I love the slow ramp up into summer when it comes to Shabbat. We’re early enough in the season that I’m not sick of the never-ending Saturday afternoons and, instead, I’m grateful for the extra time on Fridays. I can come home, take some deep breaths, and get to work on dinner. It means my food is actually fresh and I don’t feel wiped from staying up late cooking the night before.
This extra time has other benefits, too. I like to have my guests come before Shabbat starts and do some of their own cooking. Everyone can make their own pizzas, pop them in the oven, and then we’ll bring in Shabbat together.
As a sucker for pastries made with anything other than white flour, I think this light spring meal would benefit greatly from this chocolate buckwheat cake. The buckwheat and almond flour mellow out the richness of the dark chocolate. It’s gluten free, which is always a plus these days, and if you want to make it dairy free, I would substitute deodorized coconut oil for the butter. Serve it with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream and some fresh berries. You won’t regret it.
This week’s Shabbat menu is the first in a while that isn’t inspired by the season or the calendar. Mostly, I found these Mediterranean recipes inspiring as they popped up in my Google Reader and Twitter feed over the course of the past week. I thought you might like them, too!
Set your table with bowls of this tangy balsamic roasted chickpeas for your guests to munch on while you’re serving the salad and putting the finishing touches on everything.
For those of you with CSAs that are already clogging your refrigerators with leafy greens, this recipe for white beans and chickory is a versatile and delicious way to use the tougher outer leaves. You can also use escarole, kale, and chard instead of the chickory.
Chicken with artichoke and mushrooms adds a bit of a twist and moisture to the standard roasted chicken recipe.
As a side dish, serve Brussels’ sprouts with shallots and hazelnuts to provide texture and zing to the meal.
I am dying to make this Almond Olive Oil Cake from one of my favorite food blogs, Lottie and Doof. I love the nutty flavor olive oil gives to baked goods and it makes for great pareve baking without margarine or Crisco. This recipe does call for a browned butter glaze, so if you’re serving this with a meat meal, consider making the glaze without the butter or just mix powdered sugar, almond milk, and a bit of vanilla.
And don’t forget–you only have until May 16th to enter the contest to win Olive Trees and Honey, a cookbook that is sure to inspire many Shabbat menus to come!
Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday. In the United States, it is commemorated as a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. And, since Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines, that’s definitely a holiday I can get behind. (Sneak preview: tomorrow’s post will feature a fun Jewish twist on Cinco de Mayo.) Serve these dairy dishes at your Shabbat dinner to add some flare to your meal in honor of this special occasion. Buen provecho!
I have been dying to try this mushroom and poblano tart since I saw it a year ago. It is a fun, whole grain dish that will definitely take your guests by surprise.
Serve these black bean chilaquiles to appease the die-hard meat eaters at your table with a little more heft and protein. The recipe is vegan, but I don’t think a crumble of feta or queso fresco on top will do anyone harm, right?
As a side dish, this fresh, mayo-free coleslaw with a Mexican twist seems like just the thing to add some crunch and spring flavors to the meal.
I wouldn’t normally advocate serving a fried dessert like sopapillas on Shabbat, but since I’ve done it before, I can offer two pieces of advice: 1) They’re going to be amazing even a few hours after frying and 2) Watch out for the oil! Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Shabbat Shalom and happy cooking!
Finding a good pareve dessert, one that “doesn’t even taste pareve” is an endless crusade for so many Jewish baked-good lovers. I approach pareve desserts the same way I approach Passover recipes: change as little as possible for the best results! If a recipe requires too much tampering, its probably not worth it to make a pareve version.
I have a few go-to pareve dessert recipes you can try out all year depending on if you love chocolate, fruit or not baking at all!
Perfect for Autumn: Spiced Sweet Potato Cake. The sweet potatoes in this cake make it so moist you would never know that its totally dairy free. While this particular recipe calls for a Brown Sugar Icing, this cake is tasty enough to stand by itself. You can also turn this cake into cupcakes and finish it off with pareve cream cheese frosting.
Perfect for Winter/All Year: Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake Recipe. A fellow baker friend and I swear by this classic chocolate cake recipe, and all you need to do to make it pareve is replace the milk with almond milk or coconut milk. My one important tip to make this cake is that you MUST use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. This is my secret weapon for all pareve chocolate desserts. I like to make this chocolate cake in a bundt pan and merely dust with powdered sugar and garnish with berries to serve.
Perfect for Spring and Summer/All Year: Fruit Tarts! This Plum Tart recipe has the moist, flavorful crust you will ever find. You can definitely make it with peaches or plums during their peak over the summer, though you can really use this dough to make any kind of fruit tart throughout the year. How to make it pareve? Just replace the butter with pareve margarine and you are good to go!
