photo 1

Marcia Selden Catering

The farmers markets are finally open, fresh spring herbs and bright green vegetables abound.  There’s no better time to take out your patio furniture and invite a few friends for cocktails and a few nibbles.  Here are our favorite dips, using fresh herbs from your local farm.  Buy whatever fresh vegetables they have that day and make a mouth-watering crudité platter.  These dips travel beautifully, and can go to the beach for a sunset picnic.

Greek Herbed Feta Dip

This dairy dip was shared by Marcia Selden Catering.

Ingredients

  • 2 C. feta
  • ½ C. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ C. finely chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ C. finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. Sumac
  • 1 Tbs. Zatar spice
  • 1 Tbs. lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Blend feta and a splash of water in a food processor.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in parsley, basil, mint, and chopped dill; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle with oil and top with dill sprigs.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/dips-from-the-garden

Farm Fresh Veggie Dip

This dairy recipe was shared by Marcia Selden Catering.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 C. Greek yogurt
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh chervil, minced
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, scallions, parsley, chervil, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend.
  2. Serve at room temperature.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/dips-from-the-garden

Green Goddess Dip

This dairy recipe was shared by Marcia Selden Catering

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. White wine vinegar
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Ripe Avocado, seeded and removed from shell
  • ½ C. Sour cream
  • ¼ C. Flat leaf parsley
  • ½ C. Basil leaves
  • 3 T. Fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ C. Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper.
  3. Pulse until all ingredients are well combined. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to let the flavors develop.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/dips-from-the-garden

Liz’s note: for spices like sumac and zatar check out the spice sources listed in my previous post here. 

Originally Posted in “Dips from the Garden

Mom's Day

With Mom’s Day fast approaching the time is ripe to focus on simple and healthy spring salads. Local produce is finally appearing at farmers’ markets with earliest spring crops, asparagus, rhubarb and kale, leading the pack. For this tasty and nutritious Quinoa and Kale Salad we are highlighting a load of fresh green herbs and Lacinato kale.

ingredients in place-best

This salad requires little more than chopping and tossing. It’s a one pot, one bowl wonder, loaded with protein and rich with vitamins. There are no special skills required for this one. Dads, teens, friends who may not be whizzes in the kitchen: this one’s for you.

Treat your Mom (wife, sister, friend). She’ll appreciate knowing that you made the effort to whip up something homemade (no obligation to tell her how easy it was).

Chopped kale tossed into warm quinoa softens it just enough.

Chopped kale tossed into warm quinoa softens it just enough.

Thank you, Cecily Gans, for this easy and nutritious salad.

Cecily is a well known chef and foods educator, certified holistic health counselor and executive chef/owner of The Main Course Catering in Fairfield, CT. She has taught Culinary Arts at Staples High School in Westport, CT for almost 15 years and developed the curriculum for that program. Cecily is available for private and group cooking classes. Contact her directly at zenjava@hotmail.com.

Quinoa & Kale Salad

6-8 servings

Quinoa & Kale Salad

This simple, delicious and highly nutritious composition highlights kale, quinoa and a load of aromatic green herbs. The chopped kale is stirred into hot quinoa, wilting it just enough to tenderize it while all vitamins remain in the bowl.

This salad is dairy.

Thank you, Cecily Gans, for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped Lacinato kale
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved, optional
  • ¼ cup diced shallot
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup combined chopped parsley, dill & scallions

Instructions

  1. If necessary, rinse the quinoa under cold water.
  2. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork and fold in the raw, chopped kale. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  5. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, shallot and feta cheese.
  6. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and herbs in a small bowl.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and stir until mixed well.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/spring-into-celebrating-mom-with-quinoa-kale

 

NY SHUK creators Ron and Leetal Arazi. Photo: Eunice Choi

NY SHUK creators Ron and Leetal Arazi. Photo: Eunice Choi

Hankering for those complex Middle Eastern flavors? NY SHUK has created three jarred condiments that may end your search for those nuanced flavors that are difficult to achieve on your own.

Ron and Leetal Arazi’s harissa, tanzeya, and L’ekama, from their NY SHUK pantry, are so authentically Middle Eastern, so delicious, so flexible, that you may soon find yourselves counting on them as staples in your kitchen.  And they make it easy to be creative by posting a wide array of recipes on their website for inspirations.

klm_nyshuk_pantry

If NY SHUK looks familiar to you it’s because I’ve often posted about their cooking classes and events in my Side Dish column. They are unique in a myriad of ways, including their expertise in hand rolling cous cous, an old world culinary treasure they brought with them from Israel via their experiences in their parents’ home kitchens. Leetal is the pastry chef, food stylist and photographer. Ron is the chef with training from culinary school and through his cooking in Israel, France and NYC.

