If you’re active in a certain kind of Jewish community, you’re invited to vegetarian potluck Shabbat meals on a fairly regular basis. And this can be good, but more often than not, it’s depressing. You end up eating a lot of challah, hummus, and lentils. You realize how few of your friends are really good cooks. You realize how few people are capable of making vegetarian main courses. You realize you’re still hungry.
I can’t do anything about your friends being lousy cooks, but I can give you some ideas for recipes that will brighten up your typical lentil-laden potluck Shabbat. Here are my favorites:
Phyllo and Feta torte
I once made this with half ricotta half feta, and added a bunch of Italian herbs and sun-dried tomatoes so that I could bring it to an Italian potluck. Delish.
Spanikopita from the Moosewood Cookbook.
Easier than you would think, and very impressive.
Chilean Squash Casserole from the Moosewood Cookbook.
This is one of my favorite recipes. Delicious, full of vegetables, and very festive.
Mushroom and Barley Pie
Bonus points because it looks so pretty.
Quiche. Any kind. They take about five minutes to assemble if you buy a premade crust, and they’re a crowd pleaser. Try leeks and mushrooms, or tomato, basil, mozzarella and mushrooms.
Chili with cornbread baked on top
This is astonishingly good, and gets extra points because the cornbread is never dry.
Curried Udon Noodle Stir Fry
Hopefully, I had you at Udon.
Various curries. I like this sweet potato eggplant curry, or this chana masala recipe.
Phyllo Dough Pies. Try this recipe, but really, you can put anything inside. I’m thinking about trying one with curry inside, actually.
Whiskey and wheatberry salad. I like anything with whiskey in it, but this is undeniably delicious, whiskey notwithstanding.
Beet and goat cheese salad. Oh Al Roker, how I love you.
Lentils begone, I say. Also, sweet Lord I’m hungry!
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.