This year I decided to participate in an Instagram Group hashtag #nowyoucooks, established by @CathySly. The idea is to pick a book to cook through each month and post a picture of item(s) we made. This idea is right up my alley; I love to cook, Brian & collect cookbooks and love exploring new recipes. I also saw this as an opportunity to work on my food photography and if I was lucky, to create a blog post of the experience. For both January & February I chose “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Yotam is a well known chef in London. To learn more about him, you may check out his website HERE. The book focuses on vegetarian fare and has lots of lovely photographs. If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can find it on Amazon HERE. For my first recipe…
I went for this “Very Full Tart”
With red & yellow peppers, eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes, we found this dish satisfying – to the eye and the palate. Quite easy to make. We will be making this again!
Next up was this lovely “Pear Crostini”
This called for chervil and chèvre but I substituted thyme for the chervil and goat milk cheddar for the chèvre (Brian is not a fan of chèvre ) This was absolutely delicious and I think it would be good as either an appetizer or a dessert.
Though we have our own recipe for hummus, I decided to give his version a try
Personally we found the recipe too heavy-handed with the Tahini and I had to compensate by adding lots more garlic and lemon juice. Sure was pretty though.
Since pasta is my weakness, I had to give the “Crunchy Pappardelle” a go
I used Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper Pappardelle for the pasta. Other than that I followed the recipe verbatim. With Spring asparagus coming up, that would be a nice substitute for the broccolini used here. Quite good and super simple to make.
Next was “Mushroom Lasagna”
Again, easy to do. When putting together the sauce, I kept feeling like it was too thick and that maybe the amount of ricotta called for wasn’t enough – but it all worked out beautifully. The only thing I would leave out was the tarragon called for. I love tarragon but it is such a strong and distinctive flavor and I felt it was a bit overwhelming for this dish. Next time I will substitute thyme.
Then we gave the “Soba Noodles w/ Eggplant & Mango” a try
I could have eaten the whole thing all by myself! So good. We wound up pairing this with some Pok Pok chicken wings for a Super Bowl dinner. All the flavors went well together.
We had some beets laying around so decided to use those to make the “Beet, Orange, & Black Olive Salad”
I would never have guessed to pair black olives with beets and oranges, but boy was this good! I did use arugula instead of the chicory for the greens. A nice spring mix of greens would be good here too.
Last, but not least, I whipped together the “Multi Vegetable Paella”
This is a great recipe! It is easy and flexible as far as ingredients go. I also added some prawns to this. So, so good.
All in all a great book. If you are vegetarian, or just looking to add more meatless meals to your repertoire, I would highly recommend Plenty.
For this month, I am cooking out of this book
“Sunday Suppers” by Karen Mordechai. I’ve already tried 4 recipes from this book so I’m off to a good start! Will post a review the first part of April. Until then, Bon Appetite!