Ron’s parents came to Israel from Lebanon and Morocco and Leetal grew up loving her Turkish grandmother’s cooking. Creating dishes that are deeply rooted in North African cooking was a natural for them.

They teach the art of hand rolling cous cous at various spots in NYC and Brooklyn and spent a couple of long seasons pleasing noshers at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg.

photo: Celine Choi

photo: Celine Choi

If you’re lucky enough to find a class with them, it promises to be a fascinating and delicious experience. I’ll keep you posted. For now, they have taken a hiatus from Smorgasburg and are fully focused on their products.

Here’s what’s in the shuk at this time.

Harissa- a garlicky chile paste often used in North African cooking, especially in Morocco. It can range from medium to spicy depending on the blend of chiles used. Coriander lends a subtle flavor. NY SHUK’s harrisa is coarsely textured, unlike some of the runny jarred versions on the American market. It’s not overwhelmingly hot;  I loved the subtle acidity from vinegar. Do I taste sweetness, too?

Swirl into lentil or  chickpea soup or stew, use as a rub on meat or chicken or mix into eggplant. In Israel, harissa is never far from falafel.

KLMTuna Salad With Harissa & Cure Lemon

Ready for a twist on same old tuna salad? NY SHUK mixes their tuna with harissa and chopped cured lemons. YUP.

L’ekama- literally means “spice mixture” and this one is a grand combination of 14 toasted spices, infused with garlic and chiles and preserved in olive oil.

KLMRoasted Eggplant Salad

Forget mayo or tehini as a mix in for this eggplant salad. Four tablespoons of L’ekama and equal parts EVOO will rock your summer eggplant in a whole new way.

KLMTanzeya, Caramelized Onions And Pistachios Over White Rice

 

And finally, there’s the sweetie called Tanzeya, a dried fruit medley of figs, raisin and apricots slow stewed with sugar and spices. It can lean sweet, paired with yogurt and granola or savory served over rice with caramelized onions and pistachios.

Shop the NY SHUK Pantry on their beautiful website and enjoy their super creative serving suggestions and easy recipes.

Coming up, they’ll be sharing hand rolled cous cous and tastes of their products at Lior Lev Sercarz’s spice lab/shop, La Boite, on May 16 from 3-7.  Click here for more info.

Kosher Note:  At this time, NY SHUK products do not have a kosher certification but all of their ingredients are kosher. The process for acquiring a kosher cert is expensive and complicated, which makes it very difficult for start-ups of this size. Their intention is to obtain a kosher cert in the near future.

Thank you to Ron and Leetal, who have responded to my many notes and inquiries over the last year or so. All photos are by Leetal Arazi unless other wise noted. They are copyrighted NYSHUK.

When Leetal offered so many recipes for me to share, it was a tough call. I landed on this bright and spicy Potato Salad to help you with your yearning for a non-mayo version as the summer heat approaches. This one is perfect for the outdoor buffet in the heat of those dog days.

Moroccan Potato Salad

4-6 servings

Moroccan Potato Salad

This potato salad is great addition to any party, especially as a side dish for a BBQ meal. This recipe calls for HARISSA from NY SHUK's Pantry.

This potato salad is pareve, non-dairy and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium size peeled boiled potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Harissa
  • 2 tbsp. lemon
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • garnish:
  • ½ cup chopped black Moroccan olive
  • Handful chopped parsley/coriander

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces.
  2. Mix well the Harissa, lemon, oil, water and salt.
  3. toss mixture together with the potatoes.(Mix carefully so the potatoes keep their shape).
  4. Sprinkle the olives and herbs on top before serving.

Notes

Note from Leetal:

Make sure to use cured black Moroccan olives; they are more salty and work great with the potatoes.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/find-middle-eastern-spices-in-this-ny-shuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minty Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote

Minty Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote

Katy Morris

Fruit or Veggie? When considering rhubarb most of us think of it a fruit. After all, we generally enjoy rhubarb in sweet dishes like pies, tarts, and cobblers.  Low and behold, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable – right there with celery, fennel, and asparagus.

And it’s time to welcome it as one of the earliest vegetables of the spring season. Don’t let your lack of familiarity with these stalks prevent you from exploring its many uses!

rhubarb stalks

What does rhubarb taste like?

