by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
Food Photographs © Jonathan Lovekin
When I initially fanned though “NOPI,” I thought “this is so much more than the other (fabulous) Ottolenghi books” — I wasn’t wrong.
“NOPI,” the collaborative effort of Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (head chef at NOPI), opens with an upfront statement that this book is different than previous Ottolenghi cookbooks… this book presents more complex recipes, many of which will be “more challenging” for home cooks.
These recipes call for many more ingredients (Ottolenghi dubbed this the “Scully influence”) and more sub-recipes than in the first books. Ottolenghi is quick to honor, disclaim and note that working with Scully is/was totally different than his relationship with Sami Tamimi. Scully not only brought an Asian influence but uses multiples of the number of ingredients we’ve previously seen in their recipes. And, Scully creates complex flavors — sometimes the result of cooking for days.
A section of the Introduction dubbed “Taming Scully” notes that Ottolenghi and Tamimi loved to “throw together” a few things where Scully adds more… more ingredients, more butter, stocks, condiments, more cooking time, etc. In the end (which took a while to achieve), they met somewhere in the middle to create “proper restaurant food” for NOPI. [A headnote reveals that NOPI was opening at the same time Yotam was writing Jerusalem (released 2012)].
These recipes are obviously well thought and tested. Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients – that only mean a bit more time for mise-en-place. Suggestions for substitutions are numerous as are warnings: “Time and effort are needed for this dish…”, “You’ll need to get started a day ahead here…” “There are many components… don’t be put off…”
I want to reiterate “don’t be put off” – cook with a friend – it’ll lead to lots of laughs and probably great results.
Among these creative recipes you’ll find Seared Scallops with Pickled Daikon and Chile Jam, Octopus and Stir-Fried Kale with Black Olive and Golden Raisin Salsa, Roasted Pork Belly with Crushed Butternut Squash and Apple and Walnut Salsa, Lamb Loin with Peanuts, Coconut Milk, and Red Onion Salsa, Corn Cakes with Beet and Apple Salsa, and Spiced Chickpea Patties with Coconut and Curry Leaf Paste. In addition there are brunch, dessert, condiment and cocktail recipes. You can see a listing of recipes on this Amazon page.
Also included are 18 menu suggestions plus an ingredients glossary.
And I must mention that Jonathan Lovekin’s eye candy photography stokes the salivary system.
photo © Jonathan Lovekin
- 1 medium butternut squash, trimmed, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, then cut width-wise into 1 inch/2.5 centimeter wide slices (1.75 pounds/800 gram)
- 3 tbsp/45 ml olive oil
- 6 large plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise (17 oz/500 g)
- 1.25 inch/3 cm piece of ginger, finely grated (1 oz/25 g)
- 1 red chile, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 packed tbsp/30 g dark muscovado sugar
- Coarse sea salt and black pepper
- Lime Yogurt:
- Scant ½ cup/120 g Greek yogurt
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- Finely grated zest of ½ lime, plus 1.5 tsp lime juice
- To Serve:
- ⅛ oz/5 g cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 oz/30 g cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- ⅓ oz/10 g crispy store-bought
- Shallots (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 465°Fahrenheit 240°Celsius (425° Fahrenheit/220°Celsius convection).
- Mix the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large parchment-lined baking pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 340° Fahrenheit/170°Celsius (300°Fahrenheit/150°Celsius convection).
- Place the tomato halves on a parchment-lined baking pan, skin side down. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the last tablespoon of oil, and cook for 80 minutes, until softened.
- Place the ginger, chile, garlic, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mix to form a paste, then spoon this on top of the tomatoes. Cook for another 40 minutes, until caramelized, and set aside to cool.
- Place all the ingredients for the lime yogurt in a small bowl, with ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Spread the squash out on a large platter and layer the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the lime yogurt, sprinkle with the cilantro, cashews, and shallots, and serve.