I first read about Ottolenghi on Heidi's blog. She had the cookbook and I thought it sounded good - a cookbook I might pick up for myself. And then I realised it was also a restaurant. In LONDON. I was/am tickled to know that I found out about a London eatery through a blogger in San Francisco. Oh Internet I Heart You. Sometimes.
It turns out that Ottolenghi was the secret location that my friend A wanted to introduce me to. So I would have found it eventually. But still.
The restaurant on Upper Street is somewhat manic. I wonder if they realised what they were doing when the designed it - the food is all placed (on beautiful platters) up at the front where you queue for a seat and where take-away takers pile in to grab their to go boxes. There is no rhyme or reason between the queuers, the take-aways or the servers. Madness ensues and envelops you until you sit down at the long white table and finally decide on your meal. Which is always delicious, and usually inventive in some, well, inventive way.
I quite like it. If you live in London, you should visit it. If you're visiting London, I'll probably take you there.
At any rate, I did end up buying the cookbook (from Amazon and it arrived slightly scrunched which made me unhappy but returning it was too much of a hassle.). And so far I really like it - there are a ton of recipes I want to try. My only peeve with it (and most other recipe books) is that the serving amounts are almost always astronomical. Sweet potato gratin for SIX to EIGHT? If the only time I ever cooked was when I had enough guests to make these dishes I would never cook. Do you know how much is left over when you cook for two people the quantities designed for SIX TO EIGHT? I am not one of those people who can make a pot of chilli and then eat it all week. Please.
So I ended up making (and quartering) Danielle's (Mini) Sweet Potato Gratin. And it was simple and creamy and good and served with a simple green salad made a nice, light dinner for C & I. With no leftovers.
1 Sweet Potato (or a yam, which ever you think it is - I mean the orange one)
a sprig of two of sage
1 clove of garlic
2 glugs of olive oil
About 60ml of cream
Slice the potato into thin rounds. Chop up the garlic and the sage and toss with the olive oil, S&P and potato rounds. arrange in a roasting dish, overlapping each other. Roast for about 40 minutes. Pour the cream over and roast for another 20 minutes or so until the cream is browned and thick.
There's picture coming but C has a cold tonight. (C's Edit: Now with photo! Still have cold though.)