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Ottolenghi Flavor Copertina rigida – 13 ottobre 2020

4,7 su 5 stelle 7.123 voti

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Descrizione prodotto


Yotam Ottolenghi is a seven-time New York Times best-selling cookbook author who contributes to the New York Times Food section and has a weekly column in The Guardian. His previous book, Ottolenghi Simple, was selected as a best book of the year by NPR and the New York Times; Jerusalem, written with Sami Tamimi, was awarded Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and named Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation. He lives in London, where he co-owns an eponymous group of restaurants and the fine-dining destinations Nopi and Rovi.

Ixta Belfrage spent her youth dipping her fingers into mixing bowls in places as far-flung as Italy, Mexico, and Brazil. She formally began her culinary career at Ottolenghi's Nopi restaurant before moving to the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, where she has worked for four years, and contributing to Yotam's columns. She lives in London, where she makes regular guest chef appearances at some of the city's top restaurants.

Estratto. © Riproduzione autorizzata. Diritti riservati.


I have never been shy about my love of vegetables. I have been singing the praises of cauliflowers, tomatoes, lemons, and my old friend the mighty eggplant for over a decade. I have done this on my own—in cooking demos, on book tours, and in the pages of books and magazines—and I have done this in a group, in lively discussions with colleagues in my restaurants, and in the test kitchen. It’s become my mission to present vegetables in new and exciting ways and I have embraced it with nothing but enthusiasm.

Still, in the spirit of openness, I must confess to a small niggling doubt that creeps in now and then. How many more ways are there to fry an eggplant, to slice a tomato, to squeeze a lemon, or to roast a cauliflower? How many more secrets are there to be discovered in a handful of lentils or a bowl of polenta?

The answer, I am delighted to report, is many. My journey of discovery into the world of vegetables—by which I mean anything, really, that originates from a plant—has taken me in all sorts of directions that I simply hadn’t imagined. If my first vegetable book,
Plenty, was the honeymoon period, a great big party where certain vegetables—peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, mushrooms—got a whole chapter to themselves, Plenty More was all about process; recipe were divided into the ways in which the vegetables were treated: mashed or tossed or grilled and so forth. Flavor is the third book in the series, it’s about understanding what makes vegetables distinct and, accordingly, devising ways in which their flavors can be ramped up and tasted afresh; it’s about creating flavor bombs, especially designed for veg. This is done in three ways.


The first step has to do with some
processes that happen to vegetables when they are cooked, or to some key ingredients with which they are cooked. The second is about pairing; what you match a vegetable with to draw out one of its distinct qualities. The third deals with the produce itself: the sheer depth of flavor that certain ingredients naturally possess that allows them to play a starring role in a dish, more or less by themselves, or to prop up and brightly illuminate other vegetables.

So, after
Plenty and Plenty More, Flavor is “Plenty 3,” if you like, or P3, with the three P’s (process, pairing, and produce) being the key concepts for explaining what makes certain vegetable dishes taste so good. Let me give you some examples to illustrate this, using some of my favorite ingredients: celery root (to demonstrate process), tamarind and lime (to think about pairing), and mushrooms (to show how it can be just the produce itself doing the work).

process. Three recipes in this book involve cooking celery root whole for more than two hours, then dressing and serving it in different ways. During the initial cooking of the celery root, and before any other ingredient is added, something truly magical happens. Much of the water in the celery root evaporates, its flesh turns from white to golden brown, and it becomes sweeter and richer. This browning and caramelizing, which happens to many veg (and non-veg) when they are cooked in a certain way, is a key process that teases out flavor from them. Whatever you choose to do to the celery root after this is less important. Indeed, you don’t need to do anything more to it at all, if you don’t want to; the browning process is such a flavor bomb that it’s heavenly when eaten at this stage, cut into wedges and served with a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of fra.che. Other processes that have a similarly terrific effect are charring, infusing, and aging (which is mostly done to ingredients well before they reach your kitchen), all of which transform and elevate vegetables to great heights.

