In the way that one is apt to crave things that are unattainable, I fall in love with the idea of Yotam Ottolenghi’s London cafes all over again every time I hear about them. And I have heard of them frequently in recent years, as Ottolenghi is something of a sensation in the culinary world, especially among vegetarians in search of fresh flavors and ideas. His innovative cooking relies heavily on vegetables and combines bright, lively flavors from around the world. He has published two cookbooks (Ottolenghi and Plenty) and has a third on the way.
All this is to say that it’s Ottolenghi’s deli case that I dream about when I fantasize about having a ready-stocked supply of amazing salads in my kitchen at all times. So I was disappointed when the first recipe I tried from his vegetarian book Plenty turned out to be a dud in my kitchen (it was a saute of brussels sprouts and tofu that Dana Treat loved, so who knows where I went wrong). This recipe, though, reminded me what all the hype is about.
The fritters themselves are delicious–well-spiced with a hint of an exotic flavor from the turmeric, which you could spin by using Mark Bittman’s adaptation containing cardamom instead as Hannah did when she inspired me to go dig out this cookbook. The thing that made this recipe for me, though, was the yogurt dipping sauce, the leftover bowl of which I considered eating for breakfast this morning. It wouldn’t make a bad meal by itself.