Kohlrabi, Couscous and Mahimahi, Ottolenghi Inspired

 We've all been hearing lots of good things about Yotam Ottolenghi over the past several years (at least some of us have) and seen various recipes, book reviews, interviews, etc. popping up on the internet; well if you had any doubts, I am here to tell you the hype is totally deserved.  After checking out two of his cookbooks from the library, Ottolenghi, the Cookbook, and Nopi, just to give the dude a try, they are now on my to buy list, very definitely.  Absolutely inspiring, from his creative, exciting use of new and old ingredients, to beautiful photography and good directions.  I am impressed!

Just for example, tonight's dinner, nothing fancy - a salad of julienned kohlrabi, with radishes, simply seared mahimahi, dusted with a bit of za'atar, accompanied by a couscous which included golden, caramelized onions.  None of which recipes were followed to the letter; it was his original ideas that got me going.  I threw toasted peanuts into the salad, and added dried chanterelle mushrooms, resuscitated in a saffron broth,  to the couscous, replacing what my pantry was lacking with what was available - to good effect, if I do say so.

At the grocery store today I picked up a knob of kohlrabi, just grabbed an unfamiliar vegetable, one I'd never tried before, with no idea what to do with it, got home and looked for a recipe in both books.  Voila!

The fish was fresh, a local Hawaiian favorite, Mahimahi, spiked up here with Za'atar, a new spice for me, also recommended by the chef.  Loved it.

Some couscous had been lurking in my pantry for way too long, and with a Yotam inspired approach, it was a hit as well.  I recommend this guy for anyone who is in a cooking rut, or even if you just enjoy trying new, bold and exciting approaches to food.  Something different for a change.

Will send this along to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking feature.  If you have anything food related, feel free to join up, or just check out what we're cooking this weekend.


Mae Travels said...

Ottolenghi has been one of my favorites for a while. He does a vegetarian cuisine column in the Guardian (though he's not limited to veg. in his own life or in his restaurants). "Jerusalem: the Cookbook" has great recipes too -- it's the one I've used most. I have followed some of his recipes in detail and I agree with you, he's a great source of techniques and ideas.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Beth F said...

Sob! I love mahimahi and you just can't get it on the mainland -- not like I remember it from Hawaii. Yours looks awesome!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Yay! Ottolenghi is an all time favorite of mine starting with his book Plenty. He does such great things with spices and flavor combinations. Za'atar has become one of my favorite spices too. Your dinner looks amazing. (One of these days I am going to grab some Kohlrabi too.) ;-)

Carole said...

Love me some mahi mahi. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

jama said...

Mahi is my favorite fish to eat when I'm in Hawaii. Nothing like freshly caught! Must admit I've never heard of Ottolenghi and am now intrigued. Will have to look for his books.

Pat @ Posting For Now said...

Your dinner looks amazing. I have not heard of Ottolenghi before. Sounds like he has some great ideas.

Tina said...

Mahi is a fish we routinely grab at the seafood market. Love it grilled.