Today I want to talk about Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi are two cooks who own a restaurant in London, according to some “one of the most iconic and dynamic places to eat” in the UK. The book covers 140 recipes they collected over the years – from Vegetable dishes, soups, meat and fish to baking and patisserie (obviously Ottolenghi is famous for the latter). The recipes are quite unusual, for example “Sweet broccoli with tofu, sesame and coriander”, “Roasted butternut squash with burnt aubergine and pomegranate molasses” or “Organic salmon with red pepper and hazelnut salsa”.
Today I want to share a recipe that we tried out right away, a salad that might come in handy on those hot summer days.
Burnt aubergine with yellow pepper and red onion
- 2 medium aubergines
- 2 yellow or green peppers, cored and cut into 1.5cm dice
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 40g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 70ml sunflower or nut oil
- 90ml cider vinegar
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
1. Place the aubergines directly on 2 separate moderate flames on the stove and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning them occasionally with metal tongs, until the flesh is soft and the skin is burnt and flaky. By this stage your kitchen will have the most magnificent charred smell. (Alternatively, place the aubergines under a hot grill for about an hour, turning them occasionally and continuing to cook even if they burst.) Leave to cool slightly.
2. Make a long cut through each warm aubergine. Using a spoon, scoop out the soft flesh while avoiding most of the burnt skin on the outside. If you don’t like the seeds, try to avoid them as well. Leave the aubergine flesh to drain in a colander for at least an hour or overnight.
3. Chop the aubergine flesh roughly. Mix all the ingredients together, then taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be robust and pungent. Serve within 24 hours.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads