Katy Morris

Jerusalem artichokes are surprisingly misleading in more ways than one.

For starters, they’re not from Jerusalem and they’re not artichokes. And despite their knobby, uninviting look, this root vegetable magically transforms into a comforting, scrumptious and nutritious side dish.

Looking for an accompaniment to your Thanksgiving and meatless Monday meals? Try sunchokes


So what’s with the misnomer?

 Jerusalem artichokes are part of the sunflower family. It’s widely believed that Italian-American settlers referred to this native American plant as girasole (Italian for sunflower) centuries ago. They began pronouncing girasole in a way that sounded like “Jerusalem” and hence the evolution of the name.

Today, they are most commonly referred to as sunchokes, so let’s just go with that!


They all look kind of gnarly. How do I know the best ones to pick?

 These guys peak in fall and retire around April, so keep an eye out for ‘em at your farmers’ market now! They almost look like ginger roots, so we suggest using the same choosing principles. You want ones that are smooth, firm, blemish-free and not too bumpy. Steer clear of ones with wrinkly, bruised skin.


Now what?

To store, wrap unwashed sunchokes in paper towels, place them in a zip-lock bag and put them in the crisper drawer. That way, they’ll stay good for about two weeks.

To prep, wash these super-tubers well. Remember, they are root vegetables (yup, they grow underground) so dirt loves to cling to them. The next step depends on how you are going to enjoy them according to your recipe.


What should I do with them?

Oh, let us count the ways! While we’re giving you a super simple recipe below we encourage you to get creative with these guys.

Thinly sliced or delicately shaved (yes, raw), they add a great, earthy flavor to salads. Since they have similar characteristics as potatoes and parsnips, treat them the same. You can purée, bake, mash, steam, fry, stew, and even pickle them!


You mentioned they are nutritious?

Yes! Actually, many diabetics use them in place of potatoes since they are full of inulin (instead of starch) and don’t cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket (note: this is the same reason they can cause some discomfort post-eating, but this doesn’t happen to everyone).  Another note: they cook faster than potatoes so if you choose to cook them similarly, watch them carefully so they don’t overcook.

They’re also a great source of iron, fiber and potassium.


What else should I know?

Sunchokes oxidize quickly – which means their color will darken when exposed to air. Add some acidic juice (try lemon juice) in the final minutes of cooking/before serving raw on a salad to avoid this.  Also, avoid using aluminum or iron pans when cooking, as this will speed up the oxidation process.


Time to cook!

Liz found sunchokes at her local market in CT and whipped up this delish recipe with pistachio crumbles and lemon. She recommends squeezing lemon juice on them before dusting with pistachio crumbles.


How have you prepared sunchokes? And if you haven’t, what’s held you back?


Roasted Sunchokes with Pistachio Crumbles

4 servings

Roasted Sunchokes with Pistachio Crumbles

Sunchokes are not the pretties veggies in the bin and are easy to overlook in the markets. But beneath their lumpy, flawed skin is a sweet and tender , slightly nutty side dish waiting to be discovered. Roasting sunchokes is a good entry point if you haven’t tried them yet. They are easy to handle, don’t require peeling and roast to a golden hue with little effort.

Do NOT use a non-stick pan when browning. Line a roasting pan with foil and spray with canola oil or use your cast iron pan.

This recipe is pareve (dairy free), vegan and gluten free


  • 10 small sunchokes of 4-5 large tubers
  • 3 TB. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. RInse sunchokes in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove any obvious bruises.
  3. Slice into ¼ discs.
  4. In a bowl, toss sunchokes with olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic cloves.
  5. Place sunchoke discs on a foil- lined and sprayed roasting pan or in cast iron pan. Be sure discs are in single layer.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes until golden brown. DO peek to be sure. Turn once and brown second side for 10 minutes. Pierce with fork to check for doneness. They should yield easily.
  7. Remove from roasting pan and plate in shallow bowl. Squeeze lemon juice all around and check seasoning for lemon, salt and pepper. Top with crumbled pistachios.


