Notice this: no one ever says anything bad about London chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi. And believe me, I’m not riding a bandwagon, here. I’ve studied his cookbooks, I’ve followed last year’s “The New Vegetarian” column in The Guardian, and I’ve celebrated his food. His balance of fresh ingredients and spices consistently thrills me. This time, I made his “Roast Chicken with Za’atar,” from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (via Scarpetta Dolcetto), and delighted in the juiciness and fragrances. Another winner!

I did marinate this chicken overnight in the refrigerator, for 12 hours or so (don’t forget to include the sliced lemon in your marinade bowl). I did use chicken stock instead of water. I was so exhilarated to sprinkle 2 Tbsp. za’atar all over the chicken before putting it in the oven. Remember, za’atar is the fantastic dried-spice mix that includes sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, and salt. As this chicken roasts, you’ll swoon over the scent of that za’atar, as well as the allspice (think cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, juniper) and sumac (think tart raisins). My chicken reached 165 degrees F after 39 minutes of roasting. I then broiled it for 3 minutes, to darken the skin.

This chicken was so juicy! The slices of onion and lemon were sweet and tart and right. Smooth and warm. Young and old diners loved this chicken.

And another recipe that I was happy to eat was the “Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing,” from Veggie Belly. I doubled the amounts, to make four servings.

You already know how great the fluffy mouth-feel of quinoa is. I mixed red and white versions. Now is the time to enjoy blueberries and mango and cucumber and basil in a salad.

Of course, you can just go free-form with your ingredient amounts -- this is your summertime salad. The lemony dressing? Right on.

Pollo Rosso Heritage Chicken (4.39 lbs.) = $14.97
Red Onions (2) = .81¢
Lemon (1) = .36¢

RECIPES: a dazzling roasted chicken and a quinoa celebration
marinate the chicken overnight, then devote an hour to prep and roasting; prep the quinoa salad ahead of time, then eat at room temperature
juicy chicken sits with sweet and tart onions and lemons, infused with all that is marvelous about woodsy sumac; imagine a mountain of fluffy quinoa mixed with the sweet victories of blueberries, mango, cucumber, basil, and lemon

Are you ready for an amazing cookie? Next time, I will make the dead-easy “Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies,” from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. See my magic when you come back to my site soon.