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4.6 out of 5 stars
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
In his introduction to this book, Yotam Ottolenghi writes that that each dish is based around one of his favourite ingredients. This has led to an idiosyncratic organisation of recipes: some components (such as aubergines) have their own chapter; others are organised botanically (such as brassicas) and others reflect associations that are part of the way Ottolenghi shapes his menus.
These recipes are based on meatless dishes and reflect eclectic influences including the Middle East, South East Asia and Latin America. The book is full of delicious, mouth-watering recipes.

The chapter headings may give some idea:

Roots
Funny Onions
Mushrooms
Courgettes and Other Squashes
Capsicums
Brassicas
The Mighty Aubergine
Tomatoes
Leaves Cooked and Raw
Green Things
Green Beans
Pulses
Cereals
Pasta, Polenta, Couscous
Fruit with Cheese

The recipes are accompanied by anecdotes and by mouth-wateringly beautiful photographs. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The amount of preparation required varies between dishes: some are quick and easy, others will require more time. But it's worth it. There is a recipe here for just about any occasion.

I first borrowed this book from the library, but quickly realised that I needed my own copy.

A note for American readers: the ingredients are listed in grams and millilitres rather than cups and ounces.
Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
I just want to mention that Plenty (white cover) and Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London's Ottolenghi are EXACTLY the same book! The only little differences are :
- the first is the original book published 4 the UK (2010), the other in the US (2011)
- the first uses grams, millilitres, the other uses cups, ounces and pounds. Both use tsp and tbsp
- the ingredients appear in the order they are used in the second book
- their covers are different but all images and recipes inside the books are EXACTLY identical
- some ingredients are named differently : double cream for heavy cream, caster sugar for sugar, broad beans for fava beans, etc.
- the quantities in the second book are really rounded : 400g asparagus is 1 lb
I bought the second book by mistake and I prefer the first one for the metric units.

What a wonderful book !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
This book is brilliant. Have been vegetarian for 30 years, vegan, raw food, macrobiotic, , you name it,.I have an extensive food prep book collectionThis is the best book I've come across in all that time. The recipes simply WORK! They're delicious, easy and quick to prepare, having just the right twist to make them gourmet quality. The ingredients are also easily available. Healthy , delicious food that's easy and quick to prepare. The best of the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
Great choice if you are looking for colourful, delicious vegetarian recipes with something different. Includes many tasty dishes suitable for vegans. Flavours are from well combined fresh herbs, spices and seasonings, not simply the all too common reliance on the addition of cheese or cream. Recipe ingredients, while not every day staples in the vegetarian/vegan cupboard, are easily found by exploring the rest of the spices shelf in your grocery store. Contents are laid out by specific vegetable which is particularly useful and the photos are especially tempting and helpful for presentation. Recipes are great for both "at home" meals, but definitely if you want to make a statement at dinner parties. Recipes can be used with confidence when entertaining either a veg or omnivorous group. One of the "better purchases" for sure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2013
I love this book . I am not a vegetarian but I am often wanting to make more vegetarian meals for our family and our friends so this is perfect for my needs. Plus the photos are done so well that they leap off the pages and onto your table
This is my favorite go to cookbook for fast and easy delcious meals to accompany meat or not
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2014
When I first got it I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for something that would teach me how to make vegetables really well using spices, herbs, and technique. Instead, many recipes contain an expensive (at least in Canada) dairy product – yogurt, cream, or a particular cheese. It’s not like you can’t leave them out, but some recipes seem to depend on them. It’s pretty easy to make something taste good using melted taleggio or artisanal unripened goat’s cheese. Other recipes also seem to contain unnecessary steps - the garlic prep in the caramelized garlic tart, for example (I have done it without par-boiling the garlic first, and it was no different) and baking the rice in the oven for the cardamom rice with yogurt (you can just do it on the stove, like normal). The recipes taste good, but overall this book isn't teaching me many useful tricks and preparations for vegetables.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
A superb book with extraordinarily inventive and delicious-appearing recipes ("delicious-appearing", because I have not yet had time to prepare any). Extremely imaginative with wonderful photos. The only downside to the recipes was perhaps due to my ignorance: I had never heard of a number of the ingredients listed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
He may not actually be vegetarian but Yotam Ottolenghi can certainly convey the pleasure of vegetarian food. In "Plenty," the Israeli chef presents recipes featuring vegetables, pulses, grains, eggs and dairy, most of which highlight the flavours of the Mediterranean.

To his credit, Ottolenghi treats his ingredients with dignity; he proves that lentils can taste as delicious as beef provided you don't consider them a substitute. Indeed, every dish from roasted sweet potato wedges with herbs and chillies to cabbage and kohlrabi salad with sour cherries to black pepper tofu sounds substantial and appetizing. The myriad of lovely, glossy photos make the book a pleasure to peruse whether you cook from it or not.

Some recipes contain a large list of ingredients but all look easy enough to make with moderate time and effort. The instructions are laid out clearly but there is little other text to read - disappointing for those who like a bit of commentary with each recipe. Overall, a worthwhile addition to anyone's cookbook collection whether vegetarian or "flexetarian."
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
When I bought this book, I was very excited because the recipes all seemed so delicious, in terms of the actual ingredients - and I love the idea of cooking just vegetarian sometimes - and let's face it, salad and steamed veggies can get a little boring.

I made 3 recipes so far: Itimar's bulgar, stuffed onions and the sweet potato wedges with lemongrass creme fraiche.

None of the recipes were all that great - the bulgar, i didn't like at all. the stuffed onions, way too much bread crumb for my own personal taste, would have preferred even rice or some combination of stuffing rather than bread crumbs/feta and herbs. The sweet potato - really, very simple to brush olive oil and lightly salt/pepper the wedges & bake, but the temperature just didn't get a nice golden finish on the sweet potatoes, they came out looking bland, so I had to pop them back in the oven at a higher temperature to get a golden hue, but then they were overcooked & unable to retain the nice wedge shape as they were too soft & falling apart. PLUS the lemongrass creme fraiche was far to liquidy - the sauce should've been thicker in my opinion.

All in all, the book has some great concepts & ideas, but you have to try the recipes at least a few times before getting it right. I love the idea of stuffed onions, but to do it again, I'd try a different filling altogether. The sweet potatoes? The flavours in the creme fraiche were excellent, BUT, i'd have to doctor the ingredients to get the right thickness for the sauce (maybe do equal parts creme + sour creme or something to that effect) - plus potatoes at a higher temperature so that they cook AND get browned at the same time.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 25, 2013
I have yet to try something that hasn't turned out from this book. Recipes may not always be quick (many are), but they turn out with fantastic flavour combos designed to impress. One of my favourites is the Black Pepper Tofu:)

The book is beautiful enough to be out sitting on your coffee table (with recipes illustrated wonderfully), but the recipes are too good not to use it well. This book is organized by major ingredient (which makes it easier for me at least when I am trying to use up specific things in the fridge). Recipes are good as is or as inspiration!

Buy (and visit Ottolenghi's restaurants if in London! We were recently there and had a fabulously magical experience at Nopi)
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