Most people think that rhubarb is sweet on its own, but when eaten raw, it actually taste quite tart and “watery” like celery. That’s why most people combine rhubarb with sugar and other natural sweeteners, like strawberries, the perfect compliment.

Dark red stalks tend to have more flavor than lighter ones, and those with smaller stalks are more tender than larger ones.

Watch out for the leaves and don’t EVER eat them, as they contain a high amount of toxic poison called oxalic acid crystals that can result in some serious repercussions. When preparing rhubarb, simply cut them off and discard.

 

rhubarb leaves = POISON!

rhubarb leaves = POISON!

What should I look for when choosing rhubarb?

Chose shiny, firm, crisp, dark, red stalks. The deep red color indicates its tartness, and dark green, blemish-free leaves are the best. Note that the variation in color does not indicate whether it is ripe or not; instead, simply look at the size as your indicator. Ripe stalks will be about 1-2 inches thick.

 

How much should I buy?

A good rule of thumb is that to get about 3 cups of sliced, uncooked rhubarb, you must buy at least a pound.

 

What about storage?

Rhubarb tend to perish quickly, so either use it right away, or store the stalks in a sealed plastic bag in your fridge’s veggie drawer where they should be okay for 4-5 days. Be sure to get rid of the leaves but keep the stalks in tact so they can better retain their moisture.

If you want to freeze your rhubarb, slice the stalks into chunks and put in an airtight bag. Stored this way, they can last for months.

 

What about prep?

IMG_3341

First, trim off the leaves and toss them. If you have found ripe, mature rhubarb where the diameter is greater that 1 inch, it’s easiest to slice them lengthwise in half.

If you get them from the farmer’s market, you may have to pull the fibrous strings off too. Wash thoroughly. If you are going to be making a stew or sauce, 1-inch slices should be good, but recipes for pies and tarts usually call for smaller pieces.

 

How do I cook it?

Although we all think of strawberry and rhubarb as the ultimate duo, there are many other ways to cook, pair, and enjoy rhubarb. You can make great jams with it and add in some ginger for a more dynamic flavor profile. Rhubarb is also great in savory dishes, and can be stewed (about 10 minutes), roasted (20 or so minutes), or pureed and paired with fish or in stews. The flavor of rhubarb becomes sweeter the more you cook it.

See Kosher Like Me’s Facebook page for the simple and scrumptious Minty Strawberry Rhubarb Compote shown above. Does it remind you of a compote your grandmother used to simmer? When Liz made it for her family it disappeared in one sitting. Nuf said.

 

Tip: When stewing, don’t use iron, aluminum or copper saucepans because the reaction with rhubarb can result in stained pans, and it will turn the rhubarb brown. Go with cast iron or non-stick to be safe.

 

Keep in mind that when rhubarb is cooked, its juice becomes thick and its fibers fray off, so when making rhubarb chutneys or jams, you have to cook it for a long time. If you cook it for a shorter time, it will retain its cohesiveness.

 

Rhubarb Recap:

Family: Part of the genus Rheum in the plant family, Polygonaceae, herbaceous perennial plants

Peak season: Late April through July

Nutrition info: Low in fat & calories, high in fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and potassium

What to look for: Firm, fat, and vibrant.

Important to know: The leaves contain poison! Do not eat them!

Storage: 3 days in a plastic bag in the fridge

Cooking: Both savory AND sweet dishes! Check out a suggestion below…

rhubarb- chopped

Thank you, Louisa Shafia, for your tantalizing recipe for Rhubarb and Rose Water Sorbet with Rice Noodles. Find more Persian recipes in Shafia’s recently released and VERY beautiful book The New Persian Kitchen.

Note from Liz:  This book is not kosher but it has plenty of vegetarian and easily adaptable, kosher friendly recipes within. I’m so crazy about it that as soon as I received my copy from Amazon, I promptly bought a second to give as a gift.

Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Food Photography credit: Sara Remington © 2013

Rhubarb and Rose Water Sorbet with Rice Noodles

6-8 servings

Rhubarb and Rose Water Sorbet with Rice Noodles

Recipe,notes and photo courtesy of Louisa Shafia, THE NEW PERSIAN KITCHEN, 2013

faloodeh

On the streets of Tehran you’ll find food vendors selling dishes of chewy frozen vermicelli suspended in an icy white sherbet with a perfumed scent. This whimsical treat is called faloodeh, and is one of the earliest known frozen desserts, dating as far back as 400 BCE. Faloodeh is typically white, but this version is colored bright pink by a compote of rhubarb. A drizzle of something tart, like sour cherry syrup or lime juice, brings this dessert vividly to life.

