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Mango Salad Dressing

Tina Wasserman

Indians are very fond of mangoes, which are in season only from March to May. They are so beloved that they preserve many of their mangoes in chutneys and pickles to enjoy long after the season is over. Here is a delicious dressing to use over any salad.

1/2 cup finely chopped mangoes
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon chives

Yield: 1 cup dressing

  1. Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake until combined.
  2. Serve with mixed greens tossed with some nuts or dried fruit bits, like cherries or cranberries.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Rice wine vinegar is not as tangy as other vinegars and makes a perfect base for a fruit-flavored dressing.
  • If you would like a smooth, slightly thick dressing, place the mangoes, vinegar, and honey in a food processor work bowl and pulse on and off 5 times or until the fruit is pureed. Slowly pour in the oil while the machine is running until an emulsion is formed. Add the mint and chives and pulse on and off 8 times, just until the herbs are chopped but not pureed.

Indian Samosas

Tina Wasserman

Did you know that India's Jews come from four distinct groups and can trace their roots there back to ancient times? As in all Jewish communities around the world, Indian Jews translated their culinary tastes and the laws of kashrut to embrace the foods of the region.

Is it possible that potatoes are the number-one culinary choice for stuffing, or does the choice of filling have more to do with the cost of food and being frugal? Whatever the answer, potatoes show up in India as well for wonderful little packets of spicy potato and pea filling. There is no need to make your own dough when wonton skins are readily available. Serve with some raw mango chutney.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium Yukon Gold, California whites, or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups water
One 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 pound wonton skins
Oil for frying filled dough

Yield: 1-2 dozen

  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan, and add the red pepper, ginger, garlic, and onion.
  2. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is golden. Do not burn the garlic.
  3. Add the salt, potatoes, and water, and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add the peas and the curry powder, and cook until the peas are hot and any excess water is evaporated.
  5. Brush the edges of the wonton skin with a little water. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the center and fold over into a triangle, sealing the edges well. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.
  6. Heat the oil to 375°F in a frying pan or wok to a depth of 2 inches. Do not let the oil smoke.
  7. Fry a few samosas at a time in the hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Stir potato mixture occasionally, using a rubber spatula so that the potatoes don’t break up. Yukon Golds or California long whites break up less than russet potatoes, which are the traditional choice.
  • Do not use too much filling or the wontons will open in the hot oil and lose their contents.
  • Use only enough water to dampen the edges so that they stick together. Too much water will cause steam when the samosas go into the oil and the wonton skins will open.
  • Do not try to fry too many samosas at a time. If the samosas are not crowded when they are frying, the temperature of the oil won’t drop and the dough won’t absorb excess oil. The finished product will be light, crisp, and not greasy.

Indian Chickpea Stew

Chef Katie Simmons

Did you know that India's Jews come from four distinct groups and can trace their roots there back to ancient times? As in all Jewish communities around the world, Indian Jews translated their culinary tastes and the laws of kashrut to embrace the foods of the region.

In India, religion stipulates the vegetarian diet.  About 80% of the population in India is Hindu, abstaining from meat.  Hence, the focus of most dinner tables is a celebration of vegetables, lentils, and chickpeas. Nothing says Indian cuisine quite like the classic and aromatic chana masala (literally "chickpea spices").

This vegan, gluten- and oil-free version offers healthy, satisfying protein, and a warming, comforting blend of spices, including cumin, ginger, and turmeric. 

1 onion
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic
2-3 small green chilies, minced with seeds (Indian chili or serrano)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika (or Indian red chili powder)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt

Yield: 8 cups

  • In a medium pot, combine the onion and cumin. Cover and cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, until the onions are soft and the cumin becomes aromatic.  If the onions start to burn, reduce the heat and add a splash of water.
  • While the onions soften, make your spiced paste. In a food chopper, combine the ginger, garlic, green chili, coriander, paprika, and turmeric.  Roughly chop until you get a paste-like consistency.
  • Once the onions are soft, add the spiced paste to the pot. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until you can smell the ginger and the heat of the green chilies.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Roughly chop the cilantro. Add the drained chickpeas, chopped cilantro, and canned tomatoes to the pot, along with 1/2 cup of water (you might want up to 1 cup for a thinner consistency). Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 10 minutes, until thick.
  • Remove from heat.  Stir in the garam masala and season with salt.
  • Serve immediately.

