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 […]

Spicy-Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

  One dish I hadn’t thought of as a Rosh Hashanah dish? Black-eyed peas. But it turns out that a stew of these creamy legumes with the signature black dot has a long history as a symbol of abundance for Rosh Hashanah, especially in Egypt and Turkey. In honor of that, I created an updated […]

Turkey Meatballs with Spicy-Sweet Pepper Sauce

Growing up, oh how we loved my mom and dad’s meatballs. And I kind of thought these were our own special food. Which they were, in the sense of connecting us to my dad’s Italian heritage and my parents’ specially tweaked recipe. But they also were not, as I would learn soon enough, in the […]

New Favorite All-Season Lemon Bars

These lemon bars do so many things right. Most important, they balance all the delightful contrasts in a good bar—soft, creamy filling and dense crust, sweetness and tartness, fruitiness and nuttiness. But they are also gluten-free and Passover-friendly, and sport a nutritious whole grain base. Thanks to quinoa flour, the crust holds nice structure and […]

Polpettone di Tonno with Horseradish Green Sauce

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 […]

Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

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 […]

Breakfast Rainbow Quinoa Bowl

Passover breakfasts. Ah, almost as daunting as Passover desserts, especially for those who enjoy cereal or toast for the morning meal. Weekday breakfasts are not something I usually want to spend much time on, and I also aim to have those first bites of the workday be relatively nutritious and good for me (that generally excludes […]

Strawberry and Mint Granita

There’s not much that’s truly simple about Passover cooking. I think that’s why a granita seemed like such an appealing addition to my playbook. This Sicilian frozen sweet is not only easy but also fresh and refreshing plus it requires just a few ingredients, looks beautiful, and is a versatile nondairy and pareve dish. It can […]

Chef Brian Robinson’s Hazelnut Dukka

Early on, one of the most intriguing aspects of DGS Delicatessen Chef Brian Robinson’s menu of dishes inspired by Meatballs and Matzah Balls for the April 3 Jewish Food Experience special event was his plan to garnish my pasta with hazelnut dukka (pronounced DOO-kah). It sounded good, but I’ll confess I didn’t really know what it was. And I’m rather sorry […]

Baby Artichoke Risotto

The Venetian Jewish ghetto turned out to be a surprising cultural crossroads and culinary mixing bowl—and one of the many dishes adapted and enjoyed by Venice’s Jews was artichoke risotto. As Venice marks 500 years since the creation of the ghetto and and as the new spring crop of artichokes hits the markets, it’s an […]

Butternut Squash Bomba di Riso (Rice Casserole)

Every year I seem to find a new way to love butternut squash, and this year it’s as part of my new recipe, Butternut Squash Bomba di Riso. It’s an Italian-style risotto rice casserole that I originally developed for Sukkot but that would warm up any cool night. Read my post and the recipe over at […]

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Passover, let me introduce you to my newest sweet friend, the chocolate lava cake…wait, what? You know chocolate lava cake’s Italian grandmother? Seriously? Yes, that’s right. Lava, molten, or pudding cakes with that luscious liquid chocolate center might seem like a hot, hot, hot contemporary fad, but the concept has a connection to Italy. In […]

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Years ago, I found a recipe for a clementine cake made with ground almonds. This sponge-style cake (getting most of its body from beaten egg whites) enticed me as a contrast to a Christmas dessert buffet of heavy, creamy, and chocolate-y confections. The way my imagination rendered the recipe, it would be light, fresh, and […]

Dates Stuffed with Roasted Pine Nut Butter

Spring might seem pretty far away for many of us (I write as a wicked winter wind howls outside my window), but in Israel, the earliest blooming trees are starting to shake off winter. Marking that is the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, or the new year for trees. One of the traditional foods to enjoy […]

Mediterranean Zucchini, Dill, and Feta Pie

The love affair, if there ever was one, is probably over. Mid-week of Passover, and you’d be forgiven if you’ve had your fill of matzah. If you’re like me, you might also have had enough chicken for one week. Thankfully, folks, we have options. This year, I’m smitten with the concept of vegetable pie. The […]