I admit that I get crushes. Major chef crushes.
It all started out in year 7 when Huey’s Cooking Show came on Channel Ten and after school I would rush home, make my cold milo and watch him make what I now know as pretty ordinary food. A few years later in comes Jamie Oliver. Enough said. A few years after that comes Curtis Stone. Definitely enough said. I then take a massive turn and was all about Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander and of course, Poh from Masterchef.
In my later years I made a personal pact to visit the restaurants around the world of my favourite cookbooks. Having received the first edition of ‘Ottolenghi’ on my 21st birthday, my love affair began. I discovered the charming cafe in Nottinghill a few months later shortly followed by Yotam Ottolenghi. Oh Yotam. Numerous cookbooks and TV shows later, he is still one of my favs. So here is to you Yotam and your most recent cookbook…
My take on a Middle Eastern Feast
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Jerusalem
Wild Rice Salad
3 cups of wild rice, cooked as per packet instruction
1 large onion, sliced
1 can chickpeas, drained
2tbs curry powder
Juice and zest of one lemon
Handful of coriander and mint, chopped
Olive oil to serve
Fry your onion and chickpeas in oil until charred and fragrant then add the cumin, curry powder, zest and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Mix together with rice, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.
Half a butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed and roasted
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Can of chickpeas, drained
2tbs chopped parsley
Maple syrup and sesame seeds to serve
In a food processor, blend the everything together until smooth. Taste here as you may need more lemon or salt. Serve with the maple syrup for a sticky, sweet take on the normal hummus.
Serve the feast with warmed pittas and await the compliments !