This recipe is vegan and pareve (non-dairy)

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 1 pound rhubarb stalks, preferably red, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 11/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra for garnish
  • Crushed pistachios, for garnish
  • Sour cherry syrup for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the vermicelli in a bowl. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and pour over the vermicelli. Soak for 4 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut the vermicelli into 1-inch lengths.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb with the water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft. Let cool completely.
  3. Pour the rhubarb into a blender. Add the rose water and lime juice and blend until smooth. Stir the vermicelli and rhubarb together in a large bowl. Pour into a shallow bak¬ing dish and freeze, uncovered.
  4. Rake the faloodeh with a fork after 2 hours to prevent it from freezing into a solid mass. Freeze and stir again after 2 hours. Repeat after another 2 hours, if necessary. The faloodeh will have a malleable consistency, somewhere between ice cream and sorbet, within 4 to 6 hours. Scoop it into serving bowls and top with pistachios and lime juice. Drizzle with sour cherry syrup, if desired. The faloodeh tastes best within 24 hours of being made.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Food Photography credit: Sara Remington © 2013

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/seasonal-snippet-remarkable-rhubarb

Originally Posted in “Seasonal Snippet: Remarkable Rhubarb

IMG_2969

I’m not interested in fooling our dinner guests into thinking I’ve slaved for days to cook for them. But I am interested in easy techniques that yield delicious results and even a little drama on the plate.

I should have learned this easy technique for cooking fish eons ago. The truth is that I  didn’t learn it until I took a cooking class in my hometown in CT a few weeks back   The theme was Deceptively Easy Recipes for Entertaining.

IMG_2959

When I saw Salmon en Papillote on the menu I was super psyched. This easy technique is virtually fool-proof, yielding moist, flavor rich results each time. Bring the neatly wrapped packages of salmon to your spring table and utter VOILA as you slowly unwrap them and the savory aromas permeate the air.

IMG_2905

Do you love a great cooking class? We’re posting an exciting spring/early summer schedule of kosher, kosher-friendly and vegetarian cooking classes this week.  You’ll want to  save that post for reference.

L-R Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald

L-R Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald

Thank you Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald for sharing this recipe. Check out their impressive bios after this recipe.

If you are interested in organizing a hands on cooking class with Melissa and Marisa, contact melissarose212@gmail.com

Salmon en Papillote

4 servings

 Salmon en Papillote

Papillote means balloon in French. The steam created inside a tightly wrapped package of ingredients bound in parchment paper puffs and expands--like a balloon! This is a healthy, impressive-looking, but simple technique that can be used in everyday cooking.

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy).

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 ½ lb) piece center cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 equal sized pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed well to remove any grit, then very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 ounces (about 4 large) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (1 to 2” long) thyme sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons dry white wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 400F with rack in middle.
  2. Place a piece of salmon in the center of a parchment piece.
  3. Arrange vegetables around fish and season with some (about ¼ teaspoon each) salt and pepper.
  4. Top each fillet with a thyme sprig and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Drizzle 1 teaspoon each olive oil and wine over fish.
  5. Fold parchment over fish and vegetables to make a triangle. Beginning with one corner (not the pointed end), gather and crimp paper tightly around fish, twisting the end to tighten package securely.
  6. Place packages directly on a large (4 sided) baking sheet in oven and roast 12 minutes.
  7. To serve, place each package on a plate and use scissors to open. Serve immediately.

Notes

Equipment: 4 (15”) squares parchment paper

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/elegant-and-easy-salmon-en-papillote

About the instructors:

Melissa Roberts was a food editor for Gourmet for 9 years, developing and writing recipes for the magazine before its closing in 2009.  Pre-Gourmet, she was a cook and stylist in the Food Network’s kitchen. A Westport transplant by way of New York City and the mom of two boys, she is now a  freelance writer, recipe developer and tester for magazines and websites, including gourmet.com, Kosher Like Me, ctbites, The Fairfield Green Food Guide, Bon Appetit, Real Simple, Fine Cooking, and Health.

Marisa Mcdonald graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2007 with diplomas in Culinary Arts and Culinary Management.  She went on to work for the event planning and catering divisions of The Cleaver Company, located in NYC, until moving to Westport in 2010.  On her own she has catered everything from a wedding for 100 to a dinner party for 6.  Her biggest challenge is coming up with new and interesting dishes to feed her husband and 3 hungry boys each night.