These are best served straight from the oven and sizzling hot. They get a bit soggy and relaxed when left to cool.




Originally Posted in “Why we Love those Lumpy Sunchokes
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

If you follow our Side Dish column (look to the right, yes, there!) you may have noticed that our friend, Jennifer Abadi, taught a vegetarian cooking class at the JCC in NYC a few weeks ago. The class focused on meat-free sides from the Middle East, a region Abadi is intimately familiar with as her family’s roots run deep in the Syrian Jewish community. We worked on a recipe for Armenian Red Lentil Soup with dried apricots, cumin seed and thyme that was so unusual that we felt sure our readers would love to have this in their autumn/winter soup tool box.

Here’s what Abadi shared with us about this intriguing and easy- to- make soup, “A small country bordered by Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, Armenia’s cuisine represents a combination of eastern, western, and Asian influences. In this one hearty and delicious soup, Middle Eastern and South Asian ingredients like cumin, dried apricots, and lemon come together with Western flavors such as fresh thyme and vine ripe tomatoes to create a sweet and savory dish that is quintessentially Eurasian.”

The class was unanimous in their love of this soup with unexpected sweet and sour flavors and creamy texture. When I made it at home, we enjoyed it even more on the second and third days when the flavors had a chance to meld.

Let us know what you think!


Red Lentil Soup with Dried Apricots, Cumin Seed and thyme

6-8 servings

Red Lentil Soup with Dried Apricots, Cumin Seed and thyme

This Armenian soup recipe was shared by Jennifer Abadi, chef/instructor and cookbook author in NYC.

Just before serving it is traditional to squeeze in fresh lemon to bring out the natural sweet-tart flavor of the apricots.

This recipe is pareve (dairy-free) and vegan.


    For Soup:
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cups finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (about 1 large clove)
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ cups dried red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, if desired
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped dried Turkish apricots
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped plum or vine ripe tomatoes (about 6 large plum tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • For Serving:
  • Coarsely chopped mint or parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium size soup pot for 1 minute over high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. Lower to a medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and mix. Cook an additional minute.
  3. Mix in the cumin, thyme, and red lentils, and mix well.
  4. Add the broth and water and mix well. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium-high heat. Lower to a medium heat, and cook about 20 minutes until lentils are slightly al denté.
  5. Add the sugar (if desired), salt, pepper, apricots, and tomato pieces. Continue to cook an additional
  6. 15 to 20 minutes, covered, or until lentils are soft.
  7. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot garnished with chopped mint or parsley, chopped dried apricots, and a small piece of lemon.


About Jennifer Abadi:

Jennifer Abadi specializes in preserving Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes, food memories, and traditions. Her area of expertise covers a range of Jewish cuisines (from Syria, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Georgia, Afghanistan, Bukharia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, and India), and for more than twelve years has been a culinary instructor teaching her personally developed recipes from these communities at the Jewish Community Center (JCC Manhattan), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the Natural Gourmet Institute, as well as in private homes. She wrote and illustrated her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma’s Fritzie’s Kitchen based upon recipes and stories from her family, and is currently completing her second cookbook that focuses on Sephardic and Middle Eastern recipes, traditions, and memories for Passover. Every month she writes for her blog TooGoodToPassover sharing discoveries from her upcoming cookbook. To contact Jennifer and view more of what she does, please go to JenniferAbadi.com.





Originally Posted in “Warming Sweet & Savory Red Lentil Soup
Photo: Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning

Photo: Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning

Ready for a little autumnal decadence?

We’re veering left of classic pumpkin pie and dreaming about filling pumpkins with creamy pasta to create a one dish meal.  We love the drama of serving directly from the gourd, scraping pumpkin-y sweetness right along with the savory cheesy spinach and pasta melange.

This recipe from Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning would make a great centerpiece for any brunch (think Thanksgiving weekend) or vegetarian, dairy meal.

