White Bean Spread with Garlic scopes

I like to throw a couple of cloves of raw garlic into my homemade hummus but when I spotted these curly green beauties I figured garlic scapes might be even better. They are milder and more nuanced than garlic . And their bright grassy color and flavor tinges this twist white bean spread (aka hummus) just enough that your friends will wonder what’s going on.

I chose to use cannellini beans here because they blend to a creamy paste and have a slightly nutty flavor. Cannellini  (also called Great Northern Beans or White Kidney Beans) are often used in Mediterranean recipes and are valued for their smooth texture and slightly sweet goodness.  Low in fat and high in fiber and protein, these darlings of traditional Italian minestrone are a perfect sub for the chick peas everyone expects as the hummus base.

And let’s talk about tehina for a sec! I’m committed to Soom Tehina for many reasons, but in the end it’s all about texture and flavor. If you’ve gotten stuck (literally) with your spoon in a messy, oily can of tehina that let you down, look no further. And chocolate lovers, head’s up: Soom now has a chocolate tehina that begs to be played with.

tangled beauties

Can’t wait to hear what you do with garlic scapes. Or hummus. Or Tehina. Do share in your comments below and on facebook. If we aren’t friends there already or if you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, please do! You’ll be happier if you don’t miss anything.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread (Hummus)

8-10 servings as an appetizer

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread (Hummus)

This white bean spread is a perfect low fat, high protein, gluten-free appetizer. Serve it with veggies, fresh whole grain bread or gluten-free crackers like Mary's Gone Crackers brand.

Feel free to substitute chick peas if you prefer.

This appetizer is vegan and pareve.


  • 4 garlic scapes roughly chopped
  • 3 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp.course sea salt or your choice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tb. tehina (sesame paste)
  • 3 Tb. water
  • 2 Tb. good olive oil


  1. In a food processor, process chopped garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper until minced.
  2. Add beans and process until beans are broken up.
  3. With machine running, add tehina, water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Process until smooth and creamy. Taste to adjust with more lemon or salt. Add a bit of water if too thick.


Keep this in the refridge until ready to serve.

Feel free to add a bit of lemon juice or water to loosen it up if it thickens too much for your taste.


Originally Posted in “White Bean and Garlic Scapes Spread


Remember when seedy was a bad thing? When you bite into Mary’s Gone Crackers you know that seeds are good. Very good. Mary’s Original Seed Cracker is loaded with flax seeds and sesame seeds, lending a rich nutty flavor and satisfying crunch to the organic, gluten-free, whole grain brown rice and quinoa base.

I recently watched a friend bite into these delicious crispy darlings and ask wide eyed, “What am I eating?” She was amazed by the crisp texture and nutty flavors.

Mary’s Gone Crackers launched when Mary Waldner was diagnosed with Celiac disease when she was 43 years old. This autoimmune disorder had left her in pain and discomfort her entire life. Characterized by an inability to digest gluten, found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats, Mary immediately stopped eating gluten products and began transforming her life-long passion for baking into a mission to bake gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan and kosher products. She had been a therapist for many years and saw the connection between healing the body with easing the mind.

Mary and her husband left their respective jobs and committed to their vision in 1999. Five years later, with a business plan and initial investors in place, they invested their life saving into launching Mary’s Gone Crackers (which many said she had done). In order to ensure the integrity and safety of their organic, gluten-free, vegan and kosher products, they began baking in their own dedicated facility.

I am not gluten- intolerant but I seek organic and kosher products. When I saw the range of Mary’s products I was impressed. And truth is, I was thrilled when they contacted me to check out the range they’ve developed. I’ve had a blast “working” my way through many of their products and taking notes as I went along. Lucky for me, my family tolerates this mishegas (craziness), which can take up a good deal of time and counter space.


Among my favorites crackers are the Super Seed, the Original and the Onion. While the Original combines flax seed and sesame seeds with organic, gluten-free brown rice and quinoa, the Super Seed combines sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds in a tamari free (soy free) cracker.


The Onion Cracker was distinctly savory and tasted of roasted onions. I got hooked on it by topping it with tuna salad or salmon salad for a quick lunch or snack. With visible flecks of minced onion bits, this cracker is a great, low calorie replacement for the old world onion roll of my youth.