Originally Posted in “Elegant and Easy Salmon en Papillote

washed and prepped

Katy Morris

April showers bring May flowers and asparagus! While local farmers are gearing up for their spring harvest, we found one veg that is in peak season now…Green Asparagus.

Eaten raw, stir-fried, boiled, or steamed, as a side, in salads or soups, this versatile, tender veggie of the Lily Family has been highly prized for centuries. It is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant nutrients, provides digestive support, and is delicious.

What’s not to love?

How does it grow?

stalks in the field

Asparagus is a “perennial” vegetable, which means that it can live for several years without having to be replanted  (most other veggies must be planted each year). Starting from the root of the asparagus, stems grow upward underground until they develop into spears and emerge through the soil – this is when they are harvested.

seedling

It takes almost three years from the time the seed is planted to the first harvest of the stalks!

Did you know that the asparagus plant has a gender? That’s right, it can be either male or female; the female ones produce seeds (which makes their stalks smaller), and the males are larger and tend to be more desirable at harvest.

asparagus picked

When is the prime time for asparagus?

Now! Although you can get it all year round in most places, early spring is the really the best time to get the highest quality stalks.

 

What should I look for when buying them?

You want green asparagus stalks that are firm, straight, relatively thick, smooth, and of a vibrant green color. Be sure the tips are closed. Stay away from stalks that have a dull, light color and look limp. If you are cooking them all at once, it’s wise to choose stalks of the same size so you will have some uniformity when cooking.

tips (1)

OK, I bought some beautiful local asparagus. How should I store them?

Green asparagus shouldn’t be stored for too long; we recommend cooking them soon after buying. If you must store them, you want to make sure they get enough moisture, so try wrapping them in a wet paper towel  (closer to the end of the stalk) and seal in a zip lock bag. Stored this way they should stay fresh for about 3 days.

 

What about cleaning?

Before cooking, rinse the stalk and especially the spears under cool water to get rid of any remaining dirt or bugs that might be stuck. You may snip off the bottom inch of the stalk and use the rest as you wish (whole, diced, sliced, etc.) depending on the recipe. Note that if you have asparagus that has a tough outer skin, you may opt to peel away the coat with a vegetable peeler, but this is not necessary.

 

What’s the best way to cook them?

There are many ways to cook them. Try coating them in olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and pepper and roast in the oven…super simple and delish. Adding a pinch of parmesan cheese on it is also great.

You may also use the spears alone in salads, or poach them, use them as a side for a fish dinner or even with eggs for a perfect brunch.

Check out below for another one of our favorite recipes using green asparagus.

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OK, I have to ask. Why does my “you know what” smell after eating asparagus?

Don’t worry, we were wondering the same thing. This doesn’t happen with everyone, but if you do experience this, you aren’t alone. Scientists say that this happens because the sulfurous amino acids from the asparagus break down into different sulfur-containing components that often, well, smell bad.

Let us know where you are finding local asparagus and how you like to prepare them. We want to know!

Makura owner, Orna took us on a walk through her farm. Here she shows us how pomegranates grow.

Makura owner, Orna took us on a walk through her farm. Here she shows us how pomegranates grow.

Liz’s note:

I was in Israel for Passover last week and began my quest for asparagus soon after arriving in the Haifa area.  We decided to visit a small olive oil producer named Makura, where we met the farmers and bought some beautiful ceramics from Orna, the owner (along with husband, Guy),  last year. Somehow, Orna has a little spare time to throw bowls after tending to the acres and acres of olive trees (some from the Roman era), grapes, oranges, persimmon, lychee and avocados.

ceramics and edibles in Kerem Maharal

ceramics and edibles in Kerem Maharal

Makura did not have asparagus but Orna made a quick phone call to her friend Anat Avitar, who has been growing many acres of asparagus in the next village, Kerem Maharal, for more than 20 years. We visited with Anat the next day, and after seeing rows and rows of seedlings next to her ceramic studio, we drove out to the sunny fields which were brimming with acres of feathery foliage of the asparagus plants.

in the field

Not only did Anat share fascinating facts about asparagus but she is ALSO a talented and prolific ceramicist. Next time, I’m bringing an extra suitcase and plenty of bubble wrap!

photo

 

 

Asparagus with Anchovies and Lemon Dressing

6-8 servings

Asparagus with Anchovies and Lemon Dressing

Before you snub anchovies, you should know that when chopped and dissolved in a little olive oil, they add a depth of flavor and a piquant boost with no discernible trace of the source.