For edible pumpkin varietals that are the perfect size search for Small Sugar, Little Boo or Jack Be Little.

Seeking more stuffed pumpkin recipes? We have three more ideas for you right here.

French Onion Pumpkin Gruyere Bake

6-8 servings

This decadent dish provides an unexpected way to serve creamy pasta directly from everyone's favorite autumn gourd. Serve alongside a generous bowl of greens and the meal is complete!

The recipe is provided by Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning, Stamford, CT.

Recipe is DAIRY


  • 2 Medium or 1 Large Sugar Pumpkin
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Spanish Onion, diced
  • 6 Shallots, sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Whole Wheat Mini pasta-shells
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 lb Shredded Gruyere Cheese
  • 1 C Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 C Heavy Cream
  • Coarse Sea Salt and Ground Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Saute the onions, shallots and garlic in the olive oil and butter over medium heat, stirring often to caramelize.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cut opening in the top of the pumpkin, remove seeds and reserve tops, and season the inside with salt.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes, drain.
  6. In a bowl, combine onion, pasta, and spinach, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat heavy cream till warm, wisk in the pumpkin puree and continue to heat till just about to boil.
  8. Add Gruyere and Parmesan till melted.
  9. Mix the cheese sauce with the onions in a bowl.
  10. Toss the al dente pasta into the cheese/onion mixture and fill the pumpkin.
  11. Bake pumpkins on a foil lined and rimmed baking sheet until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork, about 1 ½ hours.
  12. Serve pasta directly from pumpkin, scooping out some yummy pumpkin with each serving.

Originally Posted in “French Onion Pumpkin Gruyere Bake


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Katy Morris

Whether you’re using an open fire on a camping trip, your backyard grill or fire-pit, or a makeshift hibachi perched on your fire escape, autumn is a great time to gather around a flame as you combine seasonal ingredients with melted temptation.

Now, nothing beats the bliss of classic roasted marshmallows, but we’re looking to heat things up with other super simple, creative post-dinner sweet treats.  Here are just a few must-try ideas (and recipes, products, and more) that are sure to get you thinking “outside of the matchbox”!


Give me some more S’mores


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

A proper campfire outing wouldn’t be complete without s’mores, right?  That ooey-gooey-crunchy mouthful of perfection is just too good to pass up! We actually have the Girl Scouts to thank for this indulgence, who posted the first recorded recipe back in 1927.

Start by roasting a marshmallow over the open fire until it’s puffy and golden-brown (hey, we’ve got nothing against burnt & crispy ones, so keep roastin’ if that’s your preference). Place a square of your favorite chocolate on same size graham cracker and quickly place the warm marshmallow on the chocolate. Watch it melt. If it doesn’t, ya gotta speed it up so that the flaming marshmallow hits the chocolate before it cools.

Relish the gooeyness and memories of summer camp. Repeat until you don’t want some more (that goes without saying).


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Go vegan with your s’mores with Dandie’s kosher, all-natural vegan marshmallows, which also come in a sunny (and perfectly seasonal) pumpkin variety. We were surprised to find the pumpkin flavor so pronounced considering these marshmallows are all natural. We love that they are the first ever marshmallows to be non-GMO certified. The kids will think these are super cool in s’mores or bobbing in hot cocoa.

Or if you’re really feeling ambitious, try making your own meringue-like drops of heaven with David Leibovitz’s recipe found here.


Campfire Baked Apples


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Take advantage of the abundance of crisp, local apples (and get your Thanksgiving dessert teaser, too) with this fruity delight. Grilled apples are a great way to get that crumbly and sweet dessert satisfaction without loading in tons of extra calories.


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Simply combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, cranberries and coconut oil (Earth Balance vegan margarine is also a great dairy-free sub) and spoon the mixture into freshly cored apples. Wrap loosely in foil and place over the flame or nestle right in the coals.

The strong skin and tart touch of Granny Smiths are good candidates for this recipe, by the way. Check out the one that caught our eye here and feel free to experiment with additional flavors like vanilla and nutmeg, the texture of oats, and maybe even topping with a scoop of vegan ice cream!

