Ottolenghi’s Simple Recipes

Ottolenghi (or better known by home-cooks as Ottolengthy) released his new cookbook, Simple, a few weeks ago and still keeps our Instagram feed very busy. Simple is such a subjective word that for some people running 10K for breakfast is simple. For us, it’s just a case of picking up a saucepan and throwing in one or two vegetables with a bit of clever spicing. It’s nothing too technical or challenging. We finally got around to trying two of the simplest looking recipes from Simple. We might have missed a few ingredients or simply just didn't have that rose harissa or amazing looking urfa chillies at home. But don't fear. These recipes are genius and work regardless! Here is our take on two SIMPLE recipes:


Total Time: 45 m I Prep: 15 m I Cook: 30 m I Difficulty: Easy


Hot charred cherry tomatoes with cold yogurt (or rice or just tomatoes)


  • 350gr cherry tomatoes (no need to slice. Tomatoes go to the oven as a whole)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil (less, if preferred. You don’t want your tomatoes to swim in burnt olive oil)
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds (if you don’t have cumin seeds at home, please get it. It compliments everything and also helps with diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas)
  • ½ teaspoon light brown sugar (which we skipped. This recipe is OK without adding sugar)
  • 3 garlic cloves (we cannot have enough!)
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 5g fresh oregano (which we didn’t have and used dried oregano instead. Don’t worry about weighing your oregano. Just put plentiful)
  • 1 lemon (half of it shaved into thin strips and the other half grated. You can use a vegetable peeler to shave the lemon)
  • 350 gr extra thick Greek yoghurt (like TOTAL. If you would like a vegan alternative to this dish, you can replace with rice. There is a great cauliflower tabbouleh recipe on the book and we think would go perfectly with these roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa chilli flakes (or regular…  Seasoning this dish depends on how spicy you want it.)
  • Sea salt & black pepper


How to cook:

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan. Mix the tomatoes with all the ingredients (except for the yoghurt and half of the lemon zest) and place on a roasting tray. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blacken and the liquid is bubbling. Mr Ottolenghi switches the oven to the grill setting during the last 6-8 minutes. Ok to skip if this step stresses you out. Your tomatoes would be fine without.
  • In the meantime, combine yoghurt with the grated lemon zest and salt. Keep in the fridge until everything else is ready. Yoghurt keeping cold is important as Mr Ottolenghi says it creates an exciting contrast with the hot, juicy tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes are ready, spoon over the hot tomatoes with their juices, lemon skin, garlic and herbs. But be easy on the juice. You don’t want your dish to swim in oil and tomato juice. Serve with bread.


Total Time: 25 m I Prep: 15 m I Cook: 10 m I Difficulty: Easy


Avocado and broad bean mash


  • 250gr podded broad beans (ideally fresh)
  • 1 large avocado (roughly chopped)
  • 1 lemon (finely shave with your vegetable peeler to get 1 long strip for decoration and then juice the whole lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • Salt


Better (and lighter) than an avocado-only guacamole and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days.


How to cook:

  • Fill a small saucepan with salted walter and bring to boil. Dip the beans for 2-3 minutes and drain. The beans should not be cooked but would be just ready to easily peel off the skins. If you fancy decoration, set aside ⅕ of the beans. Put the rest into a food processor with the avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, some salt and blitz until almost smooth.
  • Now for the decoration, put tiny amount of olive oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the spring onions and lemon skin for a minute. Remove from heat and stir in the broad beans you had set aside.
  • Spread the avocado and broad bean mash on a plate and spoon the spring onion mix into the middle just before serving. You may want to keep the lemon skin as it looks great but might be a bit too bitter to eat.


These two dishes were perfect for a light brunch and kept us going plantiful the entire day. If nice sweetness coming from roasted cauliflower and sensational combination of texture and flavours is your thing, buy a copy of Simple asap. For the real experience, book a lunch table at Rovi.