Yotam Ottolenghi is an amazing chef and cookbook author. His recipes are unorthodox, and they also make heavy use of dairy and spices which are difficult for my wife to digest, so we are selective about his recipes we choose to make. Last night I took a gamble on one featuring grilled cucumbers, and it was a real winner — for both of us.
Fortunately, we had all the ingredients, so it all came together easily. It was absolutely delicious!
The only adjustment I made was to discard the cardamom shells. I don’t understand the purpose of including them, and they seem indigestible to me.
Incidentally, lunch that day was my own invention. I think it was healthy and unique in many ways. I’ve been eating beets as often as possible, so they were the centerpiece of the lunch. We had some leftover cooked beet greens and avocado, so I added them. Chopped onion, garlic, and several heaping tablespoons of wasabi-infused tobiko (flying fish roe) completed this exciting dish. The flavors were enhanced with sea salt from Ibiza and black Kala Namak, a volcanic salt from the Himalayas — one which has a special affinity for beets.
Amazingly, the wine for this dish was Andrea Fendi’s 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Umbria. Its crisp acidity was a very good match with the beet salad.
The grilled cucumbers, on the other hand, was paired with a silky-smooth Rosso from Sicily, made by Sonia Gambino, from Gustinella. I recently purchased some of her wines from Eataly NYC, and they are teriffic!