Let us know your fave concoction in the comments below.


Sweet Vegan Banana “Boats”

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven


Bananas will get mushy and discolored when grilled but they’re so delish that it’s worth it.

Slice through the peel with a sharp knife and separate the two sides.  Scoop out some chunks of banana to make room for the filling.  Dash in some crunchy nuts of your choice (walnuts or pistachios seem right to us), some vegan chocolate, a dash of cinnamon and wrap in tin foil.

Let the fire do its thing for about 6-8 minutes and top with dairy-free ice cream.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven


Heads up: these are not the prettiest of the bunch but it’s super cool to make a banana split over the fire. You may want to consider scooping out the filling once you’ve warmed it and serving it OVER a scoop of frozen whatever. Hide the charred banana peels so you don’t turn off your guests.

Think of it as an inverted banana split.


Photo: Liz Rueven- gotta show the truth!

Photo: Liz Rueven- gotta show the truth!

Cinna-buns on a Stick


Twirl some pre made crescent rolls sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar on wooden skewers and roast away! If you want some added sweetness, try mixing together some powdered sugar and water and using it as a drizzle once done (note it only needs to “roast” for about 5 minutes over the fire).


Where can you get vegan crescent rolls, you ask? Although we’re not super proponents of processed foods, Pillsbury’s brand is indeed vegan, but Trader Joe’s also has some natural ones to choose from.


Simple & Sweet Roasted Pears


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Here’s yet another way to enjoy autumn’s bounty with a warm, fruity dessert. Slice freshly bought pears in half and scoop out the middle. After adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, pinch of sugar, a bit of Earth Balance vegan margarine and some crumbled granola, just wrap in some foil and allow the fire to roast them until soft and ready to be devoured!


What desserts are you roasting up this fall?

Comment below as we’d love to share!

Join us here on facebook and share your pics so we can see what you’re grilling!


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven


Originally Posted in “S’Mores & More Desserts over the Fire


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Katy Morris

Apples are always the apple of our eye but never more so than in autumn. They’re healthy and delectably ubiquitous in an array of dishes ranging from crisp salads, hot ciders and smooth sauces to savory desserts.

Here’s why we love ‘em and what you need to know to take advantage of this abundant autumn bounty.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux


Picking tips?

 As with most fruits and veggies, steer clear of bruised fruit. We say that often, but it’s especially important with apples as damaged ones can actually cause the rest of the bunch (as well as other produce) to rot more quickly when storing (it’s a chemical thing). They should be firm and feel heavy for their size.

For a fun fall outing, head out to a local orchard and pick your own!  This website is a great resource for finding farms near you, and they offer even more picking tips.


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

What’s the best way to store them?

 A bowl full of freshly picked apples is sure to brighten up your kitchen counter, but they should only really stay there for a few days at most. To keep them fresh longer, pop ‘em in your fridge’s crisp drawer where they can safely stay for at least 2-3 weeks.

Apples exude a chemical when the skin is broken and they become exposed to air (hence the reason they turn brown when sliced), which can make other produce spoil quickly. It’s best to keep them separate from other produce or in a paper towel or sealed plastic bag.


How can I stop them from browning when sliced?


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

The best trick we’ve found is to soak the slices in a bowl of cold water with citric acid (we prefer lemon juice).  Use about a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of water.


Will they really keep the doctor away?

Well, they surely are a good start! Apples are super rich in fiber, cancer-fighting antioxidants, nutrients and minerals like potassium, niacin and vitamins A,B,C,E, and K. They can also lower cholesterol and boost your immune system.


What’s up with all the varieties?


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Bright green, golden-yellow, crimson, plum…where to start? There are tons of apple varieties out there, but here’s a quick round up of the most popular kinds you’re likely to see at the market this fall and the best uses for them:


 ♥Gala: Underneath the intricately pink and orange striped-skin, you’ll find crisp, sweet-tart creamy colored flesh. Galas are the perfect on-the-go snack option and are often the top pick when it comes to making applesauce.


