A dish even the pickiest little ones will love – The Denver Post

By Yotam Ottolenghi, The New York Times

LONDON — Plenty of food debates were going on in our house during the recent lockdown. Unlike in normal times, when the kids were presented with their dinner, no questions asked, we found time to play restaurant (while badly missing the real thing) and discuss the next day’s menu in detail.

Like many boys his age, our youngest son, Flynn, who is 4, would present a wish list of items that were exclusively carby and wholly white. Doughboy, as we like to call him, would ask for naked bread to start, followed by “pasta with nothing,” then plain potatoes and, to finish, a slice of cake, ideally served with leftover pancakes from breakfast.

Particular as all this may sound, I am not entirely sure that this starchy obsession is necessarily a Flynn thing, or even a 4-year-old thing. As I was cooking one of his bread-centered meals, I was giggling to myself, thinking of some classic carb-on-carb extremes, such as the chip butty, a British phenomenon I have managed to successfully dodge in my two decades in England. It’s, essentially, two slices of buttered white bread with a mountain of fries in between them. Or, I suppose equally bizarre to an outsider, the pitas I had growing up in Israel, stuffed with shawarma and salad, and then topped with lots of potato chips and an optional spoonful of fried pita croutons for crunch.

I would not consider either version of potato-meets-bread the high point of local cuisine, but the combination is undeniably satisfying. Perhaps more sophisticated, if I am allowed a little more judgment, are Italian flatbreads — focaccia or schiacciata — topped with rosemary, coarse salt and thin potato slices, evenly spread over olive oil-scented bread, locking in moisture and adding texture and their own subtle flavor.

Another example that I love is Tunisian fricassee, a sandwich made with bread rolls cooked in oil, just like doughnuts, and stuffed with tuna, cooked potato, black olives, boiled egg and a spoonful of spicy harissa. It isn’t very difficult to imagine how delicious these are.