It's hard to navigate the cookbook gauntlet. What is unique to some, is standard fare for others. It also seems everyone has a cookbook out these days. "NOPI: The Cookbook" stands out in numerous ways.

Created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, "NOPI" divulges secrets into the London restaurant's signature meals. Now be warned recreating some of these dishes takes some time and considerable effort. That's to be expected since Ottolenghi's 2012 book "Jerusalem" won the Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation. But just looking at the beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes, will make even the most timid cook overcome their fears. Plus, the book has elegant gold gilded pages with built-in bookmark.

The recipes combine Jerusalem traditions with a variety of influences ranging from North African to Asian to Californian and Italian. It's hard not to salivate when thinking about corn bread with roasted peaches and maple cream or truffled polenta fries. 

One of the signature recipes of NOPI dishes includes the baked blue cheesecake. This is definitely an interesting twist since it combines pickled beets and a variety of different cheeses. Even though it's decadent, it's not really a dessert since it's more like a biscuit.

Another meal that is delectable is the pistachio and pine nut-crusted halibut with wild arugula and parsley vichyssoise. Like the name implies it's fish served with a cold, French-style soup that is hearty and sauce-like.

I've always thought of cooking as taking a journey. The sights and smells add to the experience. And you never know when an uncommon blend of flavor might enhance one of your own recipes.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or Follow him on Twitter @HanfordPete.

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