Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot recipes (2024)

The advantages and joys of one-vessel cooking are many, especially when the pan also contains a grain.

The addition of rice, cracked wheat or pasta, for example, takes care of the side dish question (you can add another one if you like, but you really don’t have to), so you end up with a meal to fill a family of hungry mouths.

The grains are particularly delicious after slowly absorbing the aromatic liquids and juices in which they’re cooked, while releasing their starches as they plump up, and thicken the broth. I guess you could say it’s an osmosis of sorts (or a very welcome exchange): flavour in, texture and sustenance out.

Lamb pilaf with sweet almonds and sour plums (above)

Iranian dried sour plums, known as aloo bukhara, are like nature’s candy; they are beautifully orange, sweet, sour and hard to resist.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s chilli recipesRead more

They are used in a variety of Persian dishes but are also great to snack on. You can find them in most Middle Eastern supermarkets, but if you can’t get your hands on any, then use dried apricots or sour cherries instead. This is a celebration dish, perfect for sharing and well worth the effort.

Prep 20 min
Cook 55 min
Serves 6

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced (150g)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
500g lamb mince (20% fat)
½ tsp saffron threads, roughly crushed
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp dried rose petals
Salt and black pepper
300g basmati rice
, washed and soaked for 1-2 hours in plenty of cold water, then drained
20g dill, roughly chopped
10g parsley, roughly chopped

For the sweet almonds
1½ tsp olive oil
4 tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
100g blanched almonds

For the sour plum dressing
10g dill, finely chopped
10g parsley, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped (10g)
150g dried sour plums, pitted and roughly chopped (or 100g dried apricots, quartered)
3 tbsp cider vinegar
60ml olive oil

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/gas 4 and line a small oven tray with baking paper. On a medium-high heat, warm three tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan for which you have a lid. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and browned – about seven minutes. Add the garlic, lamb, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon and half the rose petals, and cook, stirring to break up the mince, until no longer pink, about four minutes. Add 250ml water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and cook for seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add the rice, herbs, 520ml hot water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly with foil, then a lid, and turn the heat to its lowest setting. Cook for 15 minutes, then set aside, still covered, for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the almonds. Put the oil, sugar, cinnamon and a tablespoon of water in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then add the almonds. Cook, stirring, for three minutes, then transfer to the lined oven tray and bake for 12 minutes, stirring once halfway, until golden. Leave to cool, then roughly chop. Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.

To serve, spread out the rice on a large platter. Top with the almonds and remaining rose petals, and spoon over the dressing.

One-pot chicken with orzo, porcini and cinnamon

You can’t get much more than this tender chicken by way of comfort and pure deliciousness. My favourite bit, though, is the orzo pasta, which drinks in all the chicken juices. Serve this with your favourite savoury chilli sauce, if you like.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot recipes (1)

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 45 min
Serves 4

3-4 dried cascabel
chillies (25g)
4 cinnamon sticks
30g dried porcini
1 whole chicken (1.5kg)
Salt and pepper
2 lemons, 1 halved and the other cut into 4 wedges
60ml olive oil
500g celery (about 6-8 sticks), cut at a slight angle into 4cm lengths
2 onions, peeled, and each cut into 8 wedges
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
8 thyme sprigs
320g orzo
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6. Put the chillies and cinnamon in a small frying pan on a medium-high heat, and cook for about eight minutes, or until fragrant and toasted. Transfer to a large bowl with the porcini mushrooms and 1.1 litres boiling water. Cover with a plate and leave to soak for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and sprinkle all over with half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then stuff the cavity with one lemon half.

Put a large ovenproof, cast-iron saucepan, for which you have a lid, on a medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and cook on all sides until browned – about seven minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the saucepan, along with the celery and onion, and cook for six minutes, until lightly golden. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pan breast side up, then pour over the porcini liquid, along with all the aromatics, two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir through the orzo, pushing some into the bird’s cavity. Cover again and bake for 20 minutes more, until the orzo is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid.

Turn up the oven to 220C (200C fan)/gas 7, uncover and bake for 10 minutes, or until browned on top. Leave to cool slightly – 10-15 minutes.

To serve, squeeze over the other lemon half, sprinkle with the parsley and serve directly from the pan, with the lemon wedges alongside.

Charred shallots cooked in freekeh

The unique smoky and nutty qualities of freekeh are amplified here with the addition of charred shallots and cascabel chillies. The dish is robust enough to be served as a main course, with some lightly cooked greens or a chopped salad alongside.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot recipes (2)

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 5 min
Serves 4

3½ tbsp white miso paste (70g)
60ml olive oil
1½ tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tomato paste
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
500ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
350g medium banana shallots (about 8-10), peeled
3 dried cascabel chillies, roughly broken
350g cracked freekeh, soaked in cold water for half an hour, then drained

For the tahini sauce
80g tahini
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice

To serve
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil

Whisk the first seven ingredients together in a large jug with 400ml water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.

Put a large saute pan for which you have a lid on a high heat. Once hot, add the shallots and char for 16 minutes, turning a few times, until slightly blackened all over. Add the cascabels and char for 90 seconds more, until fragrant. Pour over the stock mixture, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the shallots begin to soften.

Carefully transfer the shallots to a plate for a moment while you stir the freekeh into the sauce, then return the shallots to the pan, spaced apart. Cover with the lid again, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the freekeh is cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, leaving the lid on, and set aside for 10 minutes.

Put the tahini sauce ingredients in a small bowl with four tablespoons of water and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and whisk smooth. In a separate small bowl, combine the parsley, chives and oil.

Drizzle half the tahini sauce over the freekeh, followed by all the herb oil. Serve directly from the pan, with the remaining sauce alongside.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot recipes (2024)


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