Granny Smith: These crisp, tart emerald beauties hold up well when baked (click on AliBabka‘s tantalizing French Apple Tart here) but their refreshing sharpness also makes them great right out of your hand.


McIntosh: McIntosh apples – one of our faves – are actually New England natives. They’re great in pies or eaten out of hand, but note they have a softer consistency and don’t keep as well as other kinds so grab and enjoy ‘em fast!


Golden Delicious: The name really says it all. This thin-skinned, greenish-yellow variety is sweet and mellow and is perfect to toss in a salad, fresh from the market, or baked in pies and tarts.


Cortland: We like these vibrant red apples best sliced and tossed in salads, as they hold up longer than others.  They are actually a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis varieties, but are juicier and sweeter than McIntoshes.


Red Delicious: Cloaked in crimson and sweet in taste, Red Delicious apples tend to have a grainy consistency. They aren’t our top pick for baking as their skin doesn’t hold up too well in the heat.


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Recipe ideas?

In addition to giving you an apple-tastic dairy-free (pareve) and vegan dessert, we looked back on some of our past recipes that feature this seasonal fruit. Here they are rounded up for you to easily check out:

Cool and Green Rice Noodle Salad

Harvest Brew Roasted Chicken with Mushroom-Apple Stuffing and Maple-Balsamic Glaze

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

Winter Salad with Roasted Fruit & Veggies [you can use pears or apples in this recipe]


Thank you to Alison Gütwaks, President and Personal Chef of AliBabka, for sharing this easy recipe for her dairy-free and vegan French Apple Tart here.

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

 Do you have a favorite varietal of apple native to your area? How do you cook with apples? We want to know!

Leave comments below or on our facebook page here. Are we friends on facebook? We want to be sure! You’ll find lots of weekly finds and tidbits there each week.



Originally Posted in “Seasonal Snippet: Apples in Autumn


There’s nothing quite like a pot of simmering soup to signal Autumn’s onset. And while we love all sorts of soups, we take advantage of the fruits and veggies at our farmers’ market as we kick off soup season.

We turned to Marissa Latshaw, owner and chief simmering maven at All Souped Up in Fairfield, CT, for her favorite seasonal soup recipe. She wowed us with her vegetarian, dairy-free, uber creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. In fact, she told us that, “The original recipe called for butter and cream, but I stripped out those elements and I love it even more!”


Marissa Latshaw is the chef and owner of All Souped Up of Fairfield, CT where she crafts small batches of delicious, healthy soups using the highest quality local ingredients. Her soups are packaged beautifully and responsibly and can be found on her website at All Souped Up.   Check out what she’s simmering and where you can purchase her soups.


To see soup menu and be the first to know about gifts and shipping connect with Marissa on facebook and follow her on instagram @allsoupedupct.

Go green! All Souped Up gives a $.50 credit toward a future soup purchase for every glass jar returned.

For anyone steering clear of dairy, you won’t miss those elements in Marissa’s Butternut and Apple Soup.  Let us know what you think!

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

8 servings

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This Butternut and Squash Soup recipe is courtesy of Marissa Latshaw, All Souped Up, Fairfield, CT. Marissa crafts small batches of delicious, healthy soups using local ingredients that highlight the seasons' bounty.

This soup will last for a week in the refridge or may be frozen.

This soup is vegetarian and dairy-free (pareve).


