How Ottolenghi Comes Up With a New Recipe

Some folks here will enjoy this article, How Yotam Ottolenghi Comes Up With a New Recipe (New York Times, gift link.)

I appreciate how he shares his thought process around using familiar ingredients and preparations to come up with new dishes. Do you ever freestyle in this way too?

Also I love how this piece credits the ideas of another author, Niki Segnit, and her Flavor Thesaurus books. The notion of a “flavor wheel” that suggests which ingredients pair well with each other—and why—is my kind of thing. Especially at those moments when I lack for inspiration, have a bunch of random ingredients on hand, and need to get dinner together.


And here I thought it was just “come up with as long a list of ingredients as you can fit on two pages of a cookbook.”


I hear you, LOL. Actually I can’t recall making an Ottolenghi recipe and using 100% of the specified ingredients. I simplify based on what I have on hand.

We typically have olive oil, tahini, feta, yogurt/labneh, pomegranate molasses, dried chiles, olives, a selection of spices, and so forth in the house. Close enough that I can approximate without having to buy ingredients that I wouldn’t use for something else.