. Continue to roast the garlic and shallot for 15 minutes more, then set aside. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic and shallot from their papery skins and finely chop.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 450°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll out to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle, dusting your rolling pin as you go. Gently lift the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Put the orange juice and maple syrup into a small saucepan on medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid reduces to the consistency of a thickened, sticky maple syrup.
- Put the mascarpone into a bowl with the chopped garlic and shallot, orange zest, and remaining 1 tbsp chopped sage. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper and stir everything together well.
- Spread the mascarpone mixture over the dough, leaving a 1½-inch (4-cm) rim around the edge. Cover with the squash and carrots, then drizzle with the orange syrup. Fold the pastry up and over the vegetables, brush the pastry with the egg, and bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes, then scatter with sage leaves before serving. Serves 4.
Adapted from Ottolenghi Flavor. Copyright © 2020 by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.