COOKING & FOOD

Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook

Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780399581755. $35. COOKING
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Here’s another splendid vegetable-centric cookbook from the two-time James Beard Award winning chef-owner of Ottolenghi restaurants. This time, he helps home cooks understand what makes a vegetable distinct and how to ramp-up its flavor or taste it afresh. The author defines flavor and uses easy-to-understand examples to explain how layering, contrast, and balance accentuate flavor. Recipes fall within sections devoted to his three P’s for increasing flavor: process (browning, charring, infusing, and aging), pairings (with sweetness, fat, acidity, and chile-heat) and produce (adding umami-rich mushrooms, alliums, nuts & seeds, or sugar-fruit & booze). Featuring a widely appealing flexitarian approach, this collection sometimes uses items like fish sauce or Parmesan in clearly written recipes with helpful visual cues.
VERDICT With appetizing photos, humorous illustrations reminiscent of midcentury cookbooks, and useful lists of meal suggestions by categories, plus a separate recipe section for flavor-enhancing oils, sauces, and sprinkles, this modern veggie cookbook is recommended for anyone ready for intense flavor.

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