Author Archives: Liz Rueven

Liz Rueven

About Liz Rueven

After years of eating too many slabs of grilled salmon and pasta topped with soggy veggies, Liz Rueven got serious about finding the restaurants that serve plenty of vegetable based dishes for kosher keepers like her. She's kosher on the inside, veg on the go, and always on the lookout for the most scrumptious, organic, seasonal eats wherever she lands. Restaurant and product reviews, tips on events where like-minded eaters can actually eat, and news about folks in the food world are all fair game. Check out her blog, Kosher Like Me.

Mollie Katzen’s Grilled Bread and Kale Salad with Red Onions, Walnuts and Figs

Yield:
4 small salads or 2 large salads

Tu Bishvat is the perfect holiday for locavores, school kids and home cooks, alike. It’s a fruit-focsued holiday with plenty of room for creative cooking and connecting more deeply with the land as Spring approaches.

figs

School kids love the field trips to plant trees while home cooks and chefs dream up new ideas for integrating the seven edible species mentioned in the Torah:

wheat

barley

grapes

figs

pomegranates

olives

dates

When M. returned from a quick trip to visit his parents in Israel, he brought back a tightly wrapped disc of plump, moist figs in his backpack. I immediately turned to Mollie Katzen’s latest vegetarian book The Heart of the Plate for inspiration on how to integrate these beauties into a dish where figs would be the stars while I stay true to eating within the growing season here in the Northeast.

fig salad

This kale-based salad really hit the spot and was almost too beautiful to eat! Almost. Check out more from Mollie Katzen and her newest cookbook The Heart of the Plate!

Mollie Katzen's Grilled Bread and Kale Salad with Red Onions, Walnuts and Figs

Ingredients

5-6 ripe figs (dried are fine)

1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime

3 ounces parmesan cheese

1 loaf ciabatta or sourdough baguette (fresh or day-old)

1 large or 2 small bunches lacinato kale (1/2 pound total)

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, cut in half and then into 1/4 inch thick slices

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

black pepper

lemon or lime wedges

Directions

Stem the figs and slice them lengthwise into about 5 wedges apiece. Place them in a medium dish and sprinkle with lemon or line juice. Toss gently to coat and set aside.

Shave strips of parmesan from the block of cheese, using a sturdy vegetable peeler. Lovely cheese ribbons will ensue. Set aside.

Slice the bread into approximately a dozen thin (as in almost see-through) slices. Larger slices from ciabatta can be halved for easier handling and consumption. Set aside.

Hold each kale leaf by the stem and use a very sharp knife to release the leaf from the stem (it's OK to leave the narrow part of the stem that blends into the leaf farther up).

Make a pile of leaves, roll them tightly, and cut crosswise into thin strips. Transfer to a large bowl of cold water and swish around to clean. Spin very dry and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.

Place a large deep skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the onion and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt.

Cook, stirring and/or shaking the pan a little, for 2-3 minutes, until the onion becomes shiny and is still this side of tender.

Transfer the hot onion to the kale in the bowl and stir everything around for a bit, then return the entire bowlful of kale-plus-onion to the pan. Stir-fry quickly - for just a minute or so - over medium-high heat until the kale turns an even deeper shade of green and wilts slightly.

Return it all to the bowl, tossing in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. You can add some of the parmesan ribbons at this point, if you like them to melt in slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat, wait a minute or two, then add the vinegar to the pan (stand back - it will sizzle), swirl it around, and pour what's left of it onto the kale. (It will most likely evaporate.)

Without bothering to clean the pan, return it to the stove over medium heat. Wait another minute, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.

Add the bread slices in a single layer and grill on each side until lightly golden and perfectly crisp.

Transfer the toasts to the kale, along with the figs and all their juice.

Toss quickly (no need to get things uniform), adding the remaining cheese and walnuts as you go.

Serve right away, passing a pepper mill over the salad and offering wedges of lemon or lime to be squeezed over the figs.

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Posted on January 13, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

This warming lentil soup is thick and robust with bold flavors from artfully balanced spices. It’s even better after the first day and it freezes well, too.

Hearty Lentil Soup

 

Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 6 oz. package beef-flavored Facon, trimmed of fat and minced (optional)

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 14 ounce can of peeled, chopped tomatoes

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups green or red lentil, rinsed and examined for unwanted particles.

chopped parsley or cilantro for serving

Directions

Place large pot over medium heat. Warm olive oil and brown minced facon. Remove Facon once it is golden (5-7 minutes) and set aside.

Sautee onions until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook lightly for another 3-4 minutes. Add carrots, celery and canned tomatoes to pot. Bring to a low simmer.

Add all spices, adjusting to taste. Add vegetable or chicken stock, holding back 1-2 cups if you prefer thicker soup.

Add cooked Facon and lentils and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring periodically. Add more stock as the lentil break down and thicken, if you prefer a looser soup.

Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, dill or cilantro. Stay warm and enjoy!

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Posted on December 17, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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