Perfect for Summer: Fruit Kebabs! This is a dessert idea for the host or hostess who can’t be bothered with baking at all but still wants to satisfy their guests. You can choose any combination of fruits you like, include marshmallows or other candies or drizzle the whole lot in melted chocolate. Serve with sorbet or pareve ice cream and you are ready to go.
Spring has sprung, but it seems that some colder, wet weather has also returned for a bit. Perhaps its time for a ‘Spring Comfort Food’ themed Shabbat!?
I love experimenting with new flavors of challah which is why this Wild Blueberry and Agave Challah from The Challah Blog caught my eye. You can also substitute dried cherries or cranberries in place of the blueberries or turn the leftovers into a delicious french toast breakfast for Sunday morning.
‘Tis the season of the Spring pea, and so the perfect time to make a comforting bowl of Green Pea Soup with Tarragon and Pea Sprouts. Serving with meat? Just leave off the yogurt garnish.
Have you been looking for a great vegetarian main dish to serve for lunch or for a dairy meal? I love this springtime Vegetable Pot Pie, packed with some great springtime veggies and hearty enough to please the vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike.
Sometimes I shy away from recipes that use too many ingredients, but I think this recipe for Gingery Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce may well be worth the work with its rich flavors and silky dipping sauce.
Peas and fresh greens are in season but so are asparagus! Try dressing up the veggie with this Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aioli.
Happy cooking and Shabbat Shalom!
This Shabbat feels like the first real Shabbat of Spring, not to mention, our chance to relish some challah and other chametz-related treats.
A new variety of vegetables is starting to crop up at the supermarkets and farmers markets, so time to welcome them onto your dinner menu! To start your meal try this Fennel Zucchini Soup with Warm Tomato Relish.
If you are like me, then you’re probably still in need of a pasta fix after Passover. Try this Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes as a side dish, or if you want to have an all-in-one dish, add some grilled chicken on top of the pasta to serve as your main entree. Of course, leave off the Parmesan cheese.
As I have written before, I cannot get enough kale these days, so what a great way to serve up this hearty and healthful green – Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw! Like the pasta above, if you’re serving with a meat meal just leave off the cheese.
I am not a big fan of pareve or vegan desserts, but when I saw this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a great recipe, and can you believe it – pareve whipped cream!?! If you haven’t tried baking with coconut milk before, you may soon fall in love with this versatile ingredient after making these cupcakes.
Shabbat Shalom, happy Spring and happy cooking!
Just one more Shabbat before we really start ridding our kitchen of chametz for the next week or so. This week I’ve put together some recipes to help get rid of those last bits of bread, pasta, pretzels and crumbs.
Leftover baguette or challah in the freezer? Try making Ina’s Panzanella Salad as a fresh and tasty starter.
Excess pasta? breadcrumbs? Try Martha’s Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Breadcrumbs – a perfect way to get rid of a few extra items! Of course if you’re serving a meat meal, just leave out the Parmesan.
If you’re like me, you probably have a bag pretzels that is only 1/3 full in your cabinet- take those remaining pretzels and make this Mustard Baked Chicken with Pretzel Crust.
Want the perfect sweet dish or breakfast treat? Try making my chocolate chocolate bread pudding – it’s one of my husband’s favorite desserts and a great way to use up that last bit of bread in the freezer.
Shabbat Shalom, happy cooking and happy pre-Passover cleaning!
Shabbat is here, and time to plan your meals! While some of you might be trying to lighten your cooking these days in honor of the New Year, I know a lot of you are not. So for the non-calorie counting cooks out there, this week’s Shabbat Recipe Roundup is for you.
I saw this recipe for Lemony Chickpea Bruscetta, and my interest was immediately piqued. I would definitely use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas to save myself an extra step and serve it with a large crusty baguette.
What a fantastically easy and healthful one pot dish for an easy Shabbat main dish: Roasted Chicken Legs with Potatoes and Kale.
But if you’re looking for something a little more ambitious or adventurous – try this kosher version of Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon from The Jew and the Carrot which I cannot wait to try! Any recipe that encourages the use of schmaltz is truly a recipe for me. Julia may not approve, but I would serve this over wide egg noodles. Yum.
In the spirit of hearty dishes and schmaltz, I am salivating over this recipe for Duck Fat Potato Galette with Caraway and Sweet Onions.
And for a sweet finish, try these chewy and flavorful Triple Ginger Cookies.
Shabbat Shalom, and happy cooking!