I spent one college term studying abroad in London. Simply put it was the best college term EVER. (And that was even a blatant understatement.) How could it not be, right? One of my favorite things about that gorgeous city is that it seems to never end. There is so much to explore. The streets go on and on, brimming full of antique shops, markets, flats, restaurants, pubs, and theatres. I spent hours upon hours wandering around London by myself. I found so many little treasures and exciting places.
Ottolenghi has a few little shops around London. With a focus on fresh produce and high-quality ingredients, the dishes at Ottolenghi offer many unique flavors and textures. The counters are filled with huge trays of sandwiches and quiche, and an abundant array of salads, breads, cakes, croissants, and the like. I was lucky enough to live only two blocks from the shop in Kensington. I frequented this cozy place, often purchasing a few cookies and muffins to take along for the day's adventures. One day my pocket book must have seemed particularly full, I suppose, so I decided to sit down for an exceptional lunch. While enjoying my meal, I noticed a stack of Ottolenghi cookbooks nearby. I picked one up and thumbed through the beautiful pages. Though I would have loved to bring a sample of everything in the store that day home, I did end up with one little, yet very important(!), souvenir. Is it a surprise that this beautiful book now sits on my shelf at home with about half of the pages dog-eared?
Every time I pull that cookbook off the shelf I am flooded with memories of London. I pulled it down yesterday to find my favorite recipe for crackers and it immediately brought a smile to my face. To me, heaven will be exactly like London.
Notes: Crackers are fun and simple to make at home. Straight from the oven, they are fresh and crispy. You can personalize them by adding your own preference of spices. This version takes a little kick from a pinch of cayenne pepper and goes beautifully with some homemade hummus. I use a combination of whole-wheat pastry and spelt flours, but all-purpose will also work well.
Adapted from Ottolenghi