“Vegetarian option” doesn’t have to be a dirty word when using one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s luscious Mediterranean vegetarian recipes.
For a nation most culinarily associated with fish and chips or shepherd’s pie, a vegetarian food option may not be the most appealing to the English. British-born celebs such as Paul McCartney might be promoting vegetarian campaigns such as Meatless Monday, but it still probably takes something truly delicious (like eggplant stuffed with bulgur and fruit) to get the average Brit to forgo his or her bangers and mash. Enter Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-born non-vegetarian chef with a great appreciation for Mediterranean meatless wonders. For years Ottolenghi has been publishing a column titled The New Vegetarian in The Guardian, slowly convincing Londoners to eat more vegetables and less meat.
The New Vegetarian touts creative recipes that draw on mostly Mediterranean flavors and ingredients, such as mushroom, garlic and shallots with lemon ricotta (see above photo), mixed bean salad with eggplant pahi (check out the photo below) and eggplant with buttermilk sauce (see video clip above).
Why stick with British meat pie when you could eat a Jerusalem artichoke and goat cheese souffle?
After writing The New Vegetarian column for years, Ottolenghi assembled his best vegetarian recipes into a cookbook, Plenty, which was published last year. Reputed for being filled with meaty dishes for the non meat eater, the recipes appeal to both vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Being a vegetarian doesn’t have to be colorless and boring, it seems like Ottolenghi is saying. Or, you can have your meat and love your vegetables, too.