When you taste deeply delicious Mediterranean cooking, and Italian dishes in particular, anchovies are often the secret ingredient. Just try….

This recipe is pareve.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds asparagus, rinsed and patted dry.
  • 4 Tb. olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 2 ounce tin of anchovies, rinsed in cold water, patted dry and chopped into a paste*
  • 4 Tb. Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cut off only the white ends of asparagus stalks (about 1 inch). Lay the asparagus on a cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, shave with a very light hand, mid-way up each stalk.
  2. Place asparagus in a pot that is large enough to contain the asparagus, lengthwise.
  3. Cover with just enough water to submerge the stalks, add salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. They should be crisp and slightly undercooked.
  5. Drain asparagus in colander and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking.
  6. In the same pan, add olive oil and anchovy paste. Simmer slowly, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve in oil.
  7. Pat asparagus dry and return them to the pan with tips all facing in one direction.
  8. Add parsley and lemon juice and turn once or twice, with tongs, so that asparagus are coated in the dressing.
  9. Remove from pan and place on platter. Drizzle with juices from pan and decorate with lemon wedges.

Notes

*Some canned anchovies have tiny tails and backbones. Simply remove them before you chop. Asparagus may be served warm or at room temperature. Leftovers would be great in an omelet or tossed into scrambled eggs. Alternatively, cut the stalks into one inch pieces and add to any green salad.

This recipe is from my collaborative eBook, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover".

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/seasonal-snippet-asparagus

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted in “Seasonal Snippet: Asparagus

Quinoa Asparagus Salad

It’s an all recipe week here at Kosher Like Me, with Passover in full swing and the local farms starting to sprout.

Asparagus and radishes are among the earliest spring veggies and welcome harbingers of the abundance to come. Watch for our Seasonal Snippets ALL about asparagus next week.

Quinoa is a delicious and highly nutritious seed that behaves like a whole grain. It’s fluffy texture and slightly nutty flavor makes it a welcome addition to our Pesach table. It is a “perfect protein” in that it contains all 9 essential amino acids, resulting in a perfect choice for vegetarians.

 Need more reasons to love quinoa? It is gluten-free and super easy to make, too.

Find this recipe and 50 plus more kosher for Passover inspirations in “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors“. Click here to buy.

 

Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables and Buttermilk Dressing

4-6 servings

This recipe is from my collaborative Passover eBook, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover".

This salad is kosher for Passover, dairy, vegetarian

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound asparagus, rinsed, patted dry and ends trimmed
  • 6 radishes, washed, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 Tb. toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Buttermilk Dressing
  • 2 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 6 Tb. buttermilk

Instructions

    Salad
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer and combine with water in pan on stovetop. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
  2. Simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Stir once, uncover and set aside to cool.
  3. Steam asparagus until just barely tender- 2-3 minutes.
  4. Plunge into ice bath to stop them from cooking. Pat dry and cut on the diagonal, into ½ pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and all other ingredients. Toss gently and set aside while you make the dressing.
  6. Dressing
  7. Place all ingredients in a mini-processor, Magic Bullet or whisk quickly by hand. Dressing should be creamy. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  8. Combine
  9. Dress salad when ready to serve. Drizzle with extra olive oil if you prefer it more moist.

Notes

Prep Ahead: This salad will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. The quinoa benefits from more time with this creamy buttermilk dressing.

Take To Go: This salad tastes better at room temperature, making it a great one to pack for easy lunches or day trips.

http://kosherlikeme.com/celebrations/quinoa-salad-with-spring-vegetables

Originally Posted in “Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables

Orange and Fennel Salad

I’m guessing it’s time for fruit and something much lighter than the fare you’ve been eating at your Seders.

I’m keeping it fresh and simple with this Orange and Fennel Salad from our Passover eBook, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover. This vegan, pareve, gluten-free salad is so easy to make and so refreshing, you’ll want to make it all year round.

Orange and Fennel Salad

4 servings

This simple salad is a great palate cleanser. Use the juiciest oranges you can find (really great with winter citrus).

This recipe is vegan, pareve, gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 large oranges, peeled, pith removed, separated into slices.
  • 1 fennel bulb, rinsed bruises trimmed
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, spun and chopped
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro or mint leaves, rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 Tb. olive oil (best quality)
  • 1-2 Tb. lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut each orange slice in half and place in mixing bowl.
  2. Cut fennel bulb in half and remove hard inner core. Slice into thin strips and add to salad bowl. Add red onion.
  3. Toss with olive oil, lime juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread Romaine leaves on a platter and top with salad mixture.

