July Bookclub Review: Plenty More

Friday 31 July 2015 by

Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi, Book, Recipe, #HoBBookclub, Ebury PressPlenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Published by Ebury Press

Vegetables have moved from the side dish to the main plate, grains celebrated with colour and flair. It’s a revolution that is bold, inspiring and ever-expanding.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty changed the way people cook and eat. Its focus on vegetable dishes, with the emphasis on flavour, original spicing and freshness of ingredients, caused a revolution not just in this country, but the world over.

Plenty More picks up where Plenty left off, with 150 more dazzling vegetable-based dishes, this time organised by cooking method. Grilled, baked, simmered, cracked, braised or raw, the range of recipe ideas is stunning. With recipes including Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad, Membrillo and stilton quiche, Buttermilk-crusted okra, Lentils, radicchio and walnuts with manuka honey, Seaweed, ginger and carrot salad, and even desserts such as Baked rhubarb with sweet labneh and Quince poached in pomegranate juice, this is the cookbook that everyone has been waiting for.

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I have to be honest: I didn’t try as many recipes as I wanted to from Plenty More. This book is a smorgasbord of delicious, fresh vegetarian recipes and a firm favourite! I am always looking for ways to eat more vegetables, and this is the simplest way I’ve found – making them so delicious I barely miss bacon at all!

The ingredients are not always the easiest to find – seaweed can’t be picked up at the corner store – and if you know someone with an allotment, make sure they are your best friend, because fresh ingredients are key here.

I was blown away by the green bean salad with tahini dressing and walnuts (startlingly simple), the baba ganoush is astonishing, and for an amazing brunch rustle up some spicy scrambled eggs! There is something for everyone, and although some of it isn’t very friendly for we gluten-free types, it’s easy to adapt (make sure you’re stocked up with gluten free flour and soy sauce, and rice noodles are a good gluten free alternative for udon). There are sweet treats as well – I have a new obsession with pomegranates – and Ottolenghi has an amazing ability to mix savoury and spicy with sweet, to get your tastebuds tingling.

The book itself is beautifully made, with mouth-watering pictures and notes from Ottolenghi on the recipes and flavour combinations. It’s slightly at the pricey end because it’s a hardback, but it’s worth the investment for a beautiful book to keep for years. It’s become a regular in the kitchen.

Did you try out any recipes from Plenty More? Which was your favourite?

August’s House of Blog Bookclub is part of the Man Booker Prize! One of the longlisted titles, we will be reading A Spool of Blue Thread. Tweet your thoughts through the hashtag #HoBBookclub on Twitter or write on the wall on the House of Blog Facebook page.

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