• Mint Julep with an Italian Twist
  • Cheesecake with Strawberries
  • Asparagus, Artichoke,  Fennel, & Mozzarella Salad with Lemon-Oregano Dressing
  • Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Sformato
  • Spinach Arancini

Mint Julep with an Italian Twist

I like to think of bourbon as putting on its summer outfit with the mint julep, the warm weather libation that gets its kickoff with the running of the Kentucky Derby (where it has been the traditional beverage for nearly a century). And I love how a little Italian Limoncello elevates this drink. Although you are […]

Cheesecake with Strawberries

A creamy cheesecake, especially topped with beautiful fruit, almost always delights everyone. Did you know that it became an essential Jewish classic decades ago? In the 1930s, Jewish bakers substituted a relatively new product—cream cheese—along with sour cream for the more-typical-at-the-time cottage cheese in their baked custards, and the New York-style cheesecake was born. The […]

Asparagus, Artichoke, Fennel, & Mozzarella Salad with Lemon-Oregano Dressing

Asparagus, artichokes, and fennel become unlikely but absolutely delicious partners in this Jewish-Italian inspired salad. The dressing of bright lemon and herby slightly pungent oregano—a classic Sicilian pairing—unites the spring and early summer vegetable flavors in beautifully tangy way.  This salad spares not one second in delighting the taste buds with flavors and textures that […]

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Sformato

The Italians were onto something with sformato, a creamy egg and vegetable dish that is elegant and yet homey, plus irresistible in flavor and texture. Most traditionally, sformato (pronounced sfohr-MAH-toh, coming from the Latin word for “form”) is a vegetable flan prepared in large ring mold or individual molds. But this dish doesn’t have to […]

Spinach Arancini

Rice laced with spinach and cheese and fried—spinach arancini bring home a delightful taste of Sicily. That’s where I first tried this version of deep fried risotto balls a couple of years ago when we visited to explore some of my Sicilian roots. The treat—shaped as big as oranges, ovals, or pears in the case […]

Marzipan Pignoli Hamantaschen with Salted Honey Butter

These hamantaschen are a love letter to Sicily, starring two iconic Sicilian ingredients—pine nuts and marzipan.  The pine nuts particularly evoke the Jews of Sicily who called the island home going back more than 2000 years. When Arab conquerors introduced pine nuts—especially in combination with currants or raisins—Jews welcomed the ingredients into their repertoire, such […]

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