Every sect of Judaism has their traditional Shabbos foods that have been passed down from generation to generation. These foods usually warm our hearts and conjure up memories of different eras in our lives. Still, when Thursday night cooking rolls around, we sometimes find ourselves poking around for an “interesting” recipe, something to spice up the Shabbos table a bit. These series of recipes articles are a harvest of flavors from different parts of the world and different strokes of Jews.
The first course of any Shabbos meal is a crucial one. The “additional soul” that we are given with the entrance of Shabbos is jokingly blamed for the noisy stomach grumbles and superhuman appetite that many of us feel on Friday night. When the steaming challahs are cut or torn, depending on tradition, the salads are its accompaniment that will quiet the stomach grumbles and pull us into the pleasant ambiance of Shabbos.
In Israel, there is a type of restaurant called “Chummusia” which serves only fresh chummus and pita. Our favorite Chummusia is in Old Jaffa flea market, near the ancient port. As you sit down, a pile of pitas are pulled from the oven and placed in front of you. Alongside it, a little bowl of sauce made only of vinegar and chopped hot green peppers, and a plate of freshly sliced onion and cucumber for dipping. The sauce is incredibly easy to make and makes a huge difference when poured over the chummus before swiping your pita! Just wear gloves while cutting the pepper or you will feel it for hours!
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 Tablespoons tahini paste
- Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon salt to start, add more if necessary
- 4 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika, optional
- ½ teaspoon cumin, optional
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, optional
Drain Chickpeas into cup and set aside water.
Place all ingredients in a food processor with ¼ of the chickpea water. Blend until smooth. If chummus is too thick, add more of the water and blend ; it is fine if it is a drop too runny because it will thicken in time from the tahini. If it is way too runny, add ½ tablespoon of tahini at a time till desired consistency. Taste for salt and add if necessary. Transfer mixture to an airtight container before refrigerating.
To serve, spread desired amount on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley.
For added spunk, scatter a handful of whole drained chickpeas or pine nuts on top before drizzling the olive oil.
Note: Feel free to play with the amounts of lemon, garlic and spices – I put in tons of each!
Thick or thin, this is the perfect dip that is high in iron and low in carbs. Make a big batch and pour it over your salads all week long. In fact, make a huge batch and you can freeze it for future week!
- ¾ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 4 cloves or more of crushed garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 cup tahini paste
Place the ingredients in a spill proof jar or container, beginning with the water. Close tightly and shake until well blended. If it is too thick, add water. Taste for salt and add as needed.
For green techina, place half a bunch of parsley in a food processor and chop. Add the water and let sit for ten minutes or until the water turns green. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend till creamy. Taste for salt and add as needed.
A unique and delicious carrot salad that is sure to raise eyebrows, but they will ask for seconds!
- 2 lb. carrots
- 1/2 c. sugar, or less
- 1/4 c. salad oil
- 3/4 c. vinegar
- Green pepper, diced
- 1 purple onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can tomato soup
Cut the carrots in 1/4 inch slices (these look like copper pennies). Cook in boiling salted water until barely tender. Drain. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over carrots. Marinate overnight in refrigerator. This will stay good for a week in the refrigerator.
A wonderful addition to Shabbos and the leftovers will go far during the week- a great topping on a burger sandwich or try spreading on pizza dough before baking!
- 2 medium eggplants
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup oil
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ Tablespoon sweet red paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika or ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium dill pickles, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley, optional
- ½ cup black olives rings, optional
Cut eggplants into cubes of equal ½ inch size. Place in colander and coat in salt. Place colander on a plate and leave to drain for 30 minutes.
Rinse well and pat dry. Transfer to large mixing bowl and pour in oil, mixing well and quickly to coat all pieces in oil before. Spread out evenly on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees farenheit until dark brown but not black. Test with fork to verify that the pieces are very soft.
In a storage container, mix the baked eggplant with rest of the ingredients.
This salad will keep for about ten days in the refrigerator.
Tomato Basil Salad
- 2 cups Cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
- 4 stalks green onions, leaves included, cut in circles
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, washed, dried and chopped OR
- 2 Tablespoons dried basil
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a storage container and toss.
Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop.
Kholrabi and Carrot Salad
Among Sephardic Jews in Israel, Kholrabi is a staple for any salad course. If you are not familiar with it, now is the time to go out and buy a few! There are many ways to eat it, but this is my absolute favorite. This is the kind of salad to leave on the table till desert because you just can’t decide when you are finished with it!
- 3 large Kohlrabi, peeled
- 3 large carrots, peeled
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
Cut kohlrabi and carrots into thin julienne strips. Add fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. This is ready to serve immediately, but the longer the vegetables sit in the juice, the more refreshing this salad is. Keeps well up to a week in refrigerator.
When the season allows for it, avocados are a very healthy and delicious way to add festivity to a Shabbos meal.
- 3 ripe avocados
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup diced purple onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
Scoop out avocadoes and mash. Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients.
To prevent the mixture from turning brown, place the pits in the container while storing in refrigerator.
Best eaten within a day of preparation.
Note: Mashing must be done before Shabbos, as it is one of the 39 kinds of creative work from which we refrain on Shabbos.
Enjoy and make it a great Shabbos!