Recipes: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi

This entry was posted on 29 September 2021.

This book is all about feeding ourselves and our families with less stress and less fuss, but with all the 'wow' of an Ottolenghi meal. It's a notebook to scribble on and add to, to take its ethos and absolutely make it your own. This is how to cook, the OTK way.



Curried cauliflower cheese filo pie


Cauliflower cheese, but make it pie. This dish was once described as ‘molten-hot-cheese-lava’ and we think that’s pretty fitting for the ultimate comfort of comfort foods.


Serves 4, generously


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes


1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (700g)

2 tsp mild curry powder

3 tbsp olive oil

100g unsalted butter, 50g cut into roughly 3cm cubes and 50g melted

75g plain flour

675ml whole milk

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 ½ tbsp English mustard

150g mature cheddar, roughly grated

6 sheets of good-quality filo pastry

salt and black pepper

1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, to serve

1 ½ tsp lemon zest, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Line the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with

baking parchment.

2. Put the cauliflower on a large, parchment-lined baking tray and toss with the curry powder, half

the oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and lightly coloured. Set aside, and turn the oven temperature down to 170°C fan.

3. Meanwhile, make the bechamel. Put the cubed butter into a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat and, once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes – it should start to smell nutty (like popcorn). Turn the heat down to medium and slowly add the milk a little at a time, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps, until incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Cook, whisking often, for about 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Off the heat, stir in the garlic, mustard, cheese and ¼ teaspoon of salt until the cheese has melted.

4. Keep your filo sheets under a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out. In a bowl, combine the melted butter and the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil and keep to one side.

5. Working one sheet at a time, brush the exposed side of the filo with the butter mixture and drape

it into your prepared tin (buttered side up), pushing it down gently to fit. Continue in this way with

the next filo sheet, brushing it with butter and then laying it over the bottom sheet, rotating

it slightly so the overhang drapes over the sides at a different angle. Do this with all six sheets.

6. Spoon half the bechamel into the base and top with the roasted cauliflower florets. Spoon over

the remaining bechamel, then crimp up the overhang so that it creates a messy ‘scrunched-up’

border around the edges, leaving the centre of the pie exposed.

7. Brush the top of the filo border with the remaining butter mixture, then transfer the tin

to a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

8. Using a tea towel to help you, carefully release the outer circle of the springform tin and

return the pie to the oven for another 20–25 minutes, or until the sides are nicely coloured

and everything is golden and bubbling. Leave to settle for 15 minutes.

9. Top the pie with the parsley and lemon zest and serve warm.



Creamed corn stuffed peppers

with pickled jalapeños


These impressive-looking peppers are deceptively easy to put together, and a sure way to put that bag of frozen sweetcorn to good use. Eat this alongside the broad bean and herb salad (p. 195) or some roasted potatoes, for a complete meal.


Serves 4, as a light lunch


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 green jalapeño, thinly sliced, seeds and all (15g)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp caster sugar

250g frozen sweetcorn kernels, defrosted

100ml double cream

50g quick-cook polenta

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 egg

105ml olive oil

75g low-moisture mozzarella, roughly grated

75g mature cheddar, roughly grated

4 medium red romano peppers

2 onions, cut into 5 x 1cm rounds

5g thyme sprigs

10g fresh coriander, finely chopped

salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.

2. Put the jalapeño, vinegar and sugar into a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside to pickle.

3. Put the sweetcorn, cream, polenta, two-thirds of the garlic, the egg, 1 tablespoon of oil, ¾ teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper into a food processor and pulse to a very rough purée. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the cheeses.

4. Use a small, sharp knife to make an incision lengthways into each romano pepper (making sure not to cut through the ends), keeping the stem intact. Gently use your fingers to remove and discard the seeds, then stuff each pepper with the sweetcorn mixture.

5. Put 1 tablespoon of oil in the base of a large, cast-iron saucepan or sauté pan and then top with the onion rounds and thyme to cover the base, sprinkling with a little salt and pepper. Place the peppers, slit side up, on top of the onions and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then pour 200ml of water into the pan, making sure not to pour it on top of the peppers. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the heat up to 200°C fan and bake for another 20 minutes, or until everything is soft and nicely coloured.

6. Meanwhile, put the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, the coriander, the remaining garlic, ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper into a small bowl and stir to combine.

7. Spoon the coriander oil and pickled jalapeños over the peppers and serve warm.


Make it your own:

– Use regular red peppers if you can’t find romano.

– Play with your cheeses – anything oozy and melty will work here!

– Double this recipe if cooking for a larger crowd.



Za’atar salmon

and tahini


If you haven’t yet paired fish with tahini, then you’re in for a real treat. This version combines tahini with herbaceous za’atar and sour sumac, our ever familiar but much treasured test kitchen staples. We strongly recommend using creamy, nutty tahini that’s sourced from countries within the Levant. Eat this shortly after cooking, as cooked tahini doesn’t sit or reheat very well.


Serves 4


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


4 salmon fillets (600g), skin on and pin bones removed

2 tbsp za’atar

2 tsp sumac, plus ½ tsp extra for sprinkling

60ml olive oil

250g baby spinach

90g tahini

3 garlic cloves, crushed

3½ tbsp lemon juice

1½ tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan.

2. Pat dry the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the za’atar and sumac, then sprinkle this all over the top of the salmon to create a crust.

3. Place a large ovenproof sauté pan on a medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the spinach and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes, until just wilted.

4. Top with the salmon, skin side down, and drizzle the top of the fish with 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake for 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the tahini, garlic, 2½ tablespoons of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and 100ml of water until smooth and quite runny.

6. When ready, remove the pan from the oven and pour the tahini all around the salmon (but not on the fish at all). Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the tahini is bubbling. Spoon over the remaining tablespoon each of lemon juice and oil and top with the coriander and extra sumac.


Make it your own:

– Swap out the salmon for other sustainably caught fish, adjusting cooking times where needed.

– Use other leafy greens in place of spinach, such as kale or chard.


Extracted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi

All photography by Elena Heatherwick





Recipes: Rick Stein at Home

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