With seven crackers in the Mary’s Gone Crackers line-up it was almost unfair to chose favorites. Check out the varieties for yourself and see which you like best. Don’t forget the spicy Hot and Spicy Jalepeno. I loved it with Trader Joe’s sharp Dijon Mustard and mild Muester cheese with a cool, thin slice of cuke on top.


Mary’s Gone Cookies, too, with four varieties. I’m a true chocoholic and loved the Double Chocolate Cookies. Top ‘em with non-dairy ice cream like the Nada-Moo (profiled here a few weeks back) and you have a simple black and white combo that is the easiest vegan, kosher, pareve dessert without firing up your oven this summer.

In an effort to nibble my way through the load on my kitchen counter, I crumbled a Ginger Snaps Cookie onto my plain yogurt one morning and fell in love. With the explosive taste of ginger waking up mild yogurt, I was thrilled to have a new breakfast treat. And the very moderate amount of sweeteners keep each cookie at about 45 calories.

Mary’s Gone Crackers has a great little recipe section on their site, highlighting how to use their products both in recipes and alongside some easy chutneys and dips. With summer upon us, I thought a snack recipe would be fun to share.



Pack this Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar  in your backpack for long hikes, in camp lunch boxes or wrap it up for the beach.

Be sure to check the handy store locator on the Mary’s Gone Crackers site to find where you can buy this product. And don’t forget to leave comments telling us which of these products is your favorite if you are familiar with them. And if not, which tempts you??

Thank you, Mary’s Gone Crackers, for the sample box sent to my home. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar

35-45 bars depending on how you cut them

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Bar

This delicious recipe for Sweet and Salty Trail Mix bars is made with Mary's Gone Crackers Sea Salt Pretzels.

A uniquely light and crunchy pretzel-snack that’s a healthier alternative to other high-sodium pretzels, these are chock full of exotic whole grains including brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet, as well as tasty and nutritious seeds including flax, sesame and chia seeds. In this recipe, the pretzels are broken into small pieces to provide a crunchy texture and utilize their pure nutty flavors.

This recipe is gluten-free, kosher dairy or pareve depending on your yogurt choice.


  • 1 1/2 cups Mary's Gone Crackers Sea Salt Pretzels, broken into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat greek yogurt (or any plain vegan yogurt)
  • 4 Tbsp. palm oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey (or brown rice syrup, or tapioca syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 pan with an organic nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a double boiler, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and pour evenly into the pan to create a chocolate base.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pretzel pieces, quinoa flakes, cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, brown rice flour, almond flour and yogurt.
  5. Melt palm oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add sunflower seed butter, palm sugar, honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  7. Pour palm mixture into the dry pretzel mixture and stir quickly to thoroughly coat.
  8. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press firmly and evenly.
  9. Bake until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes.
  10. After baking, immediately sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over bars.
  11. Melt remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate and drizzle over bars.
  12. Let the bars cool completely in pan on a wire rack in the refrigerator before cutting into bars.


Store these bars in the refrigerator because yogurt is used.




Originally Posted in “Super Seedy Mary’s Gone Crackers

vietnamese nori roll

Marcia Selden Catering

Gorgeous weather has arrived, the days are longer and it’s time to plan an outdoor party. Here’s the perfect, light and flavorful hors d’oeuvre The best part about this delicious nibble is that it doesn’t require an oven and can be made in advance so all you have to do is grab a Sake-tini, turn up the music and enjoy your friends.

Ingredient note: Nori is the Japanese name for various types of edible seaweed. Crisp, paper thin sheets of nori are sold in packages at Whole Foods Market or on line from Sushi Maven.

