How To Cook Like Yotam Ottolenghi - Quick and Easy Recipes From Stylist Magazine - Stylist Magazine

  • Yoto
  • Yotam
  • Yoto
  • Yoto

How to cook Mediterranean food like Yotam Ottolenghi

The chef shares his culinary secrets

He’s the man that reinvented the salad, made giant, cloud-like meringues famous and did for middle-eastern cuisine what Antonio Carluccio did for Italian food many years before – made it both accessible and desirable. It’s Yotam Ottolenghi, one of the nicest men in the food industry and the pin-up boy for vegetarianism, despite not being one himself.

After the world-wide success of his latest book and TV series Jerusalem, Ottolenghi is back with a new show on More 4, taking us through the culinary highlights (and foodie pioneers he meets along the way) of four countries: Morocco, Istanbul, Tunisia and Israel.

Eager to recreate his unique cooking style at home? We asked Ottolenghi for his tips and tricks on adding middle-eastern flair and Mediterranean style to your cooking.

What are the stand-out dishes that you think symbolise each one of those countries you visited when filming the show?

For Israel, it was a salad made out of chopped tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and red onions. It’s got pomegranate molasses in the dressing, and it’s really beautiful. It’s very sharp and crunchy, one of the freshest things I’ve ever cooked.

For Morocco, it was some filo pastry cigars that were stuffed with walnuts and almonds, then fried and glazed with lemon icing and some saffron, so they just look stunning, great for a Christmas party.

Tunisia is all about spices and fish. It also has a lot of Italian influence. In the show I do a seafood pasta with tonnes of seafood, prawns and calamari and fish and I make a green harissa – which is green chillies, parsley, coriander and garlic and drizzle that on top.

In Turkey, I made a fantastic vegetable dish. I travelled far outside Istanbul and gathered tonnes of fresh vegetables straight from the ground, aubergines and courgettes and tomatoes, parsley and coriander, everything fresh from the soil. And all I did was lightly fry the vegetables and mix them with yoghurt so it was a luscious salad of mixed vegetables and yoghurt and herbs.

What larder staples do we need to have to create your kind of food?

Cumin – used in almost all North African cuisine. Especially in Morocco and Tunisia. In Morocco when you sit down for a meal, instead of salt and pepper you get salt and cumin.

Preserved lemons are key to Moroccan and Tunisian cooking, they put them in almost everything. Chilli paste, or harissa – in every one of the countries I’ve visited they always have a form of chilli paste. There are different varieties, all of them have chillies, but some are dry, some are fresh, some are dehydrated but still with that tasty texture. Some use green, some use red. Some with sweet spices like cumin and garlic. You would always find spice paste, so I think harissa which you can buy, is a really good staple.

Flaked chillies are really big in Turkey, they tend to finish dishes often by melting some butter and cooking flaked chilli in it. So the butter becomes hot and turns red from the chilli. They spoon it over soups and stews.

Lastly, scented water; orange water, rose water, that’s another key ingredient. Also make sure you have a constant supply of Walnuts, pistachios and almonds to finish off sweet and savoury dishes.

What’s your best insider food tip?

When you’re making cous cous, instead of letting it steam in a covered bowl or saucepan, put it in a warm oven and leave covered for the same amount of time as you would normally. This will create more steam and make it much lighter and fluffier.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feasts is on tonight and next Monday, 9pm, More4

Tags:

Share on

or email.

  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Delicious

CONNECT WITH STYLIST

Our Most…

12 takes on Marilyn Monroe

12 takes on Marilyn Monroe

As soon as we saw the first photos (above) of…

More

Subscribe to Stylist

Stylist is distributed to over 400,000 readers…

More
Beef curry

Recipe: Beef kofta curry, fluffy rice and beans

A curry in 15 minutes that doesn’t involve…

More
Vidal Sassoon's most iconic haircuts

Vidal Sassoon's most iconic haircuts

British-born hairstylist Vidal Sassoon - credited…

More

Barbie goes couture at Moschino

MOSCHINO: It's a Barbie world A hot-pink clad…

More

Giorgio Armani takes inspiration from the sea

An opening short by an Oscar-winning director, a…

More

Latest Street Style pictures from Milan Fashion Week SS15

Chiara Ferragni, Blonde Salad blogger, designer…

More

Jewelled clogs add a twist at Roberto Cavalli SS15

Oversized jewel-encrusted clogs steal our heart…

More

Your Vote Counts

It's one of the chilliest Augusts in decades. Are you...

It's one of the chilliest Augusts in decades. Are you...