Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ottolenghing - barbecued lamb and flatbreads

In the weekend's FT (you might need to sign up to view this link) Tim Hayward wrote a great piece on the cookbooks that define eras of dinner party entertaining. He concluded that Yotam Ottolenghi's "fantastically eclectic vision of Middle Eastern street and home food has seized the imagination of the fooderati" and suggests "to Ottoleng" as a verb. He's not wrong. Within minutes of me reading the article, Paul suggested that we re-watch an episode of Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast to gain inspiration for our Sunday night supper.

This provided the starting point for our meal. I marinated some lamb shoulder steaks, using the skin of two preserved lemons instead of the fresh rind and zest called for in the recipe. Then I made the almond and orange blossom sauce, using a little less honey and the parsley which I inexplicably bought instead of coriander.

We had a couple of courgettes in the fridge that wanted using, and I thawed a ball of bread dough.
Then everything went on the barbecue. I would have preferred to use my pizza stone for the breads, but there wasn't room for that and all the veg, so skillet it was.
Look at me using my left hand like an ambidextrous person!
While the lamb rested, I scraped the flesh from the charred aubergine skin and mashed it into some yoghurty dip that was lurking in the back of the fridge, soon to hit its use-by date. That went into the middle of my platter, surrounded by the flatbreads, courgettes, peppers and sliced lamb. Then the fragrant mint sauce (left quite thick, like a pesto) went on top of that.

The main criticism of Ottolenghi's recipes is that they usually have a lot of ingredients - some hard to come by - in them. While this was pretty involved, the complexity of the flavours made it worthwhile. It definitely was not your mother's Sunday lamb and mint sauce.

14 comments:

Blonde said...

Wow - that looks amazing. I love a good Ottolenghi recipe, and have been served his stuff at dinner parties recently. I think you're right that he's shaping the current at home food scene.

Chris Scheuer said...

Oh my! Can I come over for a BBQ at your place?!? Looks fab- and if Ottolenghi had anything to do with it's inspiration, I have no doubt it will taste even better than it looks!!!

wildtomato said...

I need to Ottolengh soon! That meal looks amazing.

Shu Han said...

iI love ottolenghi! His food is always so fresh, so colourful, and so exciting flavours and looks wise! The ingredients list does scare me a bit, but if the results are anythign like your photos, it's well worth it I shoudl think!

grace said...

god bless the inventor of the grill. :)

Cuisine de Provence said...

Too, too good, I could just tuck right in....

Foodycat said...

Blonde - every weekend my twitter timeline is FULL of suggestions for his dishes!

Chris - you are welcome!

WT - everyone should Ottoleng at least once.

Shu Han - He has a really nice TV presence too. And these lovely dishes!

Grace - where would we be without them?

CdP - it was a particularly good meal!

Barbara said...

I'm smiling because I wrote a post (not yet online) about that article. I love Ottolenghi, but whether the books will end up being the best of the 10's is another matter.

Joanne said...

I love Ottolenghing! And I love the use of it as the verb. I mean..if one can "google" then one can totally "ottoleng"

Chris Scheuer said...

Wow, that looks amazing! I almost feel like I'm looking in the window at Ottolenghi! It's the first place we head when visiting our daughter in London!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Looks absolutely amazing, and way better than your mother's Sunday lamb and mint sauce. I love the idea of "Ottolenghing" as a verb - makes perfect sense :-)

Deb in Hawaii said...

I love to "ottoleng!" I was slightly daunted by the ingredient lists of his recipes at first but most of the ones I have tried actually do go together pretty easily. ;-) This looks fabulous--quite the feast!

Foodycat said...

Barbara - I loved your post!

Joanne - we can totally Ottolengh.

Chris - it's on my list but I have never been!

Sue - I don't know anyone who doesn't like his food.

Deb - I need to get some of the books. I mostly do dishes from his newspaper column.

Alexandra Stafford said...

Honestly, I am drooling. Such a beautiful spread! Yum yum yum.

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