Vietnamese Nori Rolls

4 servings


  • 8-10 nori sheets
  • 3 C. finely shredded savoy cabbage
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 3½ oz. cooked soba or cellophane noodles
  • ½ C julienned carrot sticks
  • ½ C. chopped cilantro
  • 1 mango, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 24 mint leaves
  • 24 basil leaves
  • Dipping sauce:
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼C. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 Tbs. soy sauce


  1. Combine dipping sauce in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made 1 day in advance.
  2. Toss cabbage, scallions, shredded carrots, cilantro, mango and cooked noodles in a bowl with sesame oil, shallot, ginger and garlic and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Working with 1 sheet at a time, put cabbage noodle mixture along 1 edge of the nori, leaving a 1” border.
  4. Add a small amount of cucumber, 2 mint leaves and 2 basil leaves to cabbage mixture. Do not overfill the nori sheets.
  5. Starting at the side with the filling, start to roll, enclosing filling.
  6. Repeat process with remaining sheets. Cut each roll on the diagonal into 2 pieces and serve with dipping sauce.
  7. Can be prepared 2 hours in advance.

Favorite Saki-tini

2 servings

Favorite Saki-tini


  • ½ cup each of excellent quality Vodka & Saki
  • 1”piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cucumber, washed and sliced into spears


  1. Muttle 1" piece of ginger into the vodka/saki blend and then remove.
  2. Add to shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
  3. Pour into Martini glass and garnish with cucumber sticks
  4. L'Chaim!

Originally Posted in “Vietnamese Nori Rolls and Saki-tinis

grilled corn


I cheated just a little. I confess. YUP. This locavore bought corn that was grown and trucked up from the south so I could prepare and share this recipe with you. But only because I want you to be READY to fire up your grills when local corn hits your very own farmers’ market.


This salad tastes like summer.  Sweet little grape tomatoes, grilled but still firm zucchini and sunny yellow squash get tossed with barely charred corn sheered off the cob and a handful of other readily available ingredients.  Easy, summery, local, delicious.

Chef Cecily Gans shared the recipe with us for Father’s Day and included one cup of crumbled feta or goat cheese in the mix. We left the cheese off (the vegan version) since we prepared it to eat with the Grilled Chicken with Smoky Molasses BBQ Sauce. The next day, I stayed meat free (kosher keepers don’t eat meat with dairy) and threw in some not too salty feta from Beltane Farms into the salad. It was divine.

Either way, this is a great staple to have in your recipe toolbox. Toss it together when firing up your grill any time this summer.

Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn

6-8 servings

Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn

This quintessential summer salad celebrates veggies that are readily available for many weeks in the warm weather.

This recipe is pareve and vegan without the cheese. Add the optional cheese for a heartier dairy vegetarian meal.

Thank you Cecily Gans, The Main Course Catering, Fairfield, CT, for this recipe.


    For the Grilled Corn:
  • 8 ears corn, in the husk
  • For the grill sauce:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 2-3 cups roasted corn, cut from the cob (see grilling directions, below)
  • 1 pint red sweet grape tomatoes*
  • 1 pint yellow sweet grape tomatoes* (or more red if you can’t find yellow)
  • ½ cup red onions, grilled and diced
  • 2 poblano or green peppers, grilled and diced
  • 2 red peppers, grilled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, grilled and diced
  • 1 summer squash grilled and diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • ½ cup scallions, finely sliced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Olive or grapeseed oil to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)


    Grill the corn:
  1. Preheat your grill
  2. Peel back the husks slightly and remove the bulk of the corn silk.
  3. Place corn on the top level of the grill for about 20 minutes, turning the cobs every 5 minutes.
  4. Grill Sauce
  5. Put oil & vinegar in a bottle and shake vigorously. Brush onion, peppers, zucchini and summer squash with marinade, season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and grill to ‘al dente’.
  6. Salad
  7. Combine the corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, parsley, scallions and lemon juice and mix well.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Add oil if necessary and garnish with cheese (optional). Serve cold or at room temperature.


*You may substitute diced heirloom tomatoes or any variety at the market



Originally Posted in “Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn
Molasses BBQ Glazed Chicken

Molasses BBQ Glazed Chicken

If grilling is in your plan for Father’s Day this Sunday, you may want to treat your guy to this moist, smoky chicken with homemade BBQ sauce. It’s thick and spicy with classic flavors that match perfectly with well, almost any meat or chicken that you’re likely to throw on the grill. 

Grilled Chicken with Smoky Molasses BBQ Glaze and Leeks

6-8 servings

This recipe was shared with Kosher Like Me by Chef Cecily Gans, The Main Course Catering, Fairfield, CT.

