Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for Mother’s Day (2024)

I have my mother to thank for many of the skills I acquired in my early years, but cooking isn’t one of them. She (and my father) made some terrific food, but I was so excited about the eating part that I never paid much attention to the cooking. It was only when I left home that I realised delicious food relied on someone knowing what they were doing in the kitchen. Luckily, I’ve since managed to catch up, so for next Sunday, I offer this meal to my mother, for igniting in me a love of eating, and of cooking.

Lamb and hibiscus koftas (pictured top)

When I first bought dried hibiscus flowers, I didn’t really know what they’d taste like or how I’d use them, but I soon found they were very good blitzed into a fine powder. They taste sharp, fruity and bitter, a bit like sumac, in fact, which makes a more than adequate subsitute. These quantities make 12 koftas – enough to feed four alongside the carrot and broccoli sides below, and some plain rice.

Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 4, with the side dishes below

400g minced lamb
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 large egg
1½ tbsp rose (or regular) harissa
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
10g coriander leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp ground allspice
¾ tsp ground cumin
15g dried hibiscus flowers, blitzed to a fine powder in a spice grinder to roughly 1½ tbsp (or 1½ tbsp sumac)
180g soured cream
2 tbsp olive oil

Put the lamb, tomato, egg, harissa, garlic, coriander, allspice, half a teaspoon each of cumin and salt, and a teaspoon and a half of hibiscus powder (or sumac) in a medium bowl. Mix to combine, then shape into 12 flat koftas about 8cm long and 2cm wide.

In a second bowl, mix the soured cream with a teaspoon and a half of hibiscus powder, a quarter-teaspoon of cumin and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan on a high flame, then lay in half the koftas, spaced well apart, and fry for two minutes on each side until crisp and golden-brown. Repeat with the remaining koftas and oil. Serve hot with the hibiscus cream alongside, with any remaining hibiscus powder sprinkled on top of the cream.

Curried carrot mash with brown butter and quick-pickled chillies

You’ll be surprised how much flavour you can get from carrots when you give them the chilli heat and sweet spice treatment. To make this mash dairy-free, use olive oil instead of butter; if you do, heat the oil with the ginger and seeds for only a couple of minutes, until fragrant.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s potato recipesRead more

Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min
Serves 4 as a side

1-2 red chillies, cut into thin rings at an angle (and deseeded, if you prefer less heat)
1½ tbsp white-wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
About 8 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthways and roughly chopped into 2cm pieces (800g net weight)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
30g unsalted butter (or 2 tbsp extra olive oil)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
½ tsp nigella seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp lime juice
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced on an angle
5g mint leaves, finely shredded

Put the chillies, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl with a quarter-teaspoon of salt, massage together and leave to pickle for at least 30 minutes, and ideally overnight.

Put the carrots in a steamer (or colander that fits inside a large pot with a lid), put on a high heat, cover and steam for 25 minutes, until you can cut through them easily. Tip the carrots into a food processor with the oil, curry powder, cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt, and blitz to a semi-smooth mash (it should have some texture).

While the carrots are steaming, put the butter, ginger, all the spice seeds and a generous pinch of salt in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Cook gently for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter begins to foam and turn light brown and the seeds become fragrant, then take off the heat.

Spoon the mash on to a large plate, and make dimples all over the surface with the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the butter with the ginger and seeds, then sprinkle over the lime juice. Drain the pickled chillies, scatter over the top, and finish with the spring onions and mint. Serve warm.

Sprouting broccoli with anchovies and lemon oil

This is a great way of cooking purple sprouting broccoli, and takes next to no time.

Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 4 as a side dish

350g purple sprouting broccoli (or broccolini), woody ends and tough leaves trimmed, then stems cut to roughly the same length
Salt and black pepper
60ml olive oil
1 lemon, peel finely shaved to get 4 wide strips, then juiced to get 1½ tbsp
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped

Set the oven to its highest setting. Season the broccoli with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, then add two tablespoons each of oil and water, and toss. Spread out on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover tightly with foil and bake for five minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to its grill setting and grill the broccoli for four minutes, until cooked, crisp and charred at the edges.

Meanwhile, make the aromatic oil. Put two tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan, add the lemon peel, garlic, anchovies and a pinch of salt, and cook on medium heat for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic just starts to crisp and turn golden-brown (garlic burns very quickly, so take it off the heat as soon as you see it change colour).

Arrange the broccoli on a platter and drizzle over the lemon juice. Spoon the aromatic oil, including the garlic, anchovy and lemon peel evenly over the stems and serve hot.

Honey and yoghurt set cheesecake

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for Mother’s Day (2)

Yoghurt really freshens up rich cheesecake, so this is the ideal pudding after this week’s lamb koftas and sides. The cake will keep for at least two days in the fridge, but the base will get softer over time.

Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 8

500g Greek-style yoghurt
200g Hobnobs
60g unsalted butter, melted
1½ tbsp thyme leaves
400g full-fat cream cheese
40g icing sugar, sieved
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (1 tsp)
150g white chocolate, broken into 1-2cm pieces
60g honey

Line a 23cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Line a sieve with a clean tea towel and set it above a bowl. Spoon in the yoghurt, then draw up the sides of the towel and squeeze the yoghurt into a ball, pressing out as much liquid as you can: you should end up with about 350g thickened yoghurt.

Put the Hobnobs in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Mix with the butter and a tablespoon of thyme, then spoon into the base of the cake tin, pressing it down to form an even layer. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake mixture.

Whisk the cream cheese, strained yoghurt, icing sugar and lemon zest until smooth (use a free-standing or handheld mixer).

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is well clear of the hot water. Stir for two to three minutes, until the chocolate melts; take care not to get any moisture into the chocolate or it will seize up (white chocolate is much more temperamental than milk or dark). Scrape the chocolate into the cream mix and whisk together.

Spread the cheesecake mix evenly on top of the biscuit base, then refrigerate for two hours, until set.

To serve, warm the honey in a small saucepan with the remaining half-tablespoon of thyme leaves, until runny, then drizzle over the top of the cheesecake. Release the cheesecake from its tin, cut into eight slices and serve.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for Mother’s Day (2024)
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