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • If you can't easily find small green chilies, substitute serrano or jalapeño peppers. Because of their size, the equivalent of three small green chilies is one jalapeño pepper.
  • This recipe is freezer-friendly.

    Classically-trianed Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce doesn't mean standing over a hot stove. Simply core apples (peels on or off; your choice); microwave till soft; mash; and sweeten to taste. The combination of sweet applesauce and salty latkes simply can't be beat. 

1 3/4 to 2 pounds fresh apples
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons boiled cider, optional
  1. Core the apples; peel them if you want ultra-smooth applesauce, but it's not necessary.
  2. Slice the apples, or cut them in 3/4" chunks.
  3. Place the prepared apples in a microwave-safe bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Microwave for about 10 minutes, till the apples are soft.
  5. Remove from the microwave, and place on the counter to cool for 15 minutes or so; the plastic wrap will shrink down onto the apples.
  6. Carefully remove the plastic wrap (the apples will still be warm), and mash them using a pastry blender or potato masher. If you've left the peels on the apples, use a hand (stick) blender to coarsely chop skins/sauce.
  7. Add sugar to taste, and boiled cider, if desired, for enhanced flavor.
  8. Serve warm, at room temperature,or cold alongside latkes.


Cooking Tips

  • Different types of apples make very different types of sauce. Fuji, Braeburn, and other hard red "eating apples" take longer to cook, and make a mahogany-colored sauce. Granny Smiths cook more quickly, and make a tart, brown-green sauce. We love to use windfall apples — apples that have fallen from the tree, and might be bruised, pockmarked, or otherwise disfigured. While not beautiful, their long stay on the tree — plus a touch of frost — make them beautifully sweet.
  • Apple peels on, or off? If you're fussy, peel the apples. If you're not, don't mind bits or chunks of peel, and like a more natural sauce, full of fiber, leave the peels on. A whirl through the food processor (or a few pulses with a hand blender) will take care of any too-large pieces of peel.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Chef Katie Simmons

Fill your kitchen with the comforting aromas of fall. This healthy recipe is gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free, and vegan. It easily adapts to a single serving or a huge batch, and kids love diving into their own individual apple.

8 small apples, any variety
3/4 cup thick-rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons pecan pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. 

To prepare the apples

  • Use an apple corer to remove the cores and seeds from the apples.  Then, use a peeler to remove about 1/2-inch of the apple peel, around the top of the apple.  
  • Squeeze the apples into a square oven-safe baking dish.

To prepare the stuffing

  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, raisins, pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. 
    Put about 2 tablespoons of the stuffing in each apple.  Sprinkle extra stuffing over the top.

To bake the apples

  • Pour the water and cider vinegar in the pan with the apples, so that the liquid comes up about an inch in the baking dish. 
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. 
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the topping darkens.
  • Serve warm.

Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

  • Use any sweet, crisp apples for this recipe.  
  • You can make a double-batch of the "stuffing" mix and store extra in your freezer.  You'll be ready for this treat any time!

Chef Katie Simmons is a classically-trained personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Fattoush Salad

Tina Wasserman

I first tasted this Mediterranean classic at a Lebanese restaurant. Although the main components of the salad are reminiscent of an Israeli salad, the toasted pita chips add a different texture and create a flavorful result. This is a great salad for a Shabbat cold luncheon.

