How important is the food that a restaurant serves? For Guy Michlin, the Israeli founder of EatWith, the food is less important than the company: the social aspect of dining is the key to creating a memorable experience.
The Torah tells us that the 5 types of grain: wheat, oat, spelt, barley and rye, plus any grape or wine products, are all required to be eaten in the succah and need a special blessing. This delicious date and walnut bread can be shaped either into two large loaves or into small rolls. Perfect with hot soup or toast and enjoy with your favourite cheese.
This cold lemon schnitzel is an ideal dish for a Succot meal or a summery Shabbat lunch. It is easy and delicious and can be made with chicken or veal. You can also use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water if you like strong flavours. It was kindly given to me by Jose Romano Levi from Ferrara, home of a fascinating and long-standing Jewish community.
This vegan and gluten free dish is packed with delicious Asian flavours. Quinoa is high in protein and gluten free, and far healthier than white rice/pasta. So don’t feel bad about grabbing seconds — or even thirds. Serve with poached eggs for extra protein.
Preparation: 40 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
200g fine trimmed green beans, finely chopped
This easy dessert is perfect for sunken honey cake disasters or to use up leftovers — if you have any. You can replace the Marsala with any sweet wine or even the syrup from poaching the fruit. If you cannot find fresh figs, tinned or bottled ones in syrup or wine are perfect – no need to poach and you can use the syrup to spoon over the cake.
10 dessert apples (I prefer jazz apples)
Juice of ½ lemon
100g melted butter (lightly salted) or margarine plus a little extra for greasing
230g semolina, fine
130g soft light brown sugar
130g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
50g pecans, chopped
This dish — known as Couscous Pkeila in Tunisia — works best in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one cook it in a large, non-stick pot — the meat for 1½ to 2 hours plus another 45 minutes for the beans.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: with pressure cooker: 1½ hours; without: 2 to 2½ hours
Za’atar is a spice mix used in Middle Eastern cooking; its ingredients can vary by region. You can find it in some supermarkets, online or in Middle Eastern grocers.
The za’atar mix that I use is made with wild thyme and sumac mixed with roasted sesame seeds and salt.
It’s great in marinades, and fantastic with yoghurt or as a dip for bread.
It is a Sephardi tradition to eat pumpkin on Rosh Hashