‘Ottolenghify’ing in the kitchen for extra good results

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Yotam Ottolenghi cites this butter-poached shrimp and celery root dish as one of his favorite comfort food meals. Dots of freshness from the herb paste cut through the richness of the prawns and is a blueprint for other condiments. Photo by Elena Heatherwick.

Consult Urban Dictionary to find the term “Ottolenghify.” It’s a word derived from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team and used when making a dish irrevocably special and reminiscent of its chef namesake.

Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi return with their latest installment from their cookbook series, “Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things,” which celebrates flavor with condiments, dressings, and sauces to elevate dishes.

Butter-poached shrimp and celery root with herb paste

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

This is a quick dinner that’s special enough to impress your guests, but easy enough that you don’t have to spend too much time over the stove. There’s plenty of saucy, buttery goodness here, so this is best served with crusty bread, to mop up all the juices.


  • 3/4 cup/160g unsalted butter, fridge cold, cut into
  • 3/4-inch/2cm cubes, plus
  • 2 tbsp extra
  • 1 medium celery root (1 lb 9 oz/700g), peeled and then cut into 1/2-inch/11/2cm cubes (1 lb 2 oz/500g)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 7 tbsp/100ml dry white wine
  • 1 cup/240ml shellfish stock, or fish or chicken stock
  • 14 oz/400g extra-large shrimp (peeled and deveined weight)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper
  • ½ oz/15g chives, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup/15g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile, roughly chopped (1 tbsp)
  • ½ shallot, peeled and roughly chopped (1/4 cup/30g)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Put the extra 2 tablespoons of butter into a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, and place on high heat. Once melted, add the celery root and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely colored, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and half the fennel seeds and cook for 90 seconds more, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add the wine, stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a generous grind of pepper and turn the heat down to medium. Cover with the lid and cook for 8 minutes, until the celery root is tender. Remove the lid and turn the heat down to low. Add a quarter of the refrigerated butter cubes, stirring until incorporated, and continue in this way, adding a quarter at a time (don’t let the sauce boil at all or it will split). Stir in the shrimp, cover with the lid, and cook for 9 minutes, stirring gently halfway through, until the shrimp are tender and just cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, make the herb paste. Add the herbs, chile, shallot, oil, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and plenty of pepper to a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  3. To serve, transfer the celery root and shrimp mixture to a large shallow bowl and dot with the herb paste, swirling gently to incorporate in places. Sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds and serve warm.

*Herb paste

– Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Seal the top of the paste with more oil as you use it.
– Stir into soups or stews as a fresh herby addition.

“Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things.” Copyright © 2022 by Yotam Ottolenghi LLP. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad describe their favorite comfort dishes and the dollops and drizzles that make them extra special. Photo by Elena Heatherwick.

“Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things,” brings together favorite condiments from all corners of the world. Photo courtesy of Clarkson Potter.