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Bridget Jones’ Pan-Fried Salmon + Giveaway

by Kristina Gill

I’ve been an Ottolenghi fan from day one and have enjoyed both the shops and Yotam’s ascent to being a household name. A favorite (and funny) Ottolenghi memory for me was when I was in London by myself and sneaked off to a movie theater that sold wine and other alcoholic beverages to see Bridget Jones’ Baby. (I knew it would be awful, but sometimes, that’s what you want!) With my  the best part of the movie was when Patrick Dempsey brought Ottolenghi food to Bridget Jones’ apartment. Well, now we can make that fictitious Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa in our own kitchens because in the newest book from the Ottolenghi family, they’ve created a recipe for it. It is extremely simple, can be made in a flash, and plates up beautifully.

One last note — I love the acknowledgements Yotam wrote in this book because he included first a hefty recognition of the work done by his colleagues and who were integral to making the book and whose names appear on the title page. Congratulations to all three of you! —

About Yotam: Yotam Ottolenghi is the author of the New York Times best-selling cookbooks Plenty, Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Plenty More, NOPI, and Sweet. He lives in London, where he co-owns an eponymous group of restaurants, the fine dining restaurant NOPI, and the vegetable-focused restaurant ROVI. Find Ottolenghi on Instagram at .

For a chance to win a copy of Ottolenghi Simple, respond in the comments section below by December 13, 5PM EST to the following question: What’s your favorite food scene in a movie or television series and why?  We will announce the winner in the comments section, so be sure to check back!

Image above: Ottolenghi Simple. Photography by

Image above: Yotam Ottolenghi

Image above: Yotam and Tara Wigley

Image above: Bridget Jones’ Pan-fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa

Bridget Jones' Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa

S I E*

This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary second date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy, we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment. 

Serves four (halve the recipe if you’re on that second date!) 

*(S= short on time, I= ingredients: 10 or fewer, E= easier than you think)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup/100g currants
  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on and pinbones removed (1 lb 2 oz/500g) 
  • 7 tbsp/100ml olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • 4 medium celery stalks, cut into ½-inch/ 1cm dice (1¾ cups/ 180g), leaves removed but kept for garnish 
  • ¼ cup/30g pine nuts, roughly chopped 
  • ¼ cup/40g capers, 2 tbsp of their brine 
  • 1/3 cup/40g large green olives, pitted and cut into ½-inch/1cm dice (about 8) 
  • 1 good pinch (¼ tsp) of saffron threads, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water 
  • 1 cup/20g parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 lemon: finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 tsp 

Preparation

1

1. Cover the currants with boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes while you prep the salmon and make the salsa.

2. Mix the salmon with 1 tbsp of the oil, a rounded ¼ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Set aside while you make the salsa.

3. Put 5 tbsp/75ml of the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on a high heat. Add the celery and pine nuts and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown (don’t take your eyes off them, as they can easily burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and their brine, the olives, saffron and its water, and a pinch of salt. Drain the currants and add these, along with the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.

4. Put the remaining 1 tbsp of oil into a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Decrease the heat to medium, then flip the fillets over and continue to fry for 2–4 minutes (depending on how much you like the salmon cooked). Remove from the pan and set aside.

5. Arrange the salmon on four plates and spoon on the salsa. Scatter the celery leaves on top.

Reprinted with permission from Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Photography by Jonathan Lovekin © 2018

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Comments

  • Uff that looks amazing. I haven’t eaten lunch yet and this reminded me I should remedy this.
    NEED THIS BOOK.

  • The ‘Dayo’ dinner scene from Beetlejuice! It’s just so bizarre and wonderful! Ghosts with a sense of humor :)

  • Not going to lie, the first food scene that came to mind was from Game of Thrones when Walder Frey digs into a meat pie and the camera shows it contains a toe and an eye. I’ll leave any other details out for those who are very behind in that show.
    Like everything else in the show, it is well shot and leaves you shocked.

