For my birthday last year I received a copy of the Ottolenghi cookbook and have been merrily cooking my way through it ever since.

Image from Amazon.com

Ottolenghi is a small chain of restaurants in London – link here – and is a creative twist on Mediterranean food. I wouldn’t say the food belongs to any specific cuisine but is more a mixture of the best bits of many. Some of my favourite recipes are the aubergines (eggplant) with chili, lemon and oregano, I could eat this endlessly, the various types of meatballs, salmon with a red pepper and hazelnut salsa-thingy and the harissa and red grapefruit chicken. Fair warning, some of the recipes are a bit involved – for example with the chicken you make your own harissa paste with roasted peppers, toasted spices etc, then you make a sauce – but in my opinion the end results are totally worth it. For occasions when you want to make something vibrant and delicious, you can’t go wrong with the Ottolenghi book, especially the vegetable section. Their creativity with vegetables transpired into a second book, Plenty, which is a compilation of columns that Yotam Ottelenghi wrote for the Guardian newspaper about vegetables and is also very good, although my heart still belongs to the first book. Unmissable!

I have yet to eat at the restaurant (and now they’ve added a new one, Nopi) but next time I’m in London it is definitely on my list.

Orange and Pistachio Marshmallows 

Wild Rice Salad

Roast Chicken with Chili and Basil

All images and linked recipes from the Ottolenghi website, check it out!