Satay skewers, spicy sweet potatoes, rice paper rolls: Yotam Ottolenghi’s party recipes (2024)

Is it time, at last, to dust down the diary and make summer party plans? I think it is and, moreover, I think it’s time to push the boat out a little, too. Serve up one or two or three of today’s dishes (along with buckets of crisps, peanuts and carrot sticks, of course), and they will remind those who have not partied together for so long that partying can be a very delicious thing. It’s been a long time coming, after all.

Satay skewers with quick pickled cucumbers (pictured above)

These are lovely just as they are or, more informally, piled into a crunchy baguette with some fresh herbs.

Satay skewers, spicy sweet potatoes, rice paper rolls: Yotam Ottolenghi’s party recipes (1)

Prep 15 min
Marinate 1 hr+
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

8 metal skewers (or wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes)
600g skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into 4mm-thick slices
90g crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp olive oil

For the marinade
90ml soy sauce
90ml maple syrup
4 red chillies
, very finely chopped (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
8 makrut lime leaves, stripped off their stalks (discard the stalks) and very finely chopped
3 tbsp lime juice

For the pickled cucumber
200g cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and discarded, and flesh sliced at an angle into thin half-moons
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar

Whisk all the marinade ingredients in a medium container for which you have a lid. Transfer half the mix to a medium bowl, then put the chicken in the container, toss to coat, cover and set aside at room temperature for at least an hour (or overnight in the fridge).

Put the peanut butter in the remaining marinade and whisk smooth – if need be, add a tablespoon of water to help it along to a smooth, dipping consistency.

Put all the ingredients for the pickled cucumber in a small bowl, add an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, toss to combine, then set aside.

Heat the grill to its highest setting and line a large tray with foil. Drain the marinated chicken through a sieve set over a container to collect the marinade. In a separate small bowl, mix two tablespoons of this marinade with the oil; the rest of the marinade can now be discarded.

Thread the chicken on to the skewers and lay on the lined tray, spacing them apart so they do not touch. Brush the skewers with some of the oily marinade, then grill near the top of the oven for three minutes on each side, basting them twice with the remaining marinade as they cook. Remove, leave to cool for five minutes, then serve with the peanut sauce and pickled cucumber.

Zingy tofu rice paper rolls

Satay skewers, spicy sweet potatoes, rice paper rolls: Yotam Ottolenghi’s party recipes (2)

Make the tofu mix the day ahead, and then you’ll only have to fill the rolls on the day of the party. Other cooked protein – chicken or prawns, say – will work as an alternative to the tofu, if you prefer.

Prep 20 min
Cook 35 min
Makes 8

300g firm tofu, cut into ½cm cubes
2 limes, squeezed to get 60ml lime juice
3½ tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp maple syrup
30g pine nuts
, roughly chopped
50g ready-cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp white or black sesame seeds (or a mixture)
15g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes, drained and roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
½cm-thick piece fresh ginger (5g), peeled and finely grated
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
8 rice spring roll
25g coriander
, the hard base of the stems cut off and discarded, the rest roughly picked with the soft stems still attached
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced at an angle
1 large (20g) red chilli, finely sliced at an angle
4 baby gem lettuce leaves, cut in half lengthways and hard stem removed

For the dipping sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice
¾ tbsp maple syrup
½cm piece fresh ginger
(5g), peeled and grated finely

Put the tofu in a medium bowl with two tablespoons of lime juice, a tablespoon and a half of soy sauce, a tablespoon of maple syrup and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, stir to combine and leave to marinate while you get on with everything else.

Put the pine nuts and chestnuts in a large, nonstick frying pan, set it over a medium-high heat and toast, stirring, for three minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Add the sesame seeds, toast for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, the remaining two tablespoons of soy sauce, two tablespoons of maple syrup and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring, for a further three minutes.

Drain the marinated tofu (reserve the marinade to use in another dish), put it in a medium bowl, then tip in the chestnut and pine nut mixture, the sesame oil and the olive oil, stir to combine and set aside.

Put all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl with the remaining lime juice, whisk to combine and set aside.

Wet a clean tea towel, place it on a worktop and fold it in half. Put a rice wrapper inside the fold of the towel and press to moisten and soften it; sprinkle over more water, if need be. Lay some coriander in the centre of the wrapper, and top with some spring onion and chilli. Weigh out about 55g of the tofu mixture, spread this along the centre of the wrapper and cover with one lettuce half. Bring the shorter sides of the wrapper in towards the centre, roll the top side down so it covers the middle, then roll tightly towards you, a bit like a burrito. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, then serve the rolls at room temperature with the dipping sauce alongside.

Grilled sweet potatoes with hot sauce butter, chive soured cream and pumpkin seeds

If you want to get ahead, both the chive cream and butter can be made the day before, leaving you just the sweet potatoes to grill on the day.

Satay skewers, spicy sweet potatoes, rice paper rolls: Yotam Ottolenghi’s party recipes (3)

Prep 15 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 4

For the sweet potatoes
1kg sweet potatoes
, unpeeled, cut in half lengthways, then each half cut at an angle into quarters
3 tbsp olive oil

For the chive soured cream
300g soured cream
25g chives
1½ tsp lime juice

For the hot sauce butter
100g unsalted butter
3 small garlic cloves
, peeled and finely chopped
½ tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp cinnamon
80ml hot sauce of your choice
– I like Cholula
30ml maple syrup
1½ tbsp lime juice

To serve
30g pumpkin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar
1 lime, cut into quarters
5g chives, cut into ½cm lengths

Put two litres of water in a large saucepan, add three tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes, turn down the heat to medium-high and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tender – a small, sharp knife should go through easily, but you don’t want them mushy or breaking apart. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, add the olive oil and toss gently with your hands so the sweet potatoes are well coated but still hold their shape.

Now make the chive soured cream. Put 100g soured cream in the small bowl of a food processor, add the chives, lime juice and half a teaspoon of salt, and blitz smooth. Pour into a bowl, fold in the remaining 200g soured cream and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.

For the hot sauce butter, put the butter, garlic and tomato paste in a small saucepan set over a medium heat and leave to cook for five minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the butter bubbling. Take off the heat, stir in the cinnamon until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the hot sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and half a teaspoon of salt, and set aside.

Put a griddle pan on a medium-high heat and, once it’s really hot, grill the sweet potatoes in batches for two to three minutes on each side, including the skin, until dark grill marks appear. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes.

Return the butter to a low heat, until gently bubbling, pour over the sweet potatoes and toss gently to coat.

To assemble the dish, spoon half the chive soured cream on to a large platter with a lip. Arrange the sweet potatoes on top, then generously spoon over the hot sauce butter. Sprinkle over a quarter of the pumpkin seeds and the chopped chives, and serve warm with the remaining soured cream, pumpkin seeds and lime wedges on the side for everyone to help themselves.

Satay skewers, spicy sweet potatoes, rice paper rolls: Yotam Ottolenghi’s party recipes (2024)
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