  • My favorite movie scene in a movie by far has to be in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant brings Julia Roberts to dinner with his friends for the first time and it’s both awkward and liberating for them both. You get to see the unique personalities in each character really come out in this scene and at no point is anyone judgmental of anyone else’s behaviors. My favorite part of the scene is the battle for the last brownie:

    Anna Scott: And, one day not long from now, my looks will go, they will discover I can’t act and I will become some sad middle-aged woman who looks a bit like someone who was famous for a while.
    Max: [long pause] Nah, nice try gorgeous, but you don’t fool anyone.
    William: Pathetic effort to hog the brownie.

  • It is easier for me to name my favorite food scene from a book, which would be the entire mouth watering text of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder! But if I had to go with a movie scene, I just love the scene in Hitch where they are taking a cooking class and he ends up with a puffy face!

  • Favorite food scene? The first that came to mind was the scene in Pixar’s Ratatouille when the food critic gets that bite of ratatouille and the food memories wash over him – the power of food to connect us to our pasts is one of my favorite things about cooking for other people.

  • I love Yotam’s recipes…so flavorful! I also love Chef Snoopy in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where he makes popcorn and his friends make toast and butter. It reminds me of our time in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, everyone is so excited to participate in the kitchen like the Peanut’s crew. Happy creating and feasting of course! I love it so much I shared in twice in my blog with my popcorn recipe.

  • How imaginative. I think the kookieness of Bridget Jones matches the prep and photo is the entree. Using simple ingredients other than the Saffron makes this dish simple although it looks like you spent time with the amenities. I love cooking and don’t find too many recipes with pine nuts. My mouth is watering.

  • It’s not one scene but pretty much every time they were eating in the Sopranos… whether it was a family meal at the Soprano’s home or at that restaurant, or just the wise guys eating cannoli it always looked SO GOOD. It actually made me want to make Baked Ziti so I could try it – they were always going on about Baked Ziti… I made it and it was good but pretty sure it had nothing on Carmela’s… The show did a great job of showing how central food can be to identity and in bringing people together.

  • The opening scene in Eat Drink Man Women. All those amazing ingredients and food. It’s absolutely breathtaking!

  • What a great salmon recipe! It may be inspired by Bridge Jones, but it definitely invokes a lot of memories.

  • My favorite food scene has to be from Victor Victoria where Julie Andrews’ character is having dinner with her friend, played by Robert Preston. They’re both broke, and she’s so hungry, she plants a cockroach in her salad to get the meal for free. It’s a hilarious scene in one of my favorite movies!

  • I loved the movie Julie and Julia. All the scenes in the kitchen and showing fabulous food using Julia Childs’ recipes.

  • Kramer vs. Kramer. Those scenes where Dustin Hoffman would make French toast with his son were so memorable. One of the best films ever.
    PS After watching this on VHS tape, my sisters and I made French toast.

  • Lady and The Tramp- the spaghetti. Probably because I love dogs and spaghetti. Or Chocolat when the mayor is found in a slew of chocolate wreckage the morning after, because I probably wouldn’t but I would definitely want to do something like that. Or the dinner scene at the end where everyone gathers to eat and savor. It’s what I aspire to with dinner parties but have yet to quite pull off.

  • I have always had a soft spot for the food scenes in animated movies. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is about them, but these scenes appeal to my eyes and appetite in ways that live action just doesn’t match. Probably my most favorite of this (albeit very specific) genre is from the 1959 Disney version of Sleeping Beauty. On Aurora’s 16th birthday, Fauna sets out to make her a birthday cake without using any magic. Although she appears to be following a recipe, it is abundantly clear that the fairy has no idea what she is doing. She kneads the cake batter as if it were bread dough, incorporating eggs, shells and all. The final cake is a leaning tower of layers and blue frosting that needs to be propped up by a broom handle. As a little girl, all that I ever wanted to do was stick my hands in that cake batter, feeling the satisfying squish of Fauna’s playdoh-like creation. Today, as an adult and a pastry professional, all I want to do is “skidoo” into the scene like Steve on Blues Clues and help Fauna out.

  • The first scene that popped into my head was from Rattatoullie! Watching the little Rat taste everything, with his whiskers trembling in pleasure… it’s the greatest!!!