2 large pita breads
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon zatar seasoning (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head romaine lettuce, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
5 scallions, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  1. Brush the tops of the pita bread with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle zatar over the tops. Bake at 375°F until golden and crisp. Allow to cool and then break into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings in a small, screw-top jar. Adjust seasoning if necessary and set aside.
  3. Combine all the vegetables in a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the sumac and pita pieces.
  4. Just before serving, toss with the salad dressing.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Sumac is the small red berry from wild bushes that grow throughout the Levant. Its flavor is suggestive of lemon or a sour candy.
  • The easiest way to seed a cucumber is to cut it in half lengthwise and run a spoon tip or melon baller down the middle, scraping out the seeds as you go.
  • To seed a tomato, cut the tomato in half horizontally and gently squeeze each half, cut side down, over the sink. A final shake should release the seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Parsnip Soup

Chef Katie Simmons

Nothing says fall quite like fresh pumpkin! Sweet parsnips and a touch of nutmeg round out the seasonal flavors, all roasted together for richness in this gluten-free, vegan soup. Make a batch of this fat-free, easy soup on the weekend and freeze extras. Serve with pumpernickel toast or a wild rice salad for a satisfying, healthy weeknight meal.

1 baking pumpkin (2.5 - 3 pounds)
2 medium parsnips
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Yield: 8 cups

  • Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 425°F. 

To roast the vegetables 

  • Peel the parsnip and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Cut the pumpkin in half along the equator. Use a big spoon to scoop out the seeds. You can roast the seeds and use as garnish on the soup. 
  • Sprinkle the nutmeg inside one of the pumpkin halves.
  • Place the parsnip in a baking dish. Place the pumpkin, cut-side-down, over the parsnips. Add 2 cups of water to the baking dish. Roast at 425°F for about 60 minutes. 
  • The pumpkin is ready when it collapses and is soft enough to scoop out the flesh. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. 

To finish the soup

  • When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh. 
  • Place the pumpkin, parsnips, and any liquid from the pan into a blender. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and the salt.  Puree until smooth. 
  • You might need to add another 1/2 cup or so of water to reach a smooth, pourable consistency. Make sure it is hot water, to keep your soup hot.
  • Garnish with parsley, pumpkin seeds, or chives and serve. 


Chef Katie Simmons' Tips

You can use a variety of fall squash in this recipe. Acorn, Celebration, and Kaboucha would all taste great.

Classically-trained Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef in Chicago. Her journey to cooking has been a winding path from Kentucky to backpacking in New Zealand through culinary school at Kendall College and working for Whole Foods Market.  Her own frustrations of being an overweight fitness professional finally led her to embrace a plant-based, vegan diet. 

Kasha Pumpkin Pilaf with Shitake Mushrooms (Gluten Free)

Deborah Rood Goldman

My goal was to build a healthy and delicious grain bowl that was low-fat and filling. This combo of sweet pumpkin, sautéed crunchy cabbage and flavorful shitakes fits the bill.

A good friend whose diet is gluten-free was dubious when I assured him that the kasha pilaf I'd brought to a temple pot luck was indeed gluten-free. Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat. Kasha comes from the buckwheat plant, which belongs to the same family as rhubarb. Though it looks and cooks like a grain, it's actually the seed of a fruit. After roasting, buckwheat is called kasha. I left out the classic bowtie noodles in classic kasha varnishkas to build an autumn grain bowl, perfect during Sukkot for a meal in the sukkah and to enjoy on Shabbat throughout the fall and winter. 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small pumpkin, or substitute butternut, acorn, or kombucha squash, peeled, cubed and roasted
1/4 head of small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 handful dried shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, then thinly sliced
1 cup whole grain buckwheat (kasha)
1 egg
2 cups broth, water, or bouillon
salt and fresh pepper to taste
  1. In nonstick pan, gently sauté onions until translucent. Add cabbage and mushrooms, and cook until cabbage is slightly wilted but still crunchy. Remove from heat and place vegetables aside in a bowl.
  2. Beat egg in small bowl and stir in kasha to coat the kernels.  Pour kasha-egg mixture into pan on stovetop and toast grains over medium-high heat until the kernels separate, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups broth, water or bouillon, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Simmer 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. 
  4. Gently stir in the roasted pumpkin or squash cubes, sauteed onion, cabbage, and shitake mushrooms.

    Deborah Rood Goldmana longtime member of the Garden City Jewish Center in Garden City, NY, currently serves as the congregation’s president. She is a digital communications producer on the Union for Reform Judaism's marketing and communications team.  A native New Yorker, Deborah grew up on Long  Island,  and holds a bachelor’s degree in American civilization from Brown University and a master’s degree in library science from Queens College. 