Notes

Garnish with thinly sliced red onions and chopped cilantro or mint leaves.

http://kosherlikeme.com/celebrations/lighten-up-with-fruit-in-your-salad

 

Originally Posted in “Lighten Up with Fruit in Your Salad

IMG_9248

In collaborating on my recent eBook, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors, I thought a lot about how my tastes have shifted over the years and how in some ways, they haven’t at all.

During Passover, a lot of home-cooks turn back to traditional foods that may be outside of the scope of what they normally eat. This naturally brought me to contemplating gefilte fish.  And while I LOVE my gefilte fish, I’m totally  DIS-interested in making it. The stink of simmering fish broth in my home? No thanks.

As an easy alternative,  I took a close friend’s suggestion to slow roast salmon and pair it with a seasonal veggie relish.

Beet Relish

Not wanting to stray too far from traditional horseradish, I landed on this idea for Beet Relish as a an accompaniment to SC’s inspired and super easy (and not so slow) Slow Roasted Salmon Filets.  This will make a lovely start to your Passover seder or a perfectly healthy appetizer or light entree at any other time.

If you’re up for the challenge of making traditional gefilte fish, check out this recipe from 2nd Avenue Deli in NYC (scroll to the end of that post).  If you take on the big challenge, PLEASE share pics and tales with me on my Facebook page or in the comments section at the end of this post.

If you want to buy the BEST artisanal, all natural, super delicious gefilte fish, I recommend any and all products from the Gefilteria, made in small batches by the dynamic duo Liz Alper and Jeffrey Yoskowitz and their team in Brooklyn.  Click here to read more about them and click here to see where you may purchase their products.

final cover

If you’re like me and ready to re-think your fish course at the Passover table, check out these two recipes from our Passover eBook. In the time it takes you to consider heading over to your local fishmonger, you can download it on Amazon here.

Slow Roasted Salmon

serves 8 as a first course

Slow Roasted Salmon

I asked a close friend and very creative cook if he serves gefilte fish on Pesach. He said that once he served this slow roasted salmon as a first course, his guests always asked for it, year after year.

When I tested it on my family, they loved it, too. While there will always be a place for homemade gefilte fish in my heart, I would gladly opt for this buttery fish as a first course.

This recipe is non-dairy, Pareve

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skin on, cut into 8 equal pieces for first course portion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tb. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 Tb. fennel fronds, chopped (or parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 225F.
  2. Line a roasting pan with foil.
  3. Place each piece of fish in a small bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper
  4. Coat top and bottom of each fillet with oil mixture. Place in roasting pan and top with equal amounts of fresh herbs.
  5. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until a fork pierces the fish without resistance.

Notes

Watch the cooking time closely here. I like the fish cooked medium, but you may want it closer to rare.

Tips: This salmon may be served warm or at room temperature. You may make it ahead (up to 2 days) and serve it at room temp.

Thank you Scott, for sharing your inspiration with me.

http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/slow-roasted-salmon-as-a-first-course-alternative

Roasted Beet Relish

Roasted Beet Relish

Serve relish alongside the slow roasted salmon with an additional bowl on the table for extra helpings.

It's herbal profile is the perfect accompaniment to the rich salmon flavors.

This recipe is non-dairy, pareve and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 7-8 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed (not peeled)
  • 1 ½ cups red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained well
  • 3 Tb. jarred white horseradish
  • 3 Tb. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tb. fennel fronds, chopped
  • 3 Tb. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 Tb. white wine vinegar (start with 2 Tb)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Wrap beets individually in silver foil, twisting ends of foil.
  3. Place on rimmed cookie sheet and roast for 1-11/2 hours or until they yield to a fork. Remove from oven.
  4. Unwrap beets when they are cool enough to handle. With a pairing knife or your hands, slip off the peel. Cut into chunks.
  5. Place beets, red onion, capers, horseradish, parsley and dill in the bowl of food processor. Using chopping blade, pulse until combined. Do not puree. Texture should be chunky.
  6. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and combine with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Allow to sit for at least one hour and up to 3 days before serving. Taste again before serving.
http://kosherlikeme.com/recipes/slow-roasted-salmon-as-a-first-course-alternative

 

Originally Posted in “Re-Thinking the Fish Course for Passover

KM- grilled halibut red coconut curry wilted spinach

My eyes swam through the menu, reeling with delight. Oh, what to choose?

The arugula & pear salad? Mini fish tacos? Risotto cake? Oh wait – the gluten free ravioli? Or the grilled cod?