Cecily: This recipe can be adjusted depending on locally available produce. In springtime, I often grill asparagus (two bunches for this recipe) with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and squeeze a quarter of a lemon over it just before serving. In autumn, this is wonderful if you have large tomatoes to grill as a side dish, but almost any grilled seasonal vegetable will work - yellow squash, zucchini, onions, radicchio and sweet peppers would top my list. This sauce recipe is also fantastic on grilled steak - rib-eye is my first choice.

This recipe is MEAT


  • 6 Boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs total, pounded to about 3/4")
  • 12 baby leeks (or ramps or about 2-3 bunches of scallions)
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted pareve (non-dairy) margarine or olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced shallot
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 6 canned fire-roasted whole plum tomatoes, with juice
  • ¼ cup good quality ketchup
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ¼- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat the margarine in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes
  4. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth (I use an immersion stick blender right in the pan)
  5. Return to the saucepan and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, or until desired viscosity is reached (*Cool now for storage and future use)
  6. Preheat your grill to medium heat
  7. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste
  8. Wrap the leeks in foil and place on the warm side of the grill to wilt
  9. Grill chicken for approximately 6-7 minutes on each side (Remove the leeks from the foil packet when they appear to have softened, season with salt and pepper and place on the grill to just get a slight charring)
  10. Remove the chicken from the grill and baste with the sauce.
  11. Serve the leeks on the side with any additional sauce, warmed up as necessary


Cecily:*I prefer to marinate the chicken in a thin layer of (cold) BBQ sauce for at least an hour or overnight.

Liz: I adjusted the cayenne to 1/2 tsp and chile powder to 1/2 Tb. If you prefer it caliente, go with Cecily's recipe as it is written.










photo courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky, Easy As Vegan Pie, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

photo courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky, Easy As Vegan Pie, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

I’ve started dreaming about summer pies bursting with bright roasted strawberries and sunny cherry tomatoes. Wait, maybe I should head into savory territory and re-think dinner on the patio with a taco pie layered with black beans, mushrooms and tempeh and topped by shredded Romaine and red bell peppers. Easy As Vegan Pie has me spinning in all different directions and that’s a great thing.

Hannah Kaminsky‘s most recently released volume in her series of vegan creations takes us into savory territory for the first time. Seductive photos and easy to follow recipes are perfect for kosher keepers, vegans and vegetarians, gluten-free folks and anyone searching for a healthier and more creative alternative to sugar and fat laden pies.

While Kaminsky includes fruity beauties like Cran-Cherry Impossible Pie and Pear Praline Pie,  I’m attracted to the pies that reflect her out of the box thinking about flavor combinations that she is so well loved for.

Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart may just have to wait for cooler days cause I’m dreaming of this boozy Mojito Pie as the summer heats up. It’s creamy smooth with blended avocado, non-dairy yogurt and sour cream and won’t weight you down with a fat laden crust.  Maybe the party around the pool should begin with this limey delight!

Watch for my give-away of this wildly creative volume. It just might arrive in your mailbox soon.

You may follow Hannah Kaminsky on her blog BitterSweet . For more frozen treats, take a look at my post on Vegan A La Mode where you’ll find her jammy recipe for Cheesecake Ice Cream. 

Frozen Mojito Pie

8-10 servings

This recipe is vegan and pareve (non-dairy). Thank you, Hannah Kaminsky, for sharing this frozen treat from EASY AS VEGAN PIE.

From Hannah: If a mojito on the rocks is poured over ice, what do you call a mojito made of ice? No, that's not some terrible riddle with a trick answer, but a uniquely refreshing and intoxicating dessert. Straight out of the icebox, each rum-spiked wedge remains impossibly light and creamy, owing to the richness of avocado. Just like the chilled beverage, even non-drinkers will find it effortless to down one or two on a hot day.

Use 1 Unbaked Graham Cracker Crust or Vanilla Cookie Crust in a 9-Inch Round Springform Pan. See recipe below.


