March’s dinner party gave us a great opportunity to sample some of Ottolenghi’s newest book. It’s well deserving of it’s reviews.
Our hostess made Zucchini Baba Ghanoush; Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters; Salmon with Red Pepper and Hazelnut Salsa; Artichoke Gratin and Semolina, Coconut and Marmalade Cake. These are not easy recipes to execute. She did an amazing job because there weren’t any leftovers.
I have to preface this with a disclaimer. I am hit or miss on Middle Eastern foods, mostly because I am incredibly unfamiliar with them. I would have been too afraid to make this menu but after eating it I am absolutely obsessed.
Getting enough vegetables in my diet is a challenge to begin with and one can only eat so many salads. The zucchini baba ghanoush and cauliflower fritters stared the night off with a smoked warmth that made you feel at home. I could have just eaten this all night long. Our hostess later mentioned she was sad that there wasn’t any leftovers, likely because I had three fritters, and then hoped to myself that no one saw I had a fourth.
I do love salmon, so I was looking forward to our main course. The salsa and preparation actually made one forget you were eating fish. I’m a salmon lover for some of its fishiness but this worked well, the salsa gives it a natural sweetness that isn’t overpowering, but refreshing– a great start for a spring meal! Pair this with a lemony artichoke gratin, and its citrus heaven with a creamy finish. Cheese and fish, what? The sauce of the gratin steams the artichokes well so its much less cheesy than what you might assume from other gratin. I should have been beyond stuffed but I just couldn’t get enough of the flavors here!
But then it kept coming. Concluding our night- a Coconut Orange Semolina Cake. There’s something special about a cake you can eat for breakfast, a snack, tea or dessert. It was wonderful wrap, not too sweet but a lovely citrus conclusion to an amazing meal.
I can’t wait to try other dishes from Ottolenghi’s books– this dinner has me ready for so much more!