Six years ago I had the pleasure to meet and interview Chef/Author, Yotam Ottolenghi here in Vancouver. He is a fascinating and creative chef with his own restaurants in England, along with multiple cookbooks. His latest he Co-Authored with Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Ixta Belfrage, they detail what makes vegetables distinct and how to maximize their flavors by following the “three P’s”:
• Process: Key reactions that happen when vegetables or supporting ingredients are cooked.
• Pairing: What you match a vegetable with to accentuate its defining qualities.
• Produce: Understanding the sheer depth of flavor that certain vegetables naturally possess.
I recently made one of the recipes from the book, the Mashed Sweet Potatoes with yogurt and lime on page 192. One thing that I learned is that when he calls for using Purple Sweet Potatoes that’s what you want to find which makes for the perfect dish as per the recipe, however, I could not find the purple sweet potatoes at my local Safeway or other stores in the area, and opted for the yellow type of Sweet Potatoes, and although the dish was tasty it didn’t have the same appearance as one would imagine.
I am tempted by many other recipes in the book such as the Butternut, Orange, and Sage Galette on page 132, as well as the Eggplant with herbs and crispy garlic on page 251, and the Miso Butter Onions on page 258.
This book was published by Appetite – Random House, it makes a great holiday gift for your foodie friends. You can find the book at Amazon and Indigo across the country.
By: Richard Wolak