F.I.S.H Restaurant & Bar located in the heart of downtown Stamford, CT, has an impressive selection of kosher-friendly fish and vegetarian options. They serve them in a chic and inviting atmosphere. The biggest challenge was choosing what to order, given the diverse and tantalizing temptations.

High hopes reigned supreme for this fresh fish restaurant considering that the owners have been at the helm of the long popular Quattro Pazzi and Osianna restaurants in Fairfield, CT. 

“What we are trying to do here at F.I.S.H is bring Stamford high quality fish with multiple options of preparations to satisfy the wide range of palates we have in our community,” says Chef Domenico Gurliacci IV.” And boy, did they get this spot on.

KM -shaved brussels

After a few minutes of deliberation I opted for the shaved brussels sprouts salad, lightly dressed with a truffle vinaigrette. It was delicious ,with hazelnuts lending a satisfying richness and crunch.

The portobello risotto cake was also a winner. The fontina cheese was complemented nicely by the earthiness of the portobello mushrooms (check out the recipe below).

KM- Tuna carpaccio over flatbread

The beautifully presented tuna carpaccio appetizer is a great light meal or to would be the perfect share with a friend. Served on flatbread, it was lightly dressed with soy sauce and sesame seeds.  If only the  flatbread had been crsip; in fact it was soft and a little wet due to the moist tuna; nonetheless, it was tasty. The pickled ginger and scallions lent a little welcome spice.

I was pleased to learn that they source the majority of their fish from Fulton Fish Market, where the Chef & owner visit regularly to ensure they know exactly where their products are coming from and that they are the best quality.

 

photo courtesy of F-I-S-H

photo courtesy of F-I-S-H

“Our other seafood supplier deals directly with fisherman and we receive a phone call in the afternoon as the boats are heading back in for the day, alerting us of what the catch was so we can have first pick before it hits auction,” clarified Chef Domenico.

For the main dish I chose the halibut, which I requested grilled, with a red coconut curry sauce and wilted spinach (one of several options for preparation). This was extremely well balanced and full of flavor. The red coconut curry had a bit of heat (yet not overwhelming so) and was more of a broth than a thick curry sauce.

With plenty of kosher friendly fish options and lots of cooking/flavor choices in addition to delicious sides and salads, I’ll call this one “not to be missed.”

 

F.I.S.H is a not-to-miss.

25 Bedford St. Stamford, CT

203-724-9300

Tuesday – Thursday from 4pm – 1am, Friday & Saturday from 4pm – 2am, and Sunday from 4pm – midnight.

 

Thank you to Chef Domenico Gurliacci IV for the below recipe.

Portobello Risotto Cakes

10-12 risotto cakes

Portobello Risotto Cakes

This recipe was generously shared by Chef at F-I-S-H Restaurant in Stamford, CT.

This recipe would make the perfect side dish for any fish preparation.

It is DAIRY.

Ingredients

    Risotto Cake
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable stock (you may not need all)
  • 1lb Arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1 shallot or Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fontina cheese
  • flour for dredging
  • Light Truffle Vinaigrette
  • 3oz cava or champagne vinegar
  • 3oz white truffle oil
  • 4oz extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Topping
  • 6-8 Brussels sprouts (shaved thin)
  • 6-8 Portobello mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Heat stock on stove
  2. In a separate pan add the olive oil and saute shallot until soft and translucent.
  3. Add rice to same pan and gently toast while constantly stirring.
  4. Add wine then just enough stock to cover the rice.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and continue to stir adding more stock as it evaporates.
  6. Continue this process until rice is fully cooked but still slightly moist.
  7. Add shredded fontina and mix well.
  8. Place in baking pan, set aside and allow to cool completely.
  9. With a metal ring or cookie cutter, cut out cakes and dredge lightly with flour.
  10. Pan fry in about a 1/2 inch of oil until golden brown.
  11. Vinaigrette
  12. Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
  13. Roast mushrooms
  14. Roast mushrooms with a small amount of oil, salt and pepper in a 350 degree oven for about 8-10 mins.Toss once.
  15. Allow to cool, then dice mushrooms.
  16. In a small bowl toss Brussels sprouts and diced portobellos with vinaigrette and arrange on top of risotto cake.

Notes

These risotto cakes are best made fresh and served immediately. They can be reheated in a hot oven, on a foil covered cookie sheet, though.

http://kosherlikeme.com/on-the-road/fresh-fish-and-more-at-f-i-s-h

 

Originally Posted in “Fresh Fish and More at F-I-S-H