Five Warming Sephardi Dishes for Chilly Days

October 30, 2023Ellie Rudee

Soups, stews, and hot dishes are always called for as winter nears. Learning new, cozy recipes that connect to our heritage warms not only the tummy, but the soul as well.

As someone who loves to teach people about the intersections of food, culture, and Jewish peoplehood, I'm excited to share some delicious Sephardi recipes that will add warmth to your winter table, sourced with permission from Hélène Jawhara Piñer's cookbook, "Sephardi: Cooking the History." Hélène says that learning about Sephardi recipes is important, partially because, "transmission is at the heart of the Jewish tradition... learning [to make Sephardi] recipes is important [to ensure our] culinary heritage."

Each of these dishes are meant to be served hot, and many have warming spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and turmeric. So get your soup pots and skillets ready as we delve into the delicious variety of warming dishes that Sephardi cuisine has to offer!

an image of a Sephardic  dish of eggplants stuffed with meat

1. "A Jewish dish of eggplants stuffed with meat"

This delectable recipe brings together some of the hallmarks of Sephardi cuisine, namely eggplants, stuffing, lengthy preparation time, and a "tangy" flavor profile. While this piece involves many ingredients and requires a high degree of technical skill, the results are well worth the time and effort that go into creating this main course.

Acelgas con Garbanzos (Swiss Chard Stew with Chickpeas)

2. Acelgas Con Garbanzos - Swiss Chard Stew with Chickpeas

This stew recipe, which was handed down to Hélène from her grandmother, features two ingredients commonly used in Shabbat meals during the Spanish Inquisition: Swiss chard and chickpeas. This hearty stew is relatively quick to make and a wonderful option for chilly days!

Adefina: The iconic slow-cooked chickpea and beef stew

3. Adefina

This meaty stew dates back to the 15th century, and one taste will tell you why it's stood the test of time. This slow-cooked meal is perfect for lunch on a chilly Shabbat! Though many modern Sephardim use potatoes or sweet potatoes, Hélène's recipe does its best to stay true to the long history of adefina by using ingredients that would have been available in 15th century Spain.

This dish is still prepared in Andalusia and bears the name of "gazpachuelo."

4. Gazpachuelo - Lemon broth

This broth is still popular in Andalusia. Its yellow color and citrus flavor will remind you of summer even if there's frost on your window!


Berenjenas Confitadas Con Canela (Candied eggplants with cinnamon)

5. Berenjenas Confitadas Con Canela - Candied Eggplants with Cinnamon

This sweet treat has traveled far and wide over the centuries, being enjoyed in Spain, Morocco, and even the Dominican Republic! This recipe is delicious as soon as it's finished, but if you can also store them in a jar for a healthy(ish) snack!

I hope you've enjoyed learning about these warming Sephardi dishes for chilly days, and the stories behind them. If you're looking for even more tasty Sephardi treats to add to your table, check out Hélène's author page for more recipes and inspiration.

Related Posts