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Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • Nopi, Jan 31st, 2013

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    31/1: The NOPI meringue is much like a little sister to the Ottolenghi meringue. However, unlike the latter - perched at the shop window as it idly watches the world go by- ours is dainty, rosy, and well on its way to possibly the happiest place on earth: the strawberry and pomegranate mess.
    It’s one of Yotam’s moments of simple genius and we love it. Katrina, our new pastry chef, definitely agrees.

  • Beetroot and avocado salad

    The ingredients in this recipe marry together with the addition of sherry vinegar and chilli sauce. A healthy, hearty all-in-one meal. First published in the Guardian, Photographed by Colin Campbell for the Guardian Serves four to six 4 medium raw beetroots (around 350g in total) 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 3 tbsp sherry vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to finish ½ tsp caster sugar 1-3 tsp savoury chilli sauce or paste (Tabasco or Mexican Cholula hot sauce, for instance) 1 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 medium avocados, peeled and thinly sliced 10g coriander leaves 10g mint leaves 20g pea shoots (or, failing that, lamb's lettuce) 150g broad beans, blanched, refreshed and skinned (or frozen soya beans, quickly blanched and refreshed) Peel the beetroots and slice them very thinly, around 2-3mm thick – if you have one, use a mandolin. (If your beets are large, halve them after peeling, then cut into slices.) Put the beetroot in a pot with plenty of boiling water and simmer for three to five minutes, until semi-cooked; it should still be crunchy. Drain and put in a large bowl. Add the red onion, vinegar, oil, sugar, chilli sauce, salt and pepper to the beetroot bowl and toss everything together gently – your hands are the best tool for this. Leave to one side for 10-15 minutes, then taste and see if you want to add more sugar, salt or vinegar – it needs to be sharp and sweetish. When you're ready to serve, spread half the beetroot mixture on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with half the avocado, coriander, mint, pea shoots and broad beans. Add the rest of the beetroot and arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle with a little oil and serve.
  • An ode to the ottolenghi croissant

    The Ottolenghi croissant is something rather rare: how can so much flour and butter taste like fresh spring air? Leaf-light layers with a crust light and crisper “what is the secret?” we often hear our lovely customers whisper the butter, the kneading, the hand which bakes, what is the magic ingredient which makes our puff-pastry parcels the best in town? (though we say so ourselves, they’ve become quite renowned). The list of ingredients is no mystery in the least: flour, butter, milk, sugar, salt and egg and yeast, the process of their making follows traditions known and old: knead the dough, let it rise and deflate before it’s rolled; more rising, chilling, butter and rolling and, as one soon learns, the all-important layer-producing repeated folds and turns, repeat again, add more butter, fold and say your prayers and hope that the resulting croissant has the requisite 36 layers! The magic’s worked, they’re left to freeze in the bakery overnight before fresh cooking in our shops, to our customer’s delight. Served with coffee, spread with jam, taken home to fill with ham. . . But the real secret, the one that lies behind this finest treat is the person who our customers don’t often get to meet the one whose kneading, the dough’s friend and clock: our very own and very special Mister Irek Krok: here from Poland for the past six years, he’s 36 layers above his baking peers; for all that one can know the croissant-making drill it’s years of practise that results in the skill to make and bake and know the dough, when it’s rising too quickly and needs to slow to mix and measure, roll and fold to feel when the butter’s too hot or cold to make batch after batch and get it so right that heaven is thought of in every bite batons and patterns on tray after tray we’d like to take a moment to proudly say that it’s Irek and all those behind the scenes who make the Ottolenghi food the stuff of dreams. . .
  • Nopi, Jan 16th, 2013

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    16/1: Matteo’s first run in with a dragon fruit: a moment of wonderment and a meditation of the physical being. Quite heavy stuff!

  • Nopi, Jan 10th, 2013

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    10/1: Since our first paper table cloth was laid at NOPI two years ago, we’ve seen everything doodled upon then, from love hearts to Christmas trees to apparently-homicidal crocodiles. This little gem particularly made us smile during an otherwise-energetic Saturday lunch service. So we thought we’d share it with the world. To all the bright and beautiful days indeed and to all the worlds envisaged over a table for two. 

  • Meet Gonzalo Gonzalo, know to many as Rioja's 'Bad Boy'

    Gonzalo Gonzalo's love story with wine started like so many others have done so before. Born in Logroño, Spain, he grew up among his parents vineyards' in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta. Following the family tradition, he studied oenology at the university of Rioja before completing his oenologist training in a big industrial winery. The first turning point for Gonzalo came, however, when he went off travelling through France and Italy where he met small vine-growers and winemakers whose natural winemaking practices were about to change his life. Returning from his travels he left a commercial winemaking career behind to set up his own estate. Respect to the land and natural winemaking were at the heart of the estate's philosophy from day one. The second major turning point in Gonzalo’s journey towards sustainable viticulture and winemaking was the illness of his father, caused by years of daily exposure to chemical fertilizers and herbicides while tending their vineyards in the 1970s. This influenced him profoundly and spurred him on to fight the battle his father had lost. His first objective was to restore the biodiversity in the vineyard lost due to chemical treatment. Rejecting modern chemical treatment, Gonzalo has instead sought out his own methods with respect for the land, his vineyards, and the traditions of his forefathers. In the weeks prior to the bottling of Gran Cerdo's first vintage, young Gonzalo naively approached the local bank for some financial help to launch the new wine. To his surprise the application was declined on the basis that “wine is not a seizable asset”. Gonzalo eventually managed to launch the wine without the bank's support but did not forget. Ironicallynamed Gran Cerdo (‘big pig’ in Spanish) the wine's back label tells his amusing take on the matter (see below).   And the wine? Made from younger Tempranillo vines, this declassified Rioja is packed with crushed cherries, strawberries and a pleasant softness. This vibrant and juicy little natural wine is phenomenal value and turned out to be an international success. But Gonzallo just can't sit still. Seen by many as Rioja's "Bad Boy", Gonzalo keeps on pushing winemaking limits and is nowadays busy forging relationships with other artistic forms such as painting, music, fashion or architecture, in order to stimulate joint creative talent. For this wine plus many more, visit our Webstore
  • Nopi, Jan 3rd, 2013

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    3/1: At NOPI, we’ll use any excuse to combine two of our loves: the pomegranate and our taste for a strong tipple. Queue the cocktail competition! Clementine juice, sumac and gingseng spirit were just a few of the flavours experimented with, but the winner: a pomegranate and Szechuan cracker-of-a-cocktail with Appleton rum! Good work Lukasz… . 

  • Ottolenghi Christmas 2012

    Just some of the team who made it another wonderful Christmas at Ottolenghi

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