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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sweet & Savory Challah Rolls

There’s no denying that a beautiful golden loaf of braided or round challah is a highlight on the table, raising spirits in delicious anticipation. But these rolls—or mini challahs, as I like to think of them—have their own charms. They are enticing little packages that stay soft and tender and give each recipient that delightful […]

Peperoni Ripieni (Stuffed Peppers with Eggplant)

Oh, just stuff it! In terms of food, that’s actually a good thing to say, since stuffed or filled foods tend to be especially delightful. The slightly hidden insides and the melding of flavors always offers a little surprise for the senses. In the case of my version of Italian stuffed peppers with eggplant (peperoni […]

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 […]

Spiked Peaches with Grilled Pound Cake

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 […]

Rustic Sicilian-Style Strawberry Cassata

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 […]

Calzones with Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper

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 […]

Hanukkah Fritters (Frittelle di Hanukkah) with Figs and Sambuca Honey

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 […]

Pumpkin Cake (Torta di Zucca) with Orange-Mascarpone Topping

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 […]

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 […]

My Go-To Pound Cake

  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 […]

Pasta Frittata with Broccoli Rabe, Basil, and Pine Nuts

Jews and Romans historically and spectacularly had their conflicts. But later, Jews also had centuries of fairly peaceful existence in Italy—even adopting and contributing to Italian cuisine. The holiday of Lag Ba’omer prompts my reflection on all that and a brand new Jewish-Italian recipe for a beautiful and savory pasta frittata with Italian broccoli rabe […]

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 […]