    Mojito Filling:
  • 1 Ripe Medium-Size Avocado
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • Zest from 1 Large Lime (About 1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 3/4 Cup Light Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1 6-Ounce Container (3/4 Cup) Plain Vegan Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup White Rum
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt


    This no-bake icebox pie comes together in a flash.
  1. Begin by pressing the graham cracker crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides.
  2. Place the pan in the freezer to let it solidify.
  3. Meanwhile, pit and peel the avocado and toss the flesh into your food processor along with the lime juice and zest.
  4. Thoroughly puree, pausing after about a minute of blending, to scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
  5. Add in the agave, "sour cream," and yogurt, pureeing again until completely smooth.
  6. For the final addition, incorporate the rum, peppermint extract, and salt together with a few quick pulses.
  7. Transfer the pale green filling to your prepared crust, smoothing out the top evenly by giving the whole pan a few gentle taps on the counter.
  8. Place the pan back in your freezer, being careful to set it on a flat, stable area—don't attempt any crazy balancing acts on top of the frozen peas here! Trust me, scraping ice-hard pie filling out of the freezer is no fun task.


Allow the filling to freeze, undisturbed, for at least two hours before applying the coconut whipped cream on top in a swirled fashion. Either serve right away, or keep the pie stashed in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, until you're ready to dig in.


Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust

About 2 Scant Cups Finely Ground Crumbs

Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust

This recipe is vegan and Pareve.

From Hannah Kaminsky's Easy As Vegan Pie:

A simple crumb-based crust is only as good as the cookies it's made from, meaning that quality really counts here. It's a good sign when friends walk into your kitchen and demand to know what smells so good, when it's only the plain crust in the oven! If you can't secure flavorful store-bought wafer cookies, suddenly find your stash has run low, or simply want to create your treats completely from scratch, the DIY alternative is easier than it may sound. Rather than painstakingly shaping each biscuit, this formula yields a loose, crisp crumb mixture that needs little further persuasion to reach the ideal pie crust consistency. In fact, after measuring the proper amount of crumbs for your desired crust, you can put them right back into the food processor and use the pulse function to incorporate the melted margarine called for in the recipe (page xx). You're well on your way to pie perfection from there.


  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Margarine, Melted


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  3. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well blended.
  4. Drizzle in the melted margarine while the mixer runs on low, until the mixture is thoroughly moistened and clumps together in small clusters.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to double-check that there are no remaining pockets of dry ingredients before proceeding.
  6. Spread the coarse crumbs on your prepared sheet pan. Bake for 28–32 minutes, until no longer shiny and the crumbs around the edges have darkened slightly.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the crumbs cool completely on the sheet pan.
  8. Before using in your next pie masterpiece, toss the whole batch of baked crumbs into your food processor and pulse until finely ground. Now you're ready to start baking again!


Graham Cracker Crumbs: Omit the cornstarch and swap the cocoa out for an equal measure of graham flour.

Vanilla Cookie Crumbs: Omit the cocoa powder, increase the flour to 1 1/3 cups total, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


Originally Posted in “Frozen Mojito Pie


Contributed and photographed by Paloma Aeylon

Falafel. Shawarma. Hummus. Shnitzel. Shakshuka. These are typically the foods we salivate over in anticipation of touching down in the land of milk and honey. While these Israeli delicacies certainly warrant our attention and appetite, there’s a culinary craft that’s lesser celebrated despite its rich role in Israel’s colorful cuisine.

Selection of white cheese (gvina levana) at Basher Cheese, Tel Aviv

Selection of white cheese (gvina levana) at Basher Cheese, Tel Aviv

Produced with passion by farms dotting the map of the holy land, Israel’s dairy has developed into an art that attracts lactose lovers worldwide. Gvina levana. Bulgarit. Zefatit. Labane sprinkled with zatar. These are merely a few delicious dairy discoveries that never fail to leave a lasting impression.

wide array of cheeses

Family-owned dairy farms throughout the country have recently made it a point to introduce artisanal items unique to Israel. As more boutique cheese-makers populate the country’s north and south, Israelis are even starting to identify differently pronounced regional flavors. Tzfatit, for example, a mild curd cheese molded in a basket, deviates in taste when made in the Negev as opposed to its original birthplace in the Galilee.

Watch out France. You’ve got an unassuming foe de fromage in your future!


