• Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Sformato
  • Spinach Arancini
  • Marzipan Pignoli Hamantaschen with Salted Honey Butter
  • Mushroom and Barley Soup
  • Almond Kifli

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 […]

Mushroom and Barley Soup

A comforting and earthy classic, this soup emerged hundreds of years ago as an essential for Eastern European Jews. Although porcini mushrooms seem like an exotic item today (and are pricey to boot), Jews in places like Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine had ready access to this type of mushroom, which grew profusely in the forests […]

Almond Kifli

Almond Kifli are delightful crescent-shaped sweets from Ashkenazi Jewish traditions, particularly in Hungary and Austria. They might remind you of recipes like snow balls or Mexican wedding cookies with their wonderfully crumbly and light texture and inviting white coat of confectioners’ sugar. This style of cookie has become popular across many traditions worldwide, and it’s […]

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

At once crispy and creamy, fried mashed potato balls take you right from Thanksgiving’s leftover mashed potatoes to a Hanukkah fried delight. And actually, even if I don’t have leftovers, I will make this recipe (don’t worry, latkes, we will be making you, too) because it is uniquely fun and a texture and flavor sensation […]

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