On top of being a bibiliophile, the librarycook also nurses a not-so-secret passion for all foods Yotam.  Ottolenghi, that is.  First nurtured by his regular column in The Guardian*, then fired up by his charming television series Mediterranean on a Plate, and his delightful podcast Simple Pleasures**, the librarycook was beyond thrilled to see that October’s Delicious magazine had an extract from his new book.

And a generous extract it was too, in keeping with his ethos of food as a gift.  Gigli with Chickpeas and Za’atar.  Butterbean Mash with Muhammara. Soba Noodles with Lime, Cadamom and Avocado.  Mint and Pistachio Fridge Cake.  A Blueberry, Almond and Lemon Cake.  Not just recipes, a cultural education too.

But it was the recipe for Bridget Jones’s Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa*** that spoke to the librarycook’s depths.  A recipe with a literary allusion?  How could the librarycook go past that?  It even allowed her to overlook her usual requirement that a recipe must provide certain amount of reading time.  No time for even the smallest haiku, this recipe was an eye-watering 15 minutes from go to whoa.  But the speedy cooking time didn’t mean the result lacked flavour – not with the sweetness of currants, the savoury tastes of pine nuts and capers, the gentle spice notes of saffron, and the tang of lemon zest.


Was it a keeper?  You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!

*well worth following for the comments alone – who doesn’t enjoy a baffled English person plaintively asking where they’re expected to find such exotic ingredients as avocados?

**Yotam hosts a series of guests for lunch, as he cooks from his latest book, Ottolenghi Simple.

***Apparently, in the movie Bridget Jones’s Baby, Patrick Dempsey’s character tells her that this is the dish he would have brought her on their imaginary second date. “From Ottolenghi – delicious and healthy!” he says. But the recipe didn’t even exist – so Yotam has created it as a retrospective acknowledgement.


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