We’ve walked the girls to and from school, wandered through lovely parks, sipped cappucinos at a palace, ridden on the red double decker buses, strolled along the mighty Thames River, checked out the nearby street market, and even found a few fun food props for the blog in the tiny consignment shops along the way. But I have to say, one of the most fun things we did was …………..
|Don’t you think I’ve got one of the prettiest daughters ever? …………. and she’s as sweet as she is pretty………. 🙂|
If you’re a regular visitor at The Café you may recall from past posts that we’re huge fans and love visiting Ottolenghi, a famous London café/deli (with three locations here) whenever we have the opportunity.We’ve also shared numerous, wonderful recipes from the Ottolenghi cookbooks like these Chicken, Zucchini & Fresh Corn Burgers w/ Green Onion & Cumin, this Roasted Squash with Chilli Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce and these Olive Oil Crackers with Sea Salt and Herbs, just to mention a few.
I’d also heard that, in addition to the deli/cafés, there was also a full-fledged “Ottolenghi” restaurant in Soho, the heart of the theater district, called Nopi. I mentioned to my daughter Cait on the way in from the airport, that I’d love to visit Nopi some day; before I knew it, she was on the phone, making reservations for lunch.
After a short nap, we hopped on The Tube (the London underground transport system) and it wasn’t long before I was experiencing a dream come true! Nopi was all I expected and way beyond. The Ottolenhghi team has a magical touch with veggies and fresh produce that’s incredibly delicious and honestly, beyond explanation. Scott took photos, so I’ll just let them explain what I mean ………….
|This is the type of “feast for the eyes” that greets you as you walk through the front door of Nopi.|
|Salad or artwork?…………… both, for sure!|
|Roasted Eggplant, Feta, Coriander Pesto, Walnuts ……………..amazing! I’m going to be trying to recreate this one, so be on the lookout! 🙂|
|Red & Yellow Chicory, Figs & Caramelized Macadamia Nuts ………………… oh my!|
|Then there’s the bread ……………… gorgeous, huge loaves, crusty, hearty, fabulous!|
After the meal, Basia, the very kind and gracious manager of Nopi, enthusiastically offered to take us on a short tour, so we (and you!) get to take a peek into the kitchen of Nopi, where a team of chef/artists and their assistants were hard at work. I truly felt like the kid in the candy shop!
|Did someone mention “the kid in the candy shop”? Who me?|
I was so inspired by the whole experience at Nopi, I decided to keep it going by preparing an Ottolenghi recipe for our dinner last night. Josh, our son-in-law, was grilling a deliciously, tender pork tenderloin, and Honey Roasted Carrots w/ Lemon Tahini Yogurt Sauce sounded like the perfect accompaniment.
My daughter snitched one coming out of the oven and described them as “like candy”; a perfect description of the tender golden, honey-glazed carrots. I’m quite certain these will be a family favorite and they’ll always remind us of our wonderful visit to Nopi!
Honey Roasted Carrots W/ Lemon Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Ingredients for the carrots:
2 ½-3 pounds carrots*, don’t worry, it looks like a lot, but they shrink up quite a bit as they roast, you’ll be quite sorry if you don’t make enough 🙂
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed (or a scant teaspoon ground cumin)
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, roughly chopped (if you don’t have thyme, just omit it, the carrots will still be wonderful).
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 ½ tablespoons tahini paste
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1. Heat the oven to 425˚F. Lightly oil two large sheet pans.
2. Peel the carrots, if needed then halve them lengthwise. Cut into quarters if carrots are fat.
4. Roast for about 40 minutes, flipping carrots several times, until tender, golden and glazed.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.
6. Once the carrots are done, place on individual plates while still warm or at room temperature. Top with a spoonful of sauce and scatter over the chopped coriander.