World Chefs: Ottolenghi doles out more tips on veggies in book

Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:14am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi serves up tips to jazz up vegetarian dishes in his newest, best-selling cookbook, "Plenty More."

In the book, his fourth, Ottolenghi focuses on techniques like braising and roasting to extract flavors. He also showcases spices and condiments from Asia, Middle East and North Africa.

The 46-year-old chef and certified Pilates instructor, who lives in London and owns four restaurants, spoke to Reuters about the book, cooking techniques, and how to get children to eat more vegetables.

Q: Where did you find the inspirations for "Plenty More"?

A: What inspires me week to week can vary in all directions: something I have tasted and want to experiment with myself, something I’ve read about which piques my interest or something a chef in the Ottolenghi delis or restaurants has brought to the menu which I want to share with the home cook.

Other times I will just see something in the grocers which I haven’t used for a while and that will spark an urge to bring it to the test kitchen and have a play.

Q: What are some under-used cooking techniques to bring out the flavors in vegetables?

A: Some vegetables which people tend to boil really would benefit from roasting instead. Brussels sprouts, for example, can change from something a bit bitter, when boiled, to being a vegetable which is beautifully sweet and caramelized when they are roasted in a hot oven having been tossed in olive oil.   Continued...

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi is pictured in this undated handout obtained by Reuters December 22, 2014. REUTERS/Ten Speed Press/Handout via Reuters