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... with some help from Patrick Dempsey and Renee Zellweger.
Despite the fact that Yotam Ottolenghi has a good half-dozen cookbooks under his belt—Jerusalem, Plenty and Sweet, to name a few—it’s still a source of jubilation around this office when he launches another. He and his team seem to have a knack for building perfect recipes that just seem to magically work out, no matter who’s doing the cooking—the result of which comes from countless hours of testing with his team in the UK.His latest, Simple, takes the Ottolenghi formula of rich, layered flavours, though there are very few complicated ingredients here. There are still a few “Ottolenghi pantry” suggestions to have on hand—sumac, pomegranate molasses—but those have gotten much easier to find since his first cookbook. (I picked up Sumac at my local Independent grocery store. It was President’s Choice “Black Label,” but still, it was PC.)He’s shared a sneak peek at once of his recipes below—and I chose this one because of my affection for both the character of Bridget Jones, and the somewhat underrated third in the series. (Don’t get me started on how bad the second one was. Let’s just assume it was only Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones’s Baby and call it a day.)
This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary second date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy, we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment. Serves four (halve the recipe if you’re on that second date).
¾ cup/100g currants4 salmon fillets,skin on and pinbones removed (1 lb 2 oz/500g)7 tbsp/100ml olive oilSalt and black pepper4 medium celery stalks, cut into ½-inch/ 1cm dice (1¾ cups/ 180g), leaves removed but kept for garnish¼ cup/30g pine nuts, roughly chopped¼ cup/40g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their brine1/3 cup/40g large green olives, pitted and cut into ½-inch/1cm dice (about 8)1 good pinch (¼ tsp) of saffron threads, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water1 cup/20g parsley, roughly chopped1 lemon: finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 tsp