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  • Writer's pictureLogan Rose

Ottolenghi Gets Simpler

Learning the Joys of Herbs, Spices, and ZEST

If you've visited my blog before, you likely know that my boyfriend, Sam, and I have been cooking through Ottolenghi Simple. Long story short, I have not found it that simple.

From running around Los Angeles looking for obscure ingredients to having a whole meltdown while trying to cook a whole fish (and two other dishes at the same time), this "easy" cookbook has been challenging to say the least.

Just as in life, I don't know whether it has gotten easier, or I have gotten better, but I am a bona fide kitchen queen at this point. Or, as my friend Rebecca would call it, "a domestic goddess."

Of course, no queen would be complete without her king, and Sam has made some stellar recipes lately, too. In particular, Sam is the undisputed king of steak and potatoes.

Without further ado, let me tell you about some of the amazing things we've cooked recently!

Harissa Beef Sirloin with Pepper and Lemon Sauce

I can't speak much to the process because Sam made this one, but hot damn, it was good. The preserved lemon is so fierce and zesty, and the way it combines with the fresh roasted bell pepper is *chef's kiss.*

Don't even get me started on the steak itself. We marinated it overnight and cooked it in a cast iron pan and it was so tender and flavorful I could have died.

Everything went together so perfectly, and I made a Cauliflower "Tabbouleh" on the side.

Cauliflower "Tabbouleh"

I can absolutely speak to the process on this recipe because I spent a good portion of my

life grating cauliflower for it. While preparing the salad, I did not think it was going to be good (grated cauliflower smells weird), but the way the granules absorbed the lemon was incredible, and all the flavors blended well.

Also, Ottolenghi LOVES herbs and this was no exception. We used 7 green onions and tons of parsley, mint, and dill.

The finished project was a match made in heaven for our rich, spicy steak. We spent the rest of the week enjoying leftover tabbouleh snacks -- and using it to supplement other meals. A+

Baked Potato City

There are two baked potato recipes in Ottolenghi Simple, and they are as delicious as they are different. Sam made both of them, so again, can't speak to process.

Spinach and Gorgonzola-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

These are literally just twice-baked potatoes stuffed with an entire bag of spinach and blue cheese. The spinach makes it seem healthier, but we added bacon because we are maniacs.

It was so good. Rich, tasty, and filling. 10/10 no notes.

Baked Potatoes with Egg and Tonnato Sauce

These are the fanciest baked potatoes I have ever consumed in my life.

Basically, Sam put a can of tuna, some anchovies, and a ton of parsley in the blender to make a salty, green, super-flavorful sauce. Then, we poured that sauce over some baked potatoes lined with flaked sea salt and put a soft-boiled egg in the middle of it. Unreal.

It was like fine dining but a potato? Somehow light and fresh but rich and filling at the same time?

This recipe wasn't quite as comforting as the spinach and gorgonzola one, but the potatoes were an experience, and I love that the two recipes Ottolenghi included were so vastly different. Potatoes are versatile, yo.

Avocado and Fava Bean Mash

So, this was more of an avocado and lima bean mash because I couldn't find fava beans anywhere, but it was still pretty good -- and really nice to look at, if I do say so myself (pic below):

It's basically just fancy guacamole with some more protein, and it was really good with tortilla chips.

The recipe isn't a meal in itself, so I made Otto's Shrimp and Corn Fritters (for the second time!) to go with it.

We had leftovers with tabbouleh and tortilla chips as a light dinner another night.

Mushrooms and Chestnuts with Za'atar

I served this with some scrambled eggs and it may or may not have been life-changing.

The mushrooms were so good baked alongside the hazelnuts (I could not find chestnuts), and the way the tarragon and za'atar added flavor made me literally drool mid-bite.

It's also one of the easier recipes in the book -- just slice some mushrooms and shallots, halve some hazelnuts, stick it all in to bake with some garlic and sage, and top it all off with tarragon, za'atar, and lemon juice at the end. Yummy!

Side note that I hate leafing and chopping tarragon, but it seems to appear in every recipe I pick out. TLDR; tarragon is my nemesis.

Two Bean and Two Lime Salad

Two Bean and Two Lime Salad is a perfect lunch on a hot day. Some fresh green beans, edamame, and a zesty sauce you make in the blender. What more can you ask for?

This wasn't the most exciting, nor the most scenic dish I made, but I would totally bring it to a summer potluck or serve it as a side with some rotisserie chicken or something.

Trout Tartare with Browned Butter and Pistachios

I genuinely cannot believe I made this. I am a Michelin-starred chef now, and I am not taking any questions. Just kidding, but oh my God I am so proud of myself!

Also, the hardest part of this recipe was finding the trout. I went to three grocery stores, and Gelson's came through.

Then, all I did was skin and chop the trout (which did feel a little advanced and very chef-like), squeeze some lemon into it, pickle some shallots with spices, and combine it all with some tarragon and some cumin-infused butter.

I didn't know you could just... like... cure fish in lemon at home, but apparently you can?

I served with some take and break bread and simple green beans.

Afterwards, I felt like I had just gone out to a fancy restaurant, but I made it! It was me!

To Be Continued...

I'm sure we will keep cooking, so subscribe to my website to keep reading about our kitchen adventures.

Also if you want to talk about food or pay me to write about food, you can always contact me here or at loganrosereadsandwrites at gmail dot com.

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