  • 4 pounds of butternut squash
  • 5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots (about 2 ounces)
  • 5.5 cups of water
  • 2 apples (Paula Reds or McIntosh work well), core removed
  • Salt (1 tsp plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp honey (Red Bee Goldenrod is perfect!)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (powdered)


  1. Start by piercing the butternut squash all over with a fork, set onto a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cut squash in half long ways and scoop out and reserve the seeds and strings.
  3. Add the EVOO to a stock pot along with the shallots, and cook over a low heat until shallots start to become translucent.
  4. Add the seeds and strings and stir on and off for about 5 minutes. The oil will turn a beautiful shade of orange.
  5. Add the water and the salt, and turn up the heat until it starts to boil. Put the squash and apple pieces into a steamer that fits into the stock pot. Cover the pot and steam for about 45 minutes, until the squash flesh is soft.
  6. When done, remove the steamer and set it onto a cookie sheet. Pour the liquid in the pot through a strainer and into a bowl, set aside.
  7. Clean out the pot and set it back on your cooktop.
  8. When cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the butternut squash and put into a blender along with the apples and a cup of the cooking liquid, blend until smooth and pour into the pot. Continue to do this in batches until all of the butternut squash and apples are blended and back in the pot.
  9. Add more liquid into the pot until it reaches desired consistency.
  10. Simmer over a low heat. Stir in the honey, cardamom, and ginger.
  11. Add additional salt, to taste.


Serving Suggestions:

Crispy Sage: Heat EVOO over medium heat, carefully add individual sage leaves and let them get crispy for about 10 seconds. Remove carefully with a fork and place onto a dry towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and sugar.

Rosemary Croutons: Cut a baguette into 1/2 inch rounds and each round into quarters. Toss bread with EVOO, garlic cloves, a few sprigs of rosemary and season with sea salt. Place in one layer onto cookie sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispness.






photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Do you love to go apple picking as the seasons shift and the days suddenly become cool and breezy again?  If you’re like us, you shlep home an overflowing bushel (or two) after a gleeful day in the orchards and then wonder, now what?

We turned to Ali Gutwaks, President and Personal Chef of AliBabka for applicious inspiration and she pointed us to her glossy, moist vegan (non-dairy and pareve) French Apple Tart.

She loves making this for holidays and Autumn gatherings and told us that, that ‘this dessert is sweet and tart all at the same time and has a fabulous texture with the use of these specific apples. The crust is foolproof!”

In 2012, Ali was featured in the Wall Street Journal as a kosher chef navigating non-kosher cooking school at ICE. We especially like the part about her grilling her classmates to gauge tastes and textures that she was cooking but not tasting because she keeps kosher! Read the post here.

We’d love to know what you do with your overflowing pecks of apples. We’d also love to know if any of you know what a PECK is without checking Wickepedia! Comment, below, please!

And, we’d like to give a super special shout-out and virtual hug to our friend, Carrie, who graciously agreed to test this recipe for us when she noticed that Liz was simply too busy to bake before her quickie trip to visit her family in Israel for Rosh HaShanah. What a friend! Take a look at Carrie’s vintage inspired handmade jewelry at The Queens Beads. We love her style and think you will, too.

French Apple Tart

12 servings

French Apple Tart

This apple tart takes full advantage of the fruit of the season! The combination of apples provides great texture and more nuanced flavor.

This recipe is courtesy of Chef Alison Barnett Gutwaks AKA AliBabka.

Recipe is pareve (dairy free) and vegan.


  • Pie Shell (see recipe below)
  • 2 Lemons (1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest and 2 Tbs. Juice)
  • 4 Granny Smith Apples (2 lbs), peeled and cored (Reserve 2 for top)
  • 4 Golden Delicious Apples (2 lbs), peeled and cored (Reserve 1 for top)
  • 6 Tbs. Earth Balance
  • 1/2 C. + 2 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/3 C. Apricot Preserves


  1. Make pie crust as directed (see recipe below) and press the dough in a tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes with pie weights on top of the crust.
  3. In a large saute pan, melt 4 Tbs. of Earth Balance over medium high heat.
  4. Add sliced apples and cook for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minutes, until the apples are very tender.
  5. Stir in lemon peel and juice,1/2 C. sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  6. Cook, stirring frequently, 25-30 minutes until puree is very thick and reduced to about 2 1/4 Cups.
  7. Cool apple mixture and set aside.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Thinly slice remaining reserved apples.
  10. Spoon puree in tart shell and arrange apple slices, overlapping in concentric circles on the top of the puree.
  11. Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. Earth Balance and brush apple slices with the "butter" and sprinkle with the 2 Tbs. Sugar.
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife. Cool tart and remove side of pan and cool completely.
  13. When cool, brush apple slices with preserves. If preserves aren't thin enough, add the preserves and a little water in a saucepan till slightly warm and spreadable.

