Archive


No, that’s not gefilte fish. And that’s exactly what I love about it. Let me introduce you to my version of Polpettone di Tonno, Italian tuna loaf. It plays the “gefilte fish” role of festive holiday fish appetizer, but with more nuanced and fresher flavor. I shared the recipe and wrote the accompanying article, “Giving Gefilte Fish […]


Come August, peaches are ready for their close up. The market bins overflow with the colorful, fragrant fruit, and I find it hard to resist their call. Just this week, I took home peaches almost as large as softballs and every bite was sweet and juicy. Although I love making sangria out of them, they […]


A rustic but still decadent strawberry dessert for Mother’s Day? Shavuot? Just because? Yes, yes, and yes, please. Ever since seeing a photo last year of a strawberry cassata, a Sicilian-style ricotta cake, it’s been on my list to try. This year’s arrival of spring’s best strawberries motivated me to do it—to create my own recipe for this festive and […]


Quick Update: Congratulations to drawing winner Carol Ezovski from San Jose, California! Thank you to everyone who participated!  Just in time for Mother’s Day and the holiday of Shavuot, I’m thrilled to be hosting a giveaway (see the end of this post for details) of a signed copy of Joan Nathan’s newest book, King Solomon’s Table: […]


It’s always a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve for navigating the cooking and eating during Passover. Here are a few: Keep ‘em warm. If you are hosting a big holiday dinner (and this goes for those holding Easter dinners as well), you might enjoy these ideas for keeping multiple dishes warm that The […]


Calzones, like other turnovers, are comfort food that can be eaten on the run. But I’ve always found them to be too delicious not to sit and savor. And although they are often considered folded-over pizzas, they do pizza one better in giving you more of the tender crust, browned all the way around, that […]


Normally, you won’t find me making or sipping a smoothie. Or a green kale juice thing. I like to chew my food, and I don’t subscribe to the need for detoxes or cleanses. BUT, after a season of too much—sweets, rich and bountiful meals, chocolate, whipped cream, politics, tweet-storms, everything—a sparkling glass of green goodness suddenly […]


After the potato latkes, then what? Here are some recipes honoring the oil and/or dairy traditions that have caught my eye for savoring Hanukkah this year. At the bottom are also links to a few personal recipes that I like to revisit for the holiday. Marquesitas by Pati Jinich—Pati calls these hard wafer rolls, but I see them as […]


Still looking for some gift ideas for Hanukkah (or Christmas), especially for the people in your life who love food and entertaining? Here are a few: Seed + Mill’s Gourmet Halva, available from Fig Tree & Vine (which also stocks a beautiful variety of sophisticated and often hand-made Judaica gifts). This lovingly crafted sesame confection comes […]


Like a doughnut, but better. These fritters are less fussy to make, wonderfully chewy and flavorful—and they have a Jewish-Italian connection that I love. Plus, most fittingly for this year of holiday overlaps, in Italy, similar versions are enjoyed for both Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations. In a new piece for Jewish Food Experience (read it with my recipe—which […]


UPDATE: We have a drawing winner—congratulations to Toshia Frank of Alvin, Texas! Thank you to everyone who participated here, on Facebook, and on Instagram—I loved reading the comments. I think chocolate babka was a popular favorite in the Jewish dessert category though apple desserts and rugelach were also mentioned often. Wishing everyone a sweetly delicious season! […]


Pumpkin and squash were historically favored by Italy’s Jews. You could find these fall fruits in soups, risottos, pastas, stews, fritters, and yes, even cake. I found recipes for Jewish-Italian pumpkin cakes, but decided to develop an updated version. We served samples of this during my talk in September about the culinary history of Italy’s Jews. When I started working […]


Even though I have some favorite recipes for Rosh Hashanah (hard to tear myself away from the brisket with cranberries and mushrooms from Meatballs and Matzah Balls served with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables), the coming of the new year often finds me looking through books, blogs, and Web sites and considering adding some new dishes […]


At my recent talk about the rich culinary history of Italy’s Jews, I discussed how Sicilian Jews had adopted the combination of raisins and pine nuts (often with spinach) from Arab conquerors. This beloved pairing stuck and became a common dish among Italy’s Jewish communities. We offered samples of this dish at the event, and I […]


  The pound cake arose, sometime in the 18th century, as a cake of simplicity—originally one pound of each ingredient, flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. As recipes do, of course this one evolved, using modern ingredients like leaveners and glazes and adjusted to more manageable sizes for a household. Bakers have also tinkered with the […]