Yotam Ottolenghi’s party food recipes (2024)

Party food, or finger food, is a real chore for the home cook. It’s fiddly, time-consuming and, if I’m honest, pretty dull to make. So, before I pick what to make, I always ask myself a few questions: in the interests of not spending the entire party in the kitchen, is a dish relatively quick? Can any of it be made ahead of time? Will any leftovers double up as brunch or lunch tomorrow? And will my children eat it? If I can tick at least some of those boxes, I’m good to go.

Sweet potato and quinoa fritters

Yotam Ottolenghi’s party food recipes (1)

You can play around with the veg in these, swapping carrots, pumpkin or butternut squash for the potatoes, if you like. Whatever you use, though, don’t leave the fritter mix sitting around for too long once it’s made, otherwise it will go soggy. These are best eaten straight after baking, but they are also good warmed up in a low oven a few hours later, or even the next day.

Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Makes 16

30g black quinoa
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated to get 250g
2 small baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated to get 250g
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
25g picked coriander leaves, roughly chopped
75g plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
400ml sunflower oil
2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve

Cook the quinoa in plenty of boiling water for 10 minutes, until it is cooked but still has bite. Leave to drain in a sieve, then pat dry to remove as much liquid as possible.

Put both potatoes, the onion, coriander and quinoa in a large bowl and mix well to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together both flours, the spices, a teaspoon and three-quarters of salt and a good grind of pepper. Slowly whisk in 100ml cold water, until you have a smooth batter.

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan on a medium-high flame.

Tip the batter into the vegetable bowl and mix together well. Using your hands, form the fritter mix into golf ball-sized portions weighing about 50g each, squeezing them very tightly to compact them and extract most of the liquid. Cook the fritters in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan: carefully drop three or four balls into the hot oil and fry for about four minutes in total, turning them once halfway, until golden-brown and cooked through, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper (if the fritters start browning too quickly, adjust the temperature of the oil as you go). Serve hot with the lime wedges alongside.

Baked polenta and smoked haddock chips

Yotam Ottolenghi’s party food recipes (2)

This is a fun twist on fish and chips. The polenta can be made and set in the fridge up to a day ahead, ready to be cut into chips and baked.

Prep 10 min
Set 1 hr
Cook 50 min
Makes About 45

750ml whole milk
1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
Salt and black pepper
250g smoked undyed haddock fillets, skinned
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
200g quick-cook polenta
50g unsalted butter, cut into rough 1cm cubes, at room temperature
75g gruyère, coarsely grated
15g tarragon, roughly chopped
20g chives, roughly chopped
20g dill, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
170g soured cream
1 tbsp capers
1 lemon – zest grated, to get 1 tsp, then juiced, to get 1 tbsp

Line the base and sides of a 30cm x 20cm rimmed baking tray with clingfilm. Put the first four ingredients and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with a lid and put on a medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until steaming and just beginning to bubble. Add the haddock, replace the lid and leave to cook for five minutes, then turn off the heat. Gently lift out the haddock with a slotted spoon and put it in a bowl. Using the back of a fork, break up the fish into small pieces and set aside. Strain the milk through a sieve into a medium saucepan, and discard the solids; you should be left with about 650ml of liquid.

Put the milk pan on a medium-high heat, add the garlic and paprika, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium, then slowly add the polenta, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens – about two minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the butter, cheese, tarragon, three-quarters of the chives and dill, the haddock and a good grind of pepper.

Spoon the polenta mix into the prepared baking tray, spreading it out to cover the base and come up the sides by about 1.5cm. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon, then set aside to firm up for an hour (if you’re making the mix ahead of time, cover the tray and refrigerate overnight).

Heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8. Flip the firm polenta out of the tray on to a cutting board, and trim the sides so you have an even rectangle. Cut the block vertically into 1.5cm-thick strips – you should get about 15 strips – then cut again horizontally into thirds, so you end up with 45 or so chips in total; the cutting will be easier if you wipe the knife clean as you go. Transfer the chips to a large oven tray lined with baking paper, spacing them slightly apart, and brush with the oil. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip over each chip and bake for five minutes more, until golden. Leave to cool slightly while you make the sauce.

Combine the soured cream, capers, remaining dill and chives, the lemon juice and zest, a quarter teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and serve alongside the polenta chips.

Sushi rice cakes with chilli and spring onion dipping sauce

Yotam Ottolenghi’s party food recipes (3)

Wet your hands to shape the cakes, otherwise things will get very sticky. You can shape them ahead of time and fry at the last minute, if you prefer. And simply omit the chilli from the dipping sauce to make this child-friendly.

Prep 5 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
Makes 16

300g sushi rice
60ml rice vinegar
2½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tsp sesame oil

For the dipping sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tsp groundnut oil
½ small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

Put the rice in a large bowl of cold water and stir with your hands for 10 seconds, to help release the starch. Drain into a large sieve, refresh under cold running water, then return the rice to the bowl. Cover again with cold water and repeat the stirring and draining procedure four or five times, until the water in the bowl is almost clear. Return the drained rice to the bowl, cover with fresh water, leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain one final time.