Watermelon Gazpacho

Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman

Good friends of ours made this soup as part of a delightful Shabbat lunch in Jerusalem... perfect for a summer day! The recipe comes from the Garden City Jewish Center's cookbook: Sharing Our Favorites.


7 cups fresh watermelon, rind discarded, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
3 ounces whole almonds with skins
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
8 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts discarded, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Seed 1 cup watermelon chunks and cut into small dice.
  2. Purée remianing watermelon in blender or food processor, in batches if necessary. Pour purée through a medium mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.
  3. Blend juice with ice, almonds, and garlic, in batches if necessary, until smooth.
  4. Add bread, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste and blend.
  5. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until smooth.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and serve topped with diced watermelon.

Note:  You can omit the ice cubes and put in in less oil.

Hummus Techina

Michael Solomonov

By now, you will not be surprised to learn that the secret to great Israeli-style hummus is an obscene amount of techina (tahini), as much as half of the recipe by weight, so it’s especially important to use the best quality you can find. Unlike Greek-style hummus, which is heavy on garlic and lemon, Israeli hummus is about the marriage of chickpeas and techina. In fact, with the exception of a dash of cumin, there are no other ingredients.

The only lemon and garlic involved have been used in my BasicTechina Sauce (see below).

There are countless variations of hummus, but I’m not talking about black bean, white bean, or edamame hummus. Those might be perfectly nice dips, but since hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, that’s what we use. The variations are condiments spooned into the center of a bowl of pure hummus. My favorite, and by far the most popular, is a plate of techina-rich hummus garnished with—you guessed it—more techina. Remember to leave time for dried chickpeas peas to soak overnight.

1 cup dried chickpeas
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups Basic Techina Sauce (below), plus a bit more for the optional topping
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Paprika, for garnish
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 head garlic
3/4 cup lemon juice (from 3–5 lemons)
2 generous cups techina
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add enough cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid, and continue to simmer for about an hour, until the chickpeas are fully cooked and completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.
  3. Combine the chickpeas, techina sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree the hummus for several minutes until it is smooth and uber-creamy. Then puree it some more! To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley, more tehina sauce if you like, and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Basic Techina Sauce

This simple sauce is one of my basic building blocks and is so versatile that once you master it, there are a million things you can do with it. The important step here is to allow the garlic and lemon juice to hang out for ten minutes after blending but before adding the jarred techina. This step helps stabilize the garlic and prevents it from fermenting and turning sour and aggressive, which is the problem with a lot of techina sauces (and therefore the hummus made from them).

Because you’re making an emulsion (oil-based techina incorporated into water and lemon juice), the techina sauce can sometimes separate or seize up. Don’t panic! Keep a glass of ice water nearby and add a few tablespoons at a time to the lemon juice–techina mixture while you’re whisking, until your creamy emulsion returns.

  1. Break up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a coarse puree. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the techina to the strained lemon juice in the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. Whisk the mixture together until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out. The sauce will lighten in color as you whisk. When the tehina seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water, bit by bit (about 1½ cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce.
  4. Taste and add up to 1½ teaspoons more salt and cumin if you like. If you’re not using the sauce immediately, whisk in a few extra tablespoons of ice water to loosen it before refrigerating. The tehina sauce will keep a week refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to a month.

Yield: 4 cups

​Excerpted with permission from ZAHAV by Michael Solomonov. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography © 2015 by Mike Persico. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Chef Michael Solomonov was born in Israel and grew up in Pittsburgh. He and Steven Cook are the co-owners of CookNSolo Restaurants, home to some of Philadelphia's most distinctive culinary concepts, including Zahav, Federal Donuts, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Rooster Soup Co., and Goldie. They are a combined four-time James Beard Award Winners, including the 2016 "Best International Cookbook" and "Book of the Year" awards for their first cookbook, Zahav, and a 2011 "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" win for Solomonov and who in May, was named the 2017 JBF's "Outstanding Chef".


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