Best Dairy Free Pie Crust

1 pie crust

This pie crust is courtesy of Chef Alison Barnett Gutwaks AKA AliBabka.

Find her recipe for French Apple Tart, above.

Pie crust is perfectly pareve (dairy free) and vegan.


  • 1 ¼ C. Flour
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 6 T. Earth Balance Shortening
  • 3-5 T. Ice Water


  1. Process the flour, salt, and shortening in a blender or with a pastry blender.
  2. Sprinkle in ice water till a ball is formed.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Follow instructions found above in French Apple Tart recipe.


Chef Ali suggests making more than one pie crust at a time and freezing what you don't bake. She says they freeze perfectly.



Photo: Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning

Photo: Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning

Contributed by Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning

You say tomato…we say Make a Galette! The tomato bounty of summer continues through the end of September, and it’s only right to take full advantage of it.

We prefer a galette to a pie or tart because it’s free form deliciousness looks great no matter what’s inside. Imperfect shapes and mess ups are A-OKAY!  This rustic tomato galette is awesome as an appetizer or side dish and great served with a salad for a light dinner.

Liz adds: PERFECT for eating outside in your Sukkah or at your next Autumn picnic by the crashing waves or in your own backyard. Looking for something new to add to your Yom Kippur break-the-fast buffet? This is an easy one!

Rustic Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Galette

4-6 servings

This Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette is a grand way to bid farewell to end of season, local tomatoes. Use this pastry dough for other creations you dream up as you chose your favorite veggies and cheese.

Thank you, Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT for this recipe.

This recipe is dairy.


    Pastry Dough
  • 2 C unbleached All-Purpose or Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/4 t Sea Salt
  • 12 T Cold Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 to ½ C Ice Water as needed
  • The Filling
  • 1 t roughly chopped fresh Oregano
  • 1/3 C fresh Chopped Chives
  • 1 Onion, sliced thin, sautéed in butter and extra virgin olive oil until golden brown
  • 10 oz Goat Cheese, crumbled (refrigerate til ready to use)
  • 1 lb Tomatoes, thinly sliced (we like heirlooms)
  • 1 t Thyme Leaves
  • 2 T Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing on the tart dough
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Optional – Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ C Pesto – homemade or store bought


    To make the dough
  1. Mix the flour and salt together in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Cut in the butter, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture by the tablespoon until you can bring the dough together into a ball.
  3. Press it into a disk and refrigerate. Let the dough chill for 1 hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. To assemble the galette
  6. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter into a 14-inch irregular circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a greased or oiled sheet pan, dusted with flour.
  7. Spread the pesto over the center of the dough, leaving an inch border.
  8. Spread the onions over the pesto.
  9. Spread the goat cheese in the center of the pastry circle, and sprinkle with oregano and thyme. Arrange the tomatoes in an overlapping pattern.
  10. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  11. Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, folding the dough every inch or so. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle, lightly with salt. Dust with parmesan (optional).
  12. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees or until the crust is golden brown on the edges.


This free-form galette is easy to transport and delicious at room temp alongside a leafy green salad.


Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Melissa Roberts

Noodle kugel usually finds itself alongside the bagels at a Yom Kippur break fast. Kugel, sweetened with fruit and sugar, symbolizes a wish for a sweet year ahead. There are many variations on this theme and the following recipe provides tradition with a twist on the familiar.

A cottage cheese and sour cream base is blended with eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest into a smooth custard, an extra step, but one that lends a creamy base. Next, the kugel is studded with plump golden raisins and apple, a combination with hints of the fall season ahead.

