Cookbooks are great. My favorite cookbooks always have mouthwatering pictures of each recipe. Photos are great because it’s easier to get drawn in by pictures than words. However, sometimes, a picture doesn’t just elicit the response “that looks good,” but also “that looks so hard!” Well I’m here to prove to you that just because a recipe looks complicated, it doesn’t always have to be complicated.
Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, is a perfect example of a cookbook with beautiful pictures and less than straightforward recipes. Recently, using a recipe from Plenty, I showed my mom how you can modify a recipe to make your life easier without sacrificing the quality of the food.
Instead of the swiss chard I used lacinato kale. Because kale is less bitter than chard, I didn’t have to blanch it before I added it to the carrot and chickpea mixture, which saved me time. If you don’t have caraway seeds you can use cumin seeds. I reduced the amount of olive oil by half to make the dish more health conscious. My mom only had cilantro, so we omitted the mint. I used canned chickpeas, which is an option in the recipe and is much faster than cooking them yourself. I finished the dish with a touch of aleppo pepper flakes. This recipe tastes as good cold as it does hot, so I made the amount suggested and saved the leftovers for the next day. The whole dish took me about 20 minutes start to finish, which might seem labor intensive for lunch, but is a very quick dinner!