Illustrating my concept of
pairing is a little less straightforward because, every time you cook, you obviously pair ingredients together. What I have done, though, is identify four basic pairings—sweetness, fat, acidity, and chile heat (as in spicy heat)—that are fundamental. Introducing one or more of these key pairings to a dish has the effect of showing the vegetables (or fruit) with which they are partnered in a completely new light. The asparagus salad with tamarind and lime (page 171) is a great example. Many argue that asparagus is so magnificent—with a subtle, yet refined flavor—that it doesn’t need to be paired with anything, really, except some oil or butter and possibly a poached egg. I have made this same point myself in the not-sodistant past. What I have learned more recently, though, is that asparagus can actually stand its ground when paired with robust and purportedly dominant ingredients. It does this particularly well when the paired element is complex and multilayered. In the salad I mentioned, raw asparagus is paired with three sources of acidity: lime juice, vinegar, and tamarind, each with its own particular characteristics. All these layers and iterations of sour come together in a single harmony that heightens and alters the taste of raw asparagus in a way that really opens your eyes to the vegetables.

The third concept has to do with
produce. Vegetables, famously, are not as good at imparting flavor as are meat and fish, because of their high water content and the low levels of fat and protein they contain. Some, though, are absolutely brilliant at it. Our spicy mushroom lasagne (page 228) is proof of the power of this particular veg to carry the weight of a whole complex dish on its own little shoulders, giving any meat a good run for its money. Not many vegetables can do this, delicious as they may be, but since mushrooms are bursting with umami—that satisfying savory flavor that makes tomatoes, soy sauce, cheese, and many other ingredients so impactful—they are perfectly capable of providing ample flavor and some serious texture to give vegetarian dishes a very solid core. Other plant-based ingredients that show similarly impressive skills are alliums (onions and garlic), nuts and seeds, and fruit. All four are the types of produce that you can rely on to do some seriously hard work in your kitchen.

While making a delicious recipe can be simple, great cooking is never the result of one element in isolation—it is the interplay of different types of 
processes, pairings, and produce in one dish that elevates and makes it exquisite. Using the lasagne example again, this dish clearly relies heavily on mushroom umami (produce), but it also benefits greatly from an interplay of different fats (pairing) and the complex art of aging cheese (process). The structure of this book, in which each chapter highlights one particular kind of process, pairing, or produce, is, therefore, not to undermine or deny the existence of any other elements in a recipe; its purpose is to highlight the USP (unique selling point) of a dish, a particular element at the core that makes it particularly delicious or special.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Editore ‏ : ‎ Ten Speed Pr (13 ottobre 2020)
  • Lingua ‏ : ‎ Inglese
  • Copertina rigida ‏ : ‎ 317 pagine
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399581758
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399581755
  • Peso articolo ‏ : ‎ 1.6 kg
  • Dimensioni ‏ : ‎ 20.2 x 3.2 x 27.7 cm
  • Recensioni dei clienti:
    4,7 su 5 stelle 7.123 voti

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Recensioni clienti

4,7 su 5 stelle
4,7 su 5
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Recensioni migliori da Italia

Recensito in Italia il 4 marzo 2021
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Recensito in Italia il 6 novembre 2020
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Recensito in Italia il 25 gennaio 2021
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2,0 su 5 stelle Ottolenghi non delude mai
Recensito in Italia il 25 gennaio 2021
Libro bellissimo. Ingredienti difficili da reperire. Consegnato con un angolo della copertina rovinato.
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Recensito in Italia il 27 aprile 2022

Le recensioni migliori da altri paesi

1,0 su 5 stelle Disappointing
Recensito nel Regno Unito il 3 settembre 2020
369 persone l'hanno trovato utile
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Miss Caroline
5,0 su 5 stelle Inspirational and helpful additions to organisation of book
Recensito nel Regno Unito il 4 settembre 2020
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Watson After
2,0 su 5 stelle Not sure who this is written for
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Food, Glorious Food!
5,0 su 5 stelle Another great addition to the Ottolenghi line up!
Recensito negli Stati Uniti il 14 ottobre 2020
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Food, Glorious Food!
5,0 su 5 stelle Another great addition to the Ottolenghi line up!
Recensito negli Stati Uniti il 14 ottobre 2020
For fans of Plenty and Plenty More, embrace Flavor, a book that Ottolenghi describes as Plenty Three.

