Lemon - Addiction
Years ago, Yotam and Sami worked with Amal, from Somalia, who added Tabasco to anything she ate. They would sit down for staff lunch and, no matter what they were having, Amal would instinctively reach out to the red bottle and drench the food with teaspoonfuls of the fiery stuff.
Ottolenghi chefs tend to share a similar addiction to lemon. Its astringent freshness “wakes up” anything you can imagine, a fresh leafy salad, a roasted root, a grilled fruit, seafood with rice, a leg of chicken, a whole chicken, lamb, almond cake. The challenge is to leave it out sometimes, so you don’t lose your taste buds like Amal obviously did. Freshly grated zest, or chopped skin of preserved lemon, are two ways of introducing variations on lemon flavour.