Put the drained rice in a medium saucepan, pour on 360ml cold water, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, without lifting the lid or stirring. Turn off the heat and leave the rice, still covered, to rest for 10 minutes.

Put the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan with three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt. Heat gently, just until the sugar dissolves, then pour all over the rice.

Sprinkle the cornflour over the rice and then, using a spatula, very carefully stir the rice, so it’s all coated. Cover the pan again and leave to sit for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients.

When you’re ready to shape the cakes, wet your hands and have ready a damp plate to put the cakes on. Take about 100g of the rice mix and form into a roughly 4cm-wide x 2cm-thick cake. Put on the damp plate and repeat with the remaining rice, wetting your hands again between forming each cake. You should end up with 16 cakes.

Put half the groundnut oil and half the sesame oil in a large, nonstick frying pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay in half the rice cakes and fry for two to three minutes, until the base is golden brown – don’t be tempted to turn them over before they reach this stage, or they may fall apart. Carefully turn each cake, fry for two to three minutes more, then transfer to the damp plate with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and rice cakes, then serve warm with the dipping sauce.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s party food recipes (2024)


What is Ottolenghi style food? ›

From this, Ottolenghi has developed a style of food which is rooted in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions, but which also draws in diverse influences and ingredients from around the world.

What to serve with Ottolenghi baked rice? ›

This is such a great side to all sorts of dishes: roasted root vegetables, slowcooked lamb or pork.

Is Ottolenghi A Vegan? ›

The guy's an omnivore but his recipes are overwhelmingly vegetarian and vegan. His vegetarian (not vegan) cookbook Plenty< spent years near the top of Britain's bestseller lists.

Are there any Ottolenghi restaurants in the US? ›

London-based chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi will not be opening in New York, or anywhere outside of London for that matter, in the foreseeable future.

Why is Ottolenghi so popular? ›

The deli quickly gained a cult following due to its inventive dishes, characterised by the foregrounding of vegetables, unorthodox flavour combinations, and the abundance of Middle Eastern ingredients such as rose water, za'atar, and pomegranate molasses.

What to serve with Ottolenghi chicken? ›

I love the combination of the chicken and the corn, but the chicken also works well as it is, served on top of rice, in a wrap or with a buttery jacket potato.

What should I pair with rice? ›

Cook up a large batch of Minute® Instant Jasmine Rice and try out a few other Asian-inspired stir-ins:
  1. Teriyaki, oyster or hoisin sauce.
  2. Stir-fried, fresh or steamed veggies.
  3. Chicken.
  4. Shrimp.
  5. Beef.
  6. Tofu.
  7. Ginger (ground or fresh)
  8. Chili sauce such as sriracha or chili garlic sauce.

Should ratatouille be served with rice? ›

How to Serve Ratatouille. Ratatouille can be the main dish with a side of crusty bread or a salad accompanying a meal, but it's also good served over polenta, pasta, mashed potatoes, quinoa, and rice. Use it as a filling for omelets and tarts or as a side for grilled or roasted meats.

Are Ottolenghi recipes difficult? ›

We cook a fair amount of Ottolenghi recipes at home, because he's one of the regular food writers in our regular newspaper (The Guardian). They are usually fairly simple recipes that focus on a good combination of flavours - even as home cooks, they're not nearly the most complicated things we make.

What is surprisingly not vegan? ›

Honey. Honey is a controversial food for many vegans. Bees do produce it, and it is also a food source in the hive. Because bees produce it, and bees have died to make it, honey is not considered vegan.

What food is surprisingly vegan? ›

18 Snacks and Foods You Didn't Know Were Vegan
  • Sriracha Mayo. I'm just as surprised as you are that Flying Goose's brilliant sriracha mayo is completely plant-based. ...
  • Hackney Gelato Dark Chocolate Sorbetto. ...
  • Lotus Biscoff Spread. ...
  • Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate. ...
  • Ritz Crackers. ...
  • Jacob's Cream Crackers. ...
  • Oreos. ...
  • Twiglets.
Jan 11, 2023

Does Ottolenghi eat meat? ›

If anything, Mr. Ottolenghi — tall and dapper, with salt-and-pepper hair, half-rim glasses and a penchant for pink-striped button-downs and black sneakers — should be a vegetarian pinup. But here's the rub: he eats meat. Apparently this is enough to discredit him in the eyes of the most devout abstainers.

Does Ottolenghi have a Michelin star? ›

So far, his books have sold 5 million copies, and Ottolenghi - although he has never even been awarded a Michelin star and without being considered a great chef - has successfully blended Israeli, Iranian, Turkish, French and, of course, Italian influences to create a genre that is (not overly) elegant, international, ...

What foods are in style? ›

What foods are trending 2024? 2024 is a year of alternatives, including almond milk, vegetarian fried chicken, potato milk, fusion flavors and plant-based meat to name a few. There's also a focus on global dishes, even more bold flavors, and urban produce.


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