June – Recipe Challenge – Ottolenghi The Cookbook

Well! Last couple of months have simple flown by and I can’t believe, it’s July and that I’ve not written up our recipe challenge. For April, I can entirely blame on husbandface. He picked the book, did maybe one recipe (?) and then failed to write it up. To be fair, it was an awesome recipe and we make it quite a bit now. We also tried, and failed, to make preserved lemons. We did everything we were told. But the mould took over. Sad face. I have some notes on the Arabesque book, I’ll attempt to write them at a later date.

Mouldy preserved lemons. Boo.

May, well, I just realised now we didn’t really recipe challenge things in May! We did go on holiday to France though and that was awesome.

Honfleur in May – beaut!

So onwards and upwards to June! For this month we (I) picked Ottolenghi’s The Cookbook. This is a perfect one for the recipe challenge because I’ve owned the book for about two years and, until now, have failed to make anything. This is why we decided to challenge ourselves this year.


Ottolenghi – The Cookbook

I was a bit put off by this book, because it’s very well known for lots of ingredients. But, it turns out that we’ve got a lot of them – so it wasn’t too much for us. The thing I noted was the Ottolenghi website publishes all the ingredients for the recipes in the books, which is very handy for checking when out and about/adding to Paprika, but they don’t publish the How To which means you need the book. Clever… and a bit mean! We only made it to four recipes – but considering that we did this in the last week of June, I’m quite impressed.

Recipe One – Kosheri

This is a fab rice dish! It’s a bit – four different hobs on the go at the same time – complicated but it’s really tasty, and despite the teensy faff, not that stressful to make. I also had cold the next day as a lunch, and it was delicious – very pleased with this.



Recipe Two – Salmon with Red Pepper and Hazelnut Salsa

It was nice to make a salmon dish with a twist, Over the years we have developed a pattern with trout and salmon and it was lovely to do something different. The salsa was good and tangy and we’ll definitely make again.

Recipe Three – French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange

Rich made this dish. It was lovely and tasty, I think I’d so with slightly less orange zest as was overpowering at times – but definitely good to make. We had with fishcakes – nom!

Green Beans and Mangetout

Green Beans and Mangetout

Recipe Four – Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash

Really enjoyed making this dish. Worth noting that whenever I’ve roasted butternut squash – it always takes at least double the time as on the recipe! We ate with hummus, flatbreads and baba ganoush. Double yum.

Couscous dish – made a good salad the next day too!


  • Enjoyed making the recipes, more than I thought I would!
  • Not many “whole” meal recipes so these were components taken to making a fuller meal. This is something we’ve not done much but something I’m keen on going forward to broaden what we know how to do.
  • The titles of recipes are too lengthy! It’s like all the ingredients have to be listed in it – for me it’s a teensy bit pretentious and added to the fear of cooking from this book.
  • I’m glad I got over the fear. I’ve actually highlighted loads of recipes now so looking forward to spending some more time going through.

So many more recipes to try out!

Next month

We haven’t decided a book for July yet. We had a look through last night and nothing really jumped out to us. We have another holiday coming up (they are a bit crammed together this year!) and maybe something will jump out to us then.

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About salidatious

I am Welsh but have lived in Edinburgh since 2004. I have been a PA for most of that time.
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