Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookery books are amongst the titles I hear most frequently recommended to others by those who own them, with particular praise for his way with vegetables; although his cooking is not vegetarian, he has a much-lauded knack for making vegetables the star of the show.
His most recently published title, NOPI: The Cookbook, is written with Ramael Scully, the head chef at Yotam’s Nopi restaurant – it’s a real all-rounder with dishes featuring vegetables, fruits, fish and meat and the recipes are a heady mix of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian flavours with additional influences from all over the world. The book is full of temptations such as Roasted aubergine with black garlic, pine nuts and basil, Butternut squash with ginger tomatoes and lime yoghurt, Seared scallops with pickled daikon and chilli jam, Tomatoes with wasabi mascarpone and pine nuts, Sticky sesame rice, Lemon sole with burnt butter, nori and fried capers, White pepper-crusted lamb sweetbreads with pea purée and miso, Venison fillet with date labneh, blackberries and peanut crumble, Chicken supremes with roast garlic and tarragon brioche pudding, Persian love rice with burnt butter tzatziki, Black rice with mango and coconut cream, Caramel peanut ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanut brittle and Coffee and pecan financiers. That’s just the list that leapt out at me on the first look, but there are so many more recipes that intrigue me. Read my guest poster’s review of Nopi: The Cookbook, here.
Plenty More, published last year, is a vegetarian cookery book in which recipes are grouped by cooking method – tossed, steamed, blanched, simmered, braised, grilled, roasted, fried, mashed, cracked, baked and sweetened. After the enormous success of Plenty back in 2010, fans old and new were delighted to discover another 150 vegetarian recipes to enjoy at home.
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Courgette and Manouri Fritters with Lime and cardamom Soured Cream from NOPI: The Cookbook.
NOPI's Courgette & Manouri Fritters with Lime & Cardamom Soured Cream
- 3 medium courgettes , trimmed and coarsely grated
- 2 small shallots , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- zest of 2 limes , finely grated
- 60 g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs , lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 150 g manouri (or halloumi or feta), roughly broken into 1-2cm chunks
- 150 ml sunflower oil for frying
- coarse sea salt
- black pepper
For the lime and cardamom soured cream
- 200 ml soured cream
- 5 g coriander , roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 lime , juice and finely grated zest
Mix together all the ingredients for the soured cream sauce in a small bowl, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a grind of black pepper. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
Place the grated courgettes in a colander and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then squeeze them to remove most of the liquid: you want the courgettes to keep a little bit of moisture, so don’t squeeze them completely dry.
Transfer to a large bowl and add the shallots, garlic, lime zest, flour, eggs, ground coriander, cardamom and a grind of black pepper. Mix well to form a uniform batter, then fold in the manouri cheese gently so it doesn’t break up much.
Pour enough oil into a large frying pan so it rises 2–3mm up the sides and place on a medium heat. Once hot, add 4 separate heaped dessertspoons of mixture to the pan, spacing them well apart and flattening each fritter slightly with the flat side of a slotted spoon as they cook. Cook for 6 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden and crisp on both sides. Transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate and keep somewhere warm while you continue with the remaining two batches.
Place 3 fritters on each plate and serve at once, with the sauce alongside or in a bowl on the side.
Recipe extracted from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully. (Ebury Press, £28). Photography by Jonathan Lovekin. Kavey Eats received review copies of both titles from Ebury Press. NOPI: The Cookbook is currently available for £12.99 (RRP £28). Plenty More is currently available for £12 (RRP £27). (At time of posting).