  • Hands down Babette’s Feast. The entire preparation of the final meal, with the arrival of ingredients, and everyone’s reaction to each dish. For me, especially the turtle soup.

  • I love the cooking scenes – all executed with absolute precision – from Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, but my favorite award goes to a far simpler moment – when Jon Favreau makes a bowl of pasta for Scarlett Johannson in Chef. The sizzling garlic and oil, the add of freshly chopped herbs and then spaghetti and finally how he twirls a big forkful onto a plate and lays it just so. It’s a moment where it seems entirely possible to make something so simple and totally delicious. I could almost smell it while I watched!

  • This isn’t one that makes you hungry, but I love the first food scene in Austenland when Kerri Russel learns the thing in her mouth is a sheep’s eye and politely and painfully spits it out immediately. I laugh every time.

  • This time of year I like to rewatch holiday episodes of nostalgic tv shows- I recently watched the Friends episode where Rachel makes a recipe that is half English trifle and half shepherd’s pie. A seemingly ridiculous concept but hits the right notes of humor and teenage nostalgia for me.

  • This recipe is so simple with just enough fancy in the saffron and pine nut.

    Another animated proffer: this pea soup-making scene in Rescuers Down Under always got me, and my entire family. We would all holler “pea soup” throughout the house in the style of the second cricket.

    I think the appeal of animated food is somewhat akin to the play food in a child’s toy kitchen- so familiar yet unattainable , and looks almost too much like what it represents. Mesmerizing!

  • I pretty much love the movie No Reservations for all its cooking scenes, but one of my favorites is when Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin cook for Catherine Zeta Jones. They eat in the living room pillow fort that somehow is able to transform Catherine Zeta Jones’ living room into something more magical than I was ever able to make as a child. It just seemed so special for Abigail Breslin’s character to be cooking with the adults, but also to have something resembling the family she lost. On top of that, who doesn’t want to eat tiramisu under twinkle lights?

  • Some food scenes are so evocative that I suddenly feel the need the exact same thing as the characters! Though the one that comes to mind right now is not from a movie or a show but from the first Harry Potter book, when Hagrid finds Harry on his birthday, in the middle of the sea, and announces to him that he’s a wizard, and proceeds to cook sausages, eggs, and warm tea. Oh, and the smashed up birthday cake.

  • I love the dinner in the movie Clue. “And monkey’s brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C.”

  • I have a lot of favorites ^_^: the scene in Chef where he makes the Grilled Cheese, the scene in The Hundred-Foot Journey when he is cooking with his mother, Simply Irresistible the eclairs, in Moonstruck the egg in a basket it was the first time I ever saw one and I wanted to try it, and most all passionate food scenes in a lot of other movies even No Reservations and it’s original Mostly Martha – so passionate about the steak, lol!!!^_^

  • That salmon looks absolutely divine. I love the dinner scene in The fault in our stars. It’s beautifully shot and I love how the meal, the mood of the restaurant , and the waitstaff helps two very sick teens forget they are sick and just enjoy the time spent together. It creates something magical they share together.

  • Hi!
    Old memories from Lady and the Tramp dinner scene!
    when the two dogs are sharing the spaghetti and meatballs.

  • The first movie that comes to mind when I think about cooking is Julie and Julia, although I prefer the book to the movie! I was so inspired while reading it that I pulled out all of my neglected cookbooks and made a plan to teach myself new methods and cuisines. I tried a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. Any book or movie that pushes me outside of my comfort zone is a winner to me!

  • Amazing! I’ve always wanted to go visit an Ottolenghi but have never had the chance. While i love watching gorgeous and heaping plates of food, the ones that stick in my mind tend to be from sitcoms (Rachel’s English trifle on Friends, Leslie’s waffles on Parks and Rec, Eleanor’s shrimp on the good place). But my favorites of all time come from 30 Rock – particularly when she scarfs her teamster sub to chase Floyd through the airport in what is ‘definitely less of a cliche.’ I have a lot of great 30 Rock food memories, and to quote Liz Lemon, “I guess most of them are food related.”

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