Maple-Almond Charoset

Charoset is a sweet, sometimes alcoholic spread or chutney served on Passover. As a ritual food it’s spread on the cracker-like bread substitute called matzo, and meant to symbolize the mortar between the bricks of Egyptian building projects in the story of Exodus. As an Egyptologist I find this topic problematic, but let’s stick to the food: Ashkenazi Jews–those of European ancestry–usually make charoset with chopped apples, walnuts, wine, and raisins, while Sephardic Jews–who trace their ancestry to north Africa, Spain, and the Middle East–make theirs with dates, figs, or apricots, and lots of spices. I much prefer a date base for my charoset, and I recently decided that this spread is far too delicious to make only once a year. I’ve been eating it on toast, and sometimes with a spoon. My recipe adds a New England twist–maple syrup–and the balancing tang of salted almonds.

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Creamy Tomato Melanzane

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for ages! It’s my go-to quick lunch nowadays. My friend Miriam and I just spent a long time trying to figure out what to call it: it’s sort of like a stew, since it’s nearly soupy and you can eat it over rice, but it’s more like a curry due to its spice. We came up with Creamy Tomato Melanzane (melanzane = another word for eggplant). Give this a try on its own or over some basmati!

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Accidental Veggie Burgers

Hi, friends. I am not a vegetarian. But I do love vegetables, and I find most vegetarian-friendly foods quite delicious. The thing is, I didn’t set out to make veggie burgers when I accidentally created this wonderful culinary Frankenstein. (Does that description make it sound bad? Because it tastes amazing.) No, friends, I was trying to make my Oma’s veggie pancakes, and neither she nor I could remember what she used to put in them. So I experimented a bit, and a patty-shaped star was born.

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Quickie Corn Salad

I love corn salad, especially in the summer. I don’t like the taste of mayonnaise, though, and it’s a key ingredient in most corn salads–so I use buttery spread instead. Try this one out for a barbecue or picnic, it only takes about 10 minutes!

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Raspberry-Lemon Clafouti

Clafouti(s) is a French baked custard with fruit that rises to the top during baking. It’s traditionally made with cherries, but I much prefer raspberries, and raspberries go oh so well together with lemon. I’m using Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Clafouti recipe as a base for my own, but I’ve cut out most of the lactose (and also used gluten-free flour, which you can ignore if you’re a wheat-eater). Where Martha uses whole milk and heavy cream, I use soy milk and yogurt. Feel free to sub in your own dairy or non-dairy elements for the ones she and I use!

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