But there’s more. Because apples pair well with fennel, the sugar is whizzed with fennel seed, lacing the kugel with a faint licorice flavor.

Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel

8-10 servings

Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel

Dairy noodle kugel (pudding) is a satisfying addition to any brunch buffet. But it is most often associated with a celebratory break-the-fast meal. Decadently creamy and filling, this kugel points to Autumn with the inclusion of apples and fennel.

This recipe was contributed by Melissa Roberts.

This kugel is dairy.


  • 2 Golden Delicious apples (1 lb total)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 12 ounces dried egg noodles
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing dish
  • 1 (1 lb) container sour cream
  • 1 (1 lb) container small curd cottage cheese (4% fat)
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.
  2. Generously grease a 3 ½ quart shallow (2 inch deep) baking dish with some butter.
  3. Peel apples, halve, and core. Cut each half into thirds, then thinly slice crosswise.
  4. Combine sugar and fennel seed in a food processor. Run machine until fennel breaks down (it won’t be finely ground, but break most of the fennel into pieces and infuse the sugar). Measure out 2 tablespoons and set aside. Leave remaining sugar in machine.
  5. Bring a 5 to 6 quart pot of water to a boil.
  6. Measure out 1 cup boiling water and combine with raisins. Let steep.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to pot, then cook noodles until al dente. Drain in a colander, then return to warm pot and add 3 tablespoons of the butter, tossing until noodles are coated.
  8. Combine sour cream, cottage cheese, milk eggs, vanilla, zest and salt in food processor with fennel sugar.
  9. Process until smooth.
  10. Add to pot with noodles.
  11. Drain raisins (discard water), then stir in sour cream mixture , raisins, and apples with noodles until combined.
  12. Transfer to buttered dish. Dot top with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with reserved fennel sugar.
  13. Cover dish with foil and bake until kugel is beginning to set but still slightly jiggly in center, 45 minutes to 1 hour hour.
  14. Remove foil and continue to bake until top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Originally Posted in “Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

We’re still swooning over the house cured Alaskan salmon we enjoyed at Moss Cafe in Riverdale, NY a couple of weeks ago (watch for the resto review coming soon). So we think it’s high time we provide you with Chef Jonathan Mendez‘s easy recipe just on time for you to serve it at your break fast after Yom Kippur.

Or just stash it away for the next time you want to make something to really wow your family and guests.

Be sure to plan ahead as you need to make this 48 hours in advance to allow this salmon to cure.

Moss Cafe is a farm to table, kosher, dairy restaurant in Riverdale, NY. They have seasonal catering menus available at this time. Not up for curing your own salmon? You can order it from Moss, along with plenty of other inventive salads and house made sweet treats.  Click here to see what they are up to.

Cured Gravlax

Making your own cured salmon at home is super easy! Be sure to allow 48 for the salmon to cure.

This recipe is courtesy of Chef Jonathan Mendez of Moss Cafe, Riverdale, NY

This recipe is pareve (fish)


  • 2 lbs salmon, skin on, pin bones removed (preferably sockeye)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Fresh dill


  1. Zest the lemon directly into the sugar, this preserves the aromatic oils in the zest.
  2. Combine the lemon sugar with the salt and liberally season the flesh and skin of the fish with this curing mixture.
  3. Place fish flesh side down in a non-reactive container, and cover with an air-tight seal.The curing mixture will dissolve into a brine.
  4. Cure in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours
  5. Rinse the cure off with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Place a lot of fresh dill (you can substitute dry if fresh isn't available) on the flesh of the fish.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap, and place in a container.
  8. Place something heavy (10+ lbs) on top of fish in order to compress the flesh overnight in refridgerator.


You'll need a 10 pound weight to compress the fish as it's curing. Use lots of cans of beans or a tall stack of books.

Be sure to have a VERY sharp knife ready to carve into paper thin slices before serving.


Originally Posted in “How to Cure Salmon at Home