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End of Summer Feast

End of Summer Feast

A light and delicious lunch menu.

by

Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho Soup

I have a couple wonderful secret ingredients that do wonders with this perennial favorite: Watercress, and capers. The upgrade will certainly not be lost on you: Liquid salad never tasted so good. Do not be tempted to substitute stem tomatoes, or grape or cherry tomatoes, to make gazpacho, no matter how luscious they look. For gazpacho we want much meatier tomatoes here, like plum or beefsteak.

  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved (or 4 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered)
  • 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 6 ribs celery, peeled
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch flat parsley, stems and leaves
  • Half a bunch watercress, stems and leaves
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 4 cups bottled tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons bottled hot sauce, or a little more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, in batches, blend all ingredients until smooth. If you like it chunkier, stop blending before it gets completely smooth. If necessary, thin the mixture with cold water. Serve chilled, topped with lemon or lime slices. Makes a dozen ample servings.

Variation: For a main course, add a handful crumbled mock crab in each bowl after you spoon the soup, and a generous dollop guacamole (I keep my guacamole extra simple, in prevision of all the flavors it will be paired with: Mash avocadoes with lemon juice, salt and pepper and bottled hot sauce to taste)

Endive, Pear, Avocado and Walnut Salad

Endive, Pear, Avocado and Walnut Salad

Endives are wonderful in this salad. The dish is very easily adapted for Passover, and is equally at home as a salad or a side dish with grilled fish or chicken.

We all notice walnut oil, which is an expensive treat year-round, is plentiful and reasonably priced during Passover: Go for it!

  • 1 Anjou pear, unpeeled, cored, cut in quarters and sliced
  • 3 endives, cut in thin wedges (make sure they stay attached at the top)
  • 2 ribs celery, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 1 avocado, cut in thin wedges

Dressing:

  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or walnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard (omit on Passover)
  • 2 tablespoons wasabi powder, or prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts (300 degree oven, about 15 minutes)

Place the apple or pear, endives, celery and avocado in a shallow salad bowl or platter. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and pour evenly over the salad. Just before serving, sprinkle the walnuts over the salad.

Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemons and Olives

This dish is all roasted, so it is pretty streamlined, and pretty lean. Anything not to have to fry eggplant, which gobbles up oil like crazy! I have provided a super simple recipe, just make it ahead of time so you are sure to always have it on hand.

  • 3 medium eggplant, peeled lengthwise (1 strip peeled, 1 strip not peeled: you will get a black and white stripe pattern), cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 roasted red peppers, bottled OK, diced small
  • 1/3 cup pitted oil-cured or other good quality olives, chopped small
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, pulp discarded, peel thoroughly rinsed (Passover: 2 tablespoons lemon zest)
  • 5-6 sprigs cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or a little less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. line a baking sheet with foil, spray heavily with vegetable spray, arrange the eggplant dice in one layer and spray again. Bake about 20 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft and dark. Transfer to a bowl. Add the roasted peppers and the olives.

In a food processor, finely grind (not allowing to get mushy) the lemon, cilantro and garlic. Add the oil, cumin, red pepper flakes and paprika and pulse just to combine. Add the mixture to the eggplant mixture and combine thoroughly. Serve at room temperature

Maple Roasted Salmon Recipe

Maple Roasted Salmon Recipe

The short and dazzling favor lineup does its magic with practically no work. No problem doubling the recipe when you have a larger group, it will all get prepared in the same record time. You will never say you are bored of salmon again! Bluefish will be suitable here, as well as any thick white fish (bass, mahimahi, halibut, etc.).

Please use a real, not disposable, pan. It makes the whole difference, not only in the end results in this and absolutely every dish, but in doing the right thing about cooking the healthful way.

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper, or less to taste
  • 1 whole side salmon, about 3½-4 pounds, skin off, bones out, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Mix all but last ingredient in a bowl. Place the salmon skin side up in a baking pan just large enough to fit it snugly in one layer (if you have empty spaces, the liquids will burn). Pour the sauce evenly over the fish. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour the cooking juices over the fish. Serve hot, or at room temperature. Makes 8 main course servings, or a dozen ample first course servings.

Moroccan Spicy Nut Truffles

Moroccan Spicy Nut Truffles

  • 12/3 cups unblanched almonds
  • 12/3 cups walnuts
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Good pinch salt
  • 1 egg, or a little more
  • Powdered sugar, sifted (do not skip the sifting)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a food processor, place all ingredients, except the egg, and grind until you obtain a finely ground but still
textured mixture. Do not grind finer or you will get a greasy mixture. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the egg and mix by hand until the mixture is smooth and malleable, adding just a little more egg if necessary. Shape the mixture into little balls.
Pour powdered sugar over the balls (as opposed to rolling them into the sugar, which might make them look greasy), shaking off the excess sugar. Place the balls on a real cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 15 minutes, not a second longer. The truffles will look cracked all over. Let the truffles cool completely before storing in an airtight tin.

Visit Levana’s site at http://www.levanacooks.com/

Published: August 31, 2014


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