Tag Archives: spring

Lemon Sponge Cake with Candied Citrus

Passover brings the same challenge each year – especially for the baker. That is, how to make an array of delicious and unique desserts – without the use of flour (or any other leavening ingredients, for that matter). This task is additionally complicated by the fact that dairy is often off-limits too.

citrus sponge cake 3So when I find a recipe that works – and that my family agrees is a “keeper” – I tend to bring it back year after year. And this sponge cake is no exception. Moist and deeply flavorful, I am a big fan of this classic Passover dessert. It comes out consistently delicious and keeps for days, too.

citrus sponge cake 1But – aside from the same-old dusting of powdered sugar (the kosher-for-Passover kind, of course!), it lacked that “wow” factor. So a few years ago I candied some orange and lemon slices and placed them on top – for a pretty presentation that looked lovely on our table.

Making candied citrus slices is super easy – and can provide a quick garnish for any dessert!

citrus sponge cake 4

Note: The recipe for the sponge cake is inspired by this recipe from Epicurious

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Lemon Sponge Cake with Candied Citrus

Posted on March 24, 2015

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Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Yield:
4 servings as main dish, 8 servings as a side dish

The trick to staying, ahem, healthy during Passover is eating as many veggies and fruits as you normally do. If your festive meals are front loaded with more meat than you regularly eat, it’s easy to shift to dairy or vegetarian menus, especially those that allow veggies to shine.

ricotta stuffed zucchini boats for Passover

These zucchini boats are matzah- free so expect the filling mixture to be creamy and luxuriant rather than firm. They are best eaten soon after they come out of the oven though they may be eaten warm or at room temperature.

ricotta stuffed zucchini boats for Passover

And speaking of matzah- free, this dish is perfect for any non-Passover meal also. It would be super served on a brunch buffet or served alongside a vegetable soup (tomato soup would be great), a green salad, roasted asparagus or peppers.

If you are up for making your own ricotta cheese (maybe when you’re not in the midst of the Passover cooking frenzy?) here’s an easy recipe from The Kitchn  or an even easier one from Ina Garten.

ricotta stuffed zucchini boats for Passover

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Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Posted on March 23, 2015

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

Power Greens Matzah Ball Soup

Yield:
4-6 servings

Although I love tweaking traditional recipes, especially around Passover, (hello White Wine Braised Chicken or Manischewitz Ice Cream) there are some foods I never thought I’d touch. Such as my Bubbe’s matzo ball soup.

power greens matzah ball soup1

The rich homemade broth and with light and fluffy matzo balls and rounds of carrots, celery and my favorite parsnips. Its magically powers are unparalleled. Matzo ball soup has the ability to cure most ailments, bad days, and even my gentile friends request it all year long.

greens for matzah ball soup

But Passover food can be heavy. Potato kugel, chopped liver, flourless chocolate cake. I love it all, but sometimes it just doesn’t love me! The lack of greens and abundance of browns is apparent. This green soup cures that. What’s greatabout it is that you can pretty much throw in any greens you have in your fridge: broccoli, kale, Swiss chard. Throw it in there! It’s vegetarian friendly, and can be made ahead of time. In fact. The flavors just intensify as the days go on. Make sure to store the matzah balls separately, unless you want green balls. Which isn’t totally a bad thing.

power greens matzah ball soup2

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Power Greens Matzah Ball Soup

Posted on March 15, 2015

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

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Yield:
8-10 servings

When I look at rhubarb, it reminds me of some sort of alien plant. It’s not really appealing, and yet it is so coveted for spring cooking. I will admit: it does some wonderful things when cooked despite its unusual appearance.

rhubarb-cheesecake-4

Others may say that this simple vegetable has genius qualities and a beautiful color. Which is does of course. On its own it can be bitter, but when paired with fruit, especially springtime strawberries, it balances perfectly in many combinations.

Since rhubarb has been in abundance at my local farmer’s market, and because I love trying new things, I decided it was high time I conquered my apprehension around rhubarb. Also my husband loves it, so it’s an easy way to shut him up for a bit.

rhubarb-cheesecake-1

Shavuot…rhubarb abundance…it was clear a strawberry rhubarb topped cheesecake was only natural for this time of year.

