The 5 best Ottolenghi recipes for isolation, as picked by Sydney Opera House staff
Bring some pleasure and comfort into your quarantine home cooking
The present lockdown period seems like a better time than any to become the home cook you've always aspired to be. Are you finding yourself running out of inspiration for what to make?
To celebrate the broadcast of Yotam Ottolenghi’s full talk (as part of our digital program From Our House to Yours), we asked some of our staff to dish their favourite Otto recipes to guide you on your way through your meal time journeys.
Eggplant with buttermilk sauce
Fleur Mitchell, Senior Producer Talks & Ideas:
I remember ten years ago on my first trip to London, a friend told me I must visit Ottolenghi’s cafe in Notting Hill. Well I did, and I never forgot the experience (or their famous huge raspberry meringues).
This eggplant recipe is the one that sticks out in my mind, especially as it’s the cover image of Plenty, his groundbreaking debut cookbook.
I’ve made it several times and have also been lucky enough to be served it. The first time I ate this dish, it blew my mind – who knew eggplant could be this delicious? It’s unmistakably Ottolenghi, simple, and impresses at a dinner party.
Make this if: You’re after something simple and delicious.
Courgette, pea and basil soup
Dominic Ellis, Online Content Editor:
Ottolenghi’s Simple does what it says on the tin. Once you overcome the hurdle of American vegetable names (‘arugula’ sounds like a Roman emperor, not a leaf), every recipe in that book is achievable, even for culinary simpletons like me.
The courgette, pea and basil soup is my pick of the bunch. Don’t let your coworkers' disparaging comparisons to ‘baby food’ get you down – this is one bloody tasty soup.
My advice? Don’t skimp on the feta. Pile on the crumbly stuff. It really balances the flavour. Otto calls this a summer recipe, but I think I speak for everyone when I say: what season even is it?
Make this if: You need a bowl of comfort.
Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with mint and cumin
Rebecca Munro, Marketing Manager:
Vegetarians, this may be a good time to avert your eyes.
This delectable recipe was the highlight of a summer holiday spent with friends I’ve known for more than half my life. I’m naturally competitive, so when it was my turn to cook, I just knew it had to be this show stopping slow-cooked lamb.
There’s something so rewarding about a meal you start preparing a full 24 hours prior to devouring it. A labour of love that rewards you with juicy, tender lamb falling off the bone. You’re also rewarded with glowing praise from your dinner party guests, and a subsequent culinary glory you can bask in for days.
This goes down as one of my top meals of all time, served alongside another recipe from Simple: baked mint rice with pomegranate and olive salsa. And it is the number one meal I’m dreaming of in lockdown.
Make this if: You want the ultimate show stopper for your Instagram Stories.
Mango and curried chickpea salad
Roisin Lynagh, Project Coordinator:
My favourite summer salad to bring to BBQs and evenings spent at friends’ houses is this gorgeous spiced chickpea and mango salad.
The sweet mango alongside the curried chickpeas and smoky cauliflower are a serious party in the mouth. There are never leftovers and even the carnivores at the party can’t deny the flavour sensation.
Perfect with a beer or a crisp cold white wine!
Make this if: You’re dreaming of summertime.
Daniella Maryasin, Marketing Manager:
“I love the falafel recipe in Jerusalem. This is the first time I have managed to make falafel that reminds me of the real thing from Israel.” - Garry Maryasin, Danni’s dad
My dad Garry first made it to Israel in his early 60s when my brother moved there. He had dreamed of going there all his life. He defected from Ukraine (USSR) at 27 and then came to Australia to start a free life.
My dad loves food and cooking, and tasting Israeli falafel for the first time was magical for him, and now he’s able to replicate them at home! He cooks them mostly for Friday night dinners and special occasion dinners.
Make this if: You’re having dinner with your parents over Zoom.
Need more recipes to devour? Here are some picks from Yotam himself.
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