EDIT: I'm adding the following comment on cooking times a day after I posted my initial review. A reviewer below mentioned that in the whole book there are only 5 recipes that can be produced in under 30 mins. I disagree.
Just in the first 12 recipes alone, there are 6 recipes that have a cooking time of 30 mins or less, and the prep for all of those recipes is speedy, with some ingredients being prepped during the cooking time. Yes, there are recipes that have multiple steps, and long cooking times, but this is not advertised as a recipe book specifically for those who need to get dinner on the table in 30 mins. There are plenty of other books out there that offer that. However, a quick scan shows a number of recipes that do meet that bill. For example, Noors Black Lime Tofu. The tofu is tossed in cornstarch and fried for 6 mins, while the tofu is frying throw the onions and garlic in a food processer. Fry that for 10 mins. Add the spices etc and cook for another minute. Add water, simmer for 6 mins. Add the tofu to the sauce and toss in the spinach, serve straight from the pan and dinner is done. The One Pan Orecchiette Puttanesca cooking time is just 14 mins if you boil the pasta while the sauce is reducing, then stir together.. Some of the more labor intensive recipes you might like to save for the weekend but there are weeknight healthy and delicious sounding recipes in this book.

Flavor contains 100 recipes, which are almost all vegetarian sometimes vegan (45 recipes) that occasionally dabbles with fish sauce and parmesan, eggs and dairy. Yotam offers substitutions for various ingredients where possible such as light soy sauce for fish sauce.

At the start of the book, Yotam lists the 20 ingredients that he considers essential to this book. He is not suggesting that you rush out and purchase them all right away (if you don’t already have them, you will likely want to stock most of them anyway, after trying these recipes) He describes these ingredients are being the essence of the book. These ingredients have been used to enhance, draw out and accentuate, they are umami rich, many of them are aged, and all have complex layers of flavor.
These 20 ingredients are: Aleppo Chile (Gochugaru Korean hot pepper flakes are suggested as a substitute) Ancho chile, Anchovies packed in olive oil, black garlic, Persian dried black lime (he suggests that regular lime could be used, but to me, Persian lime has a scented, earthy tang that really is a different thing entirely from fresh lime) Cascabel Chiles (ancho as a substitute) Dried Whole Chipotle, Fish Sauce, Gochujang paste, Ground cardamom, Hibiscus flowers, jarred butter beans (canned are acceptable but jarred is preferred) Mango Pickle (not chutney) Masa Harina, Miso (preferably white not sweet white) red bell pepper flakes, rice vinegar, rose harissa (regular harissa can be substituted, I would like to add that culinary rose petals can also be crushed and added to harissa, and these can be found at World Market or online) Shaoxing Wine, Tamarind Paste.

The book is divided into three main categories. Process, Pairing and Produce.

Those categories are further divided into
Process: Charring, Browning, Infusing, Aging
Pairing: Sweetness, Fat, Acidity, Chile Heat
Produce: Mushrooms, Alliums, Nuts and Seeds, Sugar: Fruit and Booze

Finally we have Flavor Bombs which is a two page spread, showing all of the condiments that are in the book with the corresponding page number (see my photo) Butters, oils, salsas, mayonnaise, sauce, pickles, salts and spiced nuts.

Each chapter begins with an essay on that subject which covers the subheadings. I love this, as I read cookbook like novels and here, each method and the equipment used, and a run down of some of the recipes and how they embody the method used, is described in detail with some cute, cartoon-like line drawings.

Process for example, has 12 pages describing the processes and benefits to Charring, Browning, Infusing and Aging before we get to the recipes.

Here are a selection of four recipes from each chapter (please see the corresponding photo)

The Process Chapter
Charring: Iceberg Wedges with Smoky Eggplant Cream
Browning: Hasselback Beets with Lime Leaf Butter
Infusing: Chilled Avocado Soup with Crunchy Garlic Oil
Aging: The Ultimate Roasting Pan Ragu

The Pairing Chapter
Sweetness: Coconut and Tumeric Omelette Feast
Fat: Stuffed Eggplant in Curry and Coconut Dal
Acidity:Noors Black Lime Tofu
Chile Heat:Saffron Tagliatelle with Ricotta and Crispy Chipotle Shallots

The Produce Chapter
Mushrooms:Broccoli with Mushroom Ketchup and Nori
Alliums:Olive Oil Flatbreads with Three Garlic Butter
Nuts and Seeds:Tofu Meatball Korma
Sugar: Fruit and Booze Tapioca Fritters with Orange Syrup and Star Anise

I have listed a range of recipes from main courses to side dishes.
In the process chapter for example Charring has 7 recipes, Browning has 11 recipes, Infusing has 8 recipes and Aging has 9 recipes. In that chapter every recipe has a corresponding full page sized photo or even a two page photo spread, sometimes multiple photos on a two page spread. Additionally, there are a number of photos of Yotam and Ixta cooking.