With Shavu’ot at our doorstep, Israel’s cheese mongers are about to have a voluptuous variety of dairy products to choose from throughout the country. Marking the moment that Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai, also called Har Gavnunim (similar to gevinah, the Hebrew word for ‘cheese’), Shavu’ot represents the day that Jews began observing the laws of Kashrut (Kosher).

Without the tools needed to prepare Kosher meat, the Jewish people headed straight for milk-made magnificence. This is why, to this day, the arrival of Shavu’ot elicits indulgent images of blintzes, cheesecakes, casseroles, and all-around killer creaminess.



Whether defined by the homemade touch of a private Israeli kitchen, the speedy simplicity of a street vendor, or the gourmet innovation of Tel Aviv’s chef restaurants, there’s a morning-to-night staple in the sabra dairy diet that’s easy to make and deserves a spot on your Shavu’ot menu. Bourekas, or börek as originally coined in Turkey, is a traditional Ottoman comfort food brought to Israel with the influx of Turkish Jews.

In Ladino, a Jewish-Spanish dialect, boureka is the singular name of this ageless food favorite. However, because Israelis were so used to hearing the plural form of the term, bourekas (no one simply bought only one boureka!), the double plural suffix stuck. Coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, the deliciously destructive b-bomb will be a guaranteed winner on your dairy-day table.


Commonly made with yummy yufka or flaky phyllo dough, the boureka is filled with cheese, minced meat, or vegetables and is topped off with sesame seeds, making the ultimate savory sensation. Whether enjoyed as a small snack accompanying tea or eaten as a hearty meal served with a hard-boiled egg, these cheese bourekas are sinfully addictive!

NOTE: Shavuot 2014 is celebrated from sundown on June 3 through one hour after sundown on June 5.

What dairy delights will you be enjoying for Shavuot? We want to know!


Inbal Baum (left), founder, Delicious Israel

Inbal Baum (left), founder, Delicious Israel

Paloma Aelyon, Director of Delicious Development at Tel Aviv-based culinary tourism company Delicious Israel, has a voracious appetite to explore and document a culture linked closely to her Turkish Jewish heritage. Her passion for storytelling, matched with past experience in marketing for the travel and culinary industries, fuels her desire to share a behind-the-scenes peak into the colorfully complex reality that permeates Israel.

Founded by Israel’s food expert, Inbal Baum, Delicious Israel offers intimate culinary crusades in Israel.

If you want to the real-deal boureka, you know who to call!

Cheese Bourekas

20 bourekas

Cheese Bourekas

Dairy Recipe- Paloma Aelyon

A staple in the homes of every Turkish grandmother, the recipe for bourekas, or bourekitas, as my Istanbul-born Uma calls them, is an inevitable hand-me-down to subsequent generations of future Jewish mothers. Often eaten alongside a small glass of freshly brewed Turkish tea, the aroma of bourekas has always been a nostalgic reminder of my grandmother’s tiny kitchen, family breakfasts, and competitive evening card games.

Here's my version of Uma’s cheese-filled favorites.


    Cheese Filling
  • 1 lb, 2 oz gvina levana (fresh white cheese) or ricotta
  • 9 oz kashkaval or Parmesan, grated
  • 9 oz brinza or feta, crumbled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 T. corn starch
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • The Pastry
  • 3 lbs, 5 oz puff pastry dough
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 T. water, for brushing
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat all ingredients for filling until smooth.
  3. Roll the dough into ¼ inch thick sheet. Cut into 5-inch (12-cm) squares.
  4. Put one tablespoon of the filling in the center of each square, fold diagonally to form a triangle and pinch the edges together.
  5. Arrange the bourekas with sufficient space between them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  6. Brush the triangles with the beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the bourekas are golden.




Originally Posted in “Delicious Dairy & Bourekas in Israel

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.


  • 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


  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.

Farm Fresh Veggie Dip

This dairy recipe was shared by Marcia Selden Catering.


  • 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


  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.

Green Goddess Dip

This dairy recipe was shared by Marcia Selden Catering


  • 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


  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.

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.


  • 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


  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.


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.


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.


  • 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


  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.


Note from Leetal:

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