Sunday, May 16, 2010


Sorry to be predictable guys, but a new cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi has just been published, yay!

Plenty features recipes from Ottolenghi's The New Vegetarian column in the Guardian. Many of these recipes seem quite meaty (ha!) and hearty, and may well encourage us to embrace vegetarianism (you know that we're all gonna have to do this at some point, right?)

We kicked things off with a Celeriac and Lentil salad.

This is the first time I've cooked with celeriac: it's such a curious vegetable, so lumpy and quite the ugly duckling, but such a lovely aroma, not quite as sharp as a celery taste/smell. As Stephanie advises, after removing the thick outer layer of the celeriac, we dropped the chopped celeriac pieces into acidulated water to prevent browning. This salad has a subtle thyme-y flavour from the lentils, a crisp hazelnut crunch and fresh apple mint.

Dare I say it: I'm in love again.

PS: I haven't seen the Ottolenghi books in the shops here, but you can definitely find these online.
UPDATE: In case you're interested, we spotted both Ottolenghi books in Readings, Lygon Street, Carlton.

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint
from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4
60g hazelnuts, skin on
200g Puy lentils
700 mL water
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small celeriac (650g), peeled and cut into 1cm chips
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp chopped mint
salt and black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 140degC. Scatter hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Let them cool down, then chop roughly.

2. Combine the lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a sieve.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the celeriac in plenty of boiling salted water for 8-12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain.

4. In a large bowl, mix the hot lentils (if they have cooled down, they won't soak up all the flavours) with the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of hazelnut oil, the vinegar, some black pepper and plenty of salt. Add the celeriac and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

5. To serve straight away, stir in half the mint and half the hazelnuts. Pile onto a serving dish or in a bowl, and drizzle the remaining hazelnut oil on top. Garnish with the rest of the mint and hazelnuts.

6. To serve cold, wait for the lentils and celeriac to cool down before finally adjusting the seasoning, and possibly adding some more vinegar, if you like. Add hazelnut oil, mint and nuts in the same way as when serving hot.


Confession time: I've been bitten by an online book bug and have been shamelessly ordering presents for myself (and others too...cos sharing is caring doncha know? .... and ok, to allay a modicum of guilt) from Book Depository UK.

Each book has arrived in immaculate condition and I have been gleefully ripping open the packages as soon as they arrive via Royal Mail. Visit their site at your own peril!

So, we now have a lifetime of recipes courtesy of these lovelies:

Ginette Mathiot's 'I Know How to Cook" was first published in 1932 and is considered to be the bible of French home cooking. This hefty book was updated and translated into English by Clotilde Dusolier (of Chocolate & Zucchini fame) last year and is brimming with classic French dishes. We have found the savoury and sweet recipes to be succinct and fuss-free, with delicious results. More to follow!


  1. Hi Jfox- Can't wait for another cooking adventure especially now you have all those wonderful books! Have always wanted to try and cook with celeriac but didn't know what... you've inspired me!

    Heh... yeah, the book depository is the best place to indulge in cookbook collecting habit/fetish!?

  2. hey cass, done! i'll lug them all over at our next session.
    BD is completely evil - i'm happy that the aussie dollar has dropped a bit.. anything to dissuade me =)


Related Posts with Thumbnails