This brings me to a bit of a gripe. I know that the majority of cooks like a photo of every recipe, and many people find it hard to get enthusiastic about a recipe with no photo, but this seems to be overkill at the expense of the amount of recipes in this book.
Plenty had 120 recipes to 288 pages
Plenty More had 150 recipes to 352 pages
Flavor has a mere 100 recipes to 317 pages.

Admittedly, the chapter essays take up some of this, but I never thought I would say this about a cookbook, but the photos are overkill. While I enjoy the photos of Yotam and Ixta cooking, these could have been reduced in size to half or even quarter page photos.
The two page spreads of a single recipe, for example the Hasselback Beets, could have been reduced in size to a single page to make way for another recipe.
Noors Black Lime Tofu has no less than three full pages of photos. A photo of the tofu in the pan with the paste, then a photo of the spinach being added to the pan, then a photo of the spinach being stirred in, then a photo of the spinach almost completely stirred in and almost wilted, and then a photo of the finished dish with spinach wilted satisfactorily.
This type of photo series could have been kept for recipes that were a bit more complex, such as the home made Saffron Tagliatelle. That recipe has no photo at all and could really have used a series for people who have never made pasta before. Instead the two page spread has been used for the Saffron Tagliatelle dish with Ricotta and Crispy Chipotle Shallots. And in that instance the photo series shows the already made Tagliatelle on a tray, then it being cooked in water, then it in the pan with the parmesan being added, then its in the pan with the parmesan added now, and then a full sized photo of it in the pan with the crispy shallots on top.

There always has to be a gripe, but for me this is a pretty big one. If I was the editor I would have said one photo only per recipe unless a difficult technique really needs to be shown and add more recipes in place of all the rest. The book is pretty, but beyond a photo of each finished dish, the rest of the photos are just eye candy and most of the extra photos of the type I described above, are not what I would consider helpful or even particularly interesting. Personally, I would prefer more recipes.

Another area which I think had some room for expansion was the Flavor Bombs page. While it is helpful to show all the condiments etc on one page with the recipe page number listed, and in the intro to each recipe there are some ideas on how else to use one of the Flavor Bombs I think this could have been fleshed out a bit more.
For example, if you have leftover Fenugreek Marinade from the Curry Crusted Rutabaga Steaks it is described as keeping for two weeks and can be used as a base for curries or for marinating vegetables or different meats. Perhaps this could have been expanded to say mix with yoghurt and serve with grilled chicken, or to marinate chicken before grilling (I don’t know if that would be good, just riffing here) but if I am going to make double or triple of a condiment I would love a handful of simple ideas sketched out, to start me off on the journey of what else I could do with these Flavor Bombs beyond a line or two on the recipe page. But perhaps that is just nit picking. There are some ideas, I just want more, more, more!

Gripes aside, the recipes themselves sound great and I will be cooking through this book, as I have done with all of Ottolenghis other books.
Fans of Ottolenghis will want this book, so I am preaching to the converted here but it is always nice to read an extensive review before purchase even if you pretty much know you are going to purchase a book.
Newbies, this is a pretty vegetable book with some very interesting recipes. You can't go wrong with this book or Plenty or Plenty More if you want to expand your vegetable repertoire. Or Ottolenghis other books if you also want interesting recipes that include meat and fish.
I am happy to have this book and I will post an update when I cook from it (I pre-ordered it and just received it today)

If this review was helpful to you, please click the helpful button. It always gives me a huge kick to see that my reviews were helpful to other like minded cooks. You might also be interested in my other cookbook and ingredient reviews and my ideas lists of kitchen tools etc
Happy cooking!
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4,0 su 5 stelle Looks really good
Recensito nel Regno Unito il 3 settembre 2020
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