Some of my other favorite strawberry rhubarb recipes to highlight?

Strawberry Rhubarb Blintzes from Leah Koenig

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream from Naomi Sugar

Rhubarb Rugelach from Tamar Fox

rhubarb-cheesecake-2

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Posted on May 30, 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

Green Lasagna

Yield:
6-8 servings

I grew up eating lots of very traditional Italian-American lasagna, baked ziti and anything else you could cover in homemade tomato sauce and cheese. And I loved it – I mean who doesn’t!? Garfield the cat was even one of my heroes growing up. I always appreciated his feisty-ness towards his sibling (Odie), his appreciation of napping and of course his love of lasagna.

green5

In the past few years I have yearned for lasagnas with a little more flair, and a little less sauce. I have made a white pumpkin lasagna, and a white lasagna with spinach and pine nuts. I have included a béchamel, and left it out. I have even experimented with different kinds of cheeses.

As the greens of spring have taken over at my local farmer’s market, a lasagna recipe was once again creeping into my head. Peas, fresh herbs…something was simmering.

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When I suggested a puree of spring peas with herbs basked into a creamy lasagna, my husband was less than enthusiastic. He responded to the idea saying, “Um..ok. I guess let’s see how it turns out.”

I love it when my husband has to admit he was wrong, and in the case of this lasagna, he had to concede defeat as he shoveled another bite into his mouth. And though I actually hate peas, this lasagna is absolutely out of this world, creamy and full of fresh spring flavors. It’s also perfect for a Shavuot celebration. Pair with a crisp glass of white wine and a simple mixed green salad and you have a complete meal especially appropriate for a June lunch.

green3

I actually ended up making this recipe two ways. Once with regular, store-bough lasagna noodles which was delicious. And a second version with homemade spinach noodles. You can try either – they were both creamy, lighter than you might think and really yummy. It really depends on the amount of work you want to put in. Making your own noodles is delicious, but much more time consuming.

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Green Lasagna

Posted on May 29, 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

Buttered Radishes

Prep:
5 minutes

Cook:
5 minutes

Yield:
2 servings


One of the best things about spring–radishes. It’s like all they want to do is pop out of the ground and jump onto our plates in all of their pink and purple glory. While it’s easy and delicious to eat them raw–crunching into them or tossing them into a salad–cooking radishes is a delectable and under-appreciated treatment.

These radishes are a great side dish on their own, tossed with fresh peas, or served with poached eggs. You can make these with any type of radish, but my favorite are French breakfast radishes.

Buttered Radishes

Posted on June 1, 2012

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Rhubarb is here!

Whether eating seasonally is important to you or it’s just something you read about on food blogs, I bet you’ve been paying attention to at least one thing as spring makes way for summer: rhubarb season. Rhubarb is one of the few produce items that is nearly impossible to get out of season. But good news–the time is here and the rhubarb is ready for all of your creativity.

To get the creative/rhubarb juices flowing, here are a few tantalizing recipes to try:

Are you the type of person who likes to come home and treat yourself to a trendy cocktail? If that’s your thing, try making your own Rhubarb Bitters for your next drink.

Although it’s often relegated to the dessert course, rhubarb can wear other hats, too, like in this Chicken with Rhubarb and Fennel from the Wall Street Journal. The rich, flavorful thighs provide a good balance to the tangy rhubarb.

For vegetarians looking to add some pop to their entrees, try this Curried Lentil with Rhubarb Chutney. This dish is impressive for a host of reasons, but mostly because, unlike typical chutney, this rhubarb condiment is only sweetened with chopped dates. As the recipe’s author points out–don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients. You probably already have many of the ingredients.

As a follow-up to these exoctic spice combinations, take a tip from the Brittish and treat yourself to Rhubarb Fool with Cardamon Cream. The man behind Lottie and Doof has a serious soft spot for rhubarb, so if you aren’t feeling fool-ish (pun definitely intended), check out his archives.

Finally, check out La Domestique’s “10 Ways Tuesday” for ten very different ways to use your rhubarb this season. (Consider substituting some more of those chicken thighs and drumsticks for the crispy pork dish.)

Posted on May 16, 2012

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