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Hot Dinners does brunch with Yotam Ottolenghi to celebrate his new book NOPI


We can't honestly think of a better way to start the week - sitting down with Yotam Ottolenghi at a special brunch to mark the launch of his latest cookbook. NOPI, written together with his restaurant's head chef Ramael Scully, is Yotam's fifth book - complete with pages quite literally bathed in gold.

Yotam told us the main challenge was translating high-end restaurant dishes into ones which home cooks would be able to recreate: "I don't want to make a cookbook which no-one can use". After some intensive work in the Ottolenghi test kitchen in Camden (a place we'd frankly rather like to move into and never leave), has come a series of beautiful dishes, all with that unique Ottolenghi flair.

Flick through the gold-edged pages, and you'll find a sharp and spicy watermelon soup, french beans with freekeh and miso, beef brisket croquettes with Asian coleslaw, and a caramel peanut ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanut brittle. To which we can only say: yes, please.

To celebrate the launch, the team at Ebury books laid on a splendid brunch featuring recipes from the new book, including some NOPI favourites - black rice with coconut milk, banana and mango, and courgette and manouri fritters with cardamom yoghurt, all bursting with vivid colour. And there was a new creation too, which eagle-eyed Ottolenghi fans might recognise from a test kitchen version the chef Instagrammed back in January: a light, fluffy sweet potato pancake, topped with an extravagant swirl of date syrup and fresh yoghurt: and not difficult to make at home.

After such a brunch, the conversation, naturally enough, turns to custard. Yotam's go-to dessert? "A sabayon. It's simple, light, and you can serve it with poached fruit." In the book, there's a version with poached quince, and a raspberry and quince jelly, a pretty-as-pink bowl of frothy, creamy delight. It might just become our go-to dessert too.

NOPI , by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully is published by Ebury press on September 10

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