'Simple' Cooking With Matt

'Simple' Cooking With Matt

‘Simple’ cooking is not only easy but it can also be delicious. The Ottolenghi SIMPLE cookbook delivers the goods with over 130 brilliant recipes from award winning Chef Yotam Otttolenghi. It truly is everything you love about Ottolenghi, made simple.

Our very own ‘Chef Matt' cooked up the French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange, along with the Hummus with Grilled Quail, Pomegranate Molasses and Parsley Salsa with great success…

French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange


  • 400g French Beans
  • 70g unskinned hazelnuts
  • 1 orange
  • 20g chives, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut oil (or another nut oil, if unavailable)
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper



Green beans are a popular dish, and orange and hazelnut go wonderfully well together. They offer a good balance of freshness and earthiness and the flavours are subtle enough to complement the beans without overpowering them. The beans can be cooked and chilled a day in advance and then dressed before serving. Sugarsnaps, green peas and broad beans can substitute any of the other two beans or be added to the salad.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stalk ends off the French beans and the mangetout, keeping the two separate. Bring plenty of unsalted water to the boil in a large saucepan - you need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their colour. Blanch the French beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. Leave to drain and dry. Repeat with the mangetout, but blanch for only 1 minute.
  3. While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean tea-towel to get rid of most of the skin. Chop the nuts with a large, sharp knife. They should be quite rough; some can even stay whole. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith.
  4. Slice each piece of zest into very thin strips (if you have a citrus zester, you could do the whole job with that).
  5. To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.



Matt suggests a bottle of Claymore Joshua Tree Watervale Riesling to go with the French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange.   

Hummus with Grilled Quail, Pomegranate Molasses and Parsley Salsa


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp group allspice
  • 1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus ½ tbsp to serve
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Flaked sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 quail (1kg), breasts taken off the bone, legs and thighs cut off in one piece
  • For the parsley salsa
  • 10g parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon- zest finely grated, to get ½ tbsp, then juiced, to get 1 tbsp



  • 300g freshly cooked chickpeas
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 lemon- zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g Greek-style yoghurt
  • Flaked sea salt and black pepper



There’s a bit of work involved here, but this is a glorious dish to delight any hummus lover. Separating the quail into breasts and legs is a little tricky, so ask your butcher to do it if you’re unsure (use the carcasses for stock or gravy). Another option is to use boneless chicken thighs and adjust the cooking time according to their size. You’ll need four long metal skewers (or wooden skewers soaked in water for 10 minutes).

  1. Mix the first eight ingredients in a large container with a teaspoon and a half of flaked salt and plenty of pepper.
  2. Put the quail in the marinade, mix everything together, then leave to marinate for two hours at room temperature (or in the fridge overnight). Thread two breasts and two legs/thighs on to each skewer. Discard the thyme.
  3. Mix all the salsa ingredients with a generous pinch of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper.
  4. Put two thirds of the chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, 80g yoghurt and a quarter teaspoon of flaked salt, and blitz smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and set aside.
  5. Heat a griddle pan on a high heat until very hot. Lay in the skewers skin side down and grill for five minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown, then leave to rest for five minutes.
  6. Put the pan of chickpeas on a medium-high heat with the remaining 100g whole chickpeas and gently heat for a few minutes, until warm. Transfer to a platter with a lip and stir in the remaining 20g yoghurt, so you have streaks of yoghurt through the chickpeas.
  7. Arrange the quail skewers on top of the hummus. Spoon on the salsa, finish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and serve.



Matt suggests a bottle of Haselgrove 'Vine Sean' Grenache to go with the Hummus with Grilled Quail, Pomegranate Molasses and Parsley Salsa. 

To view these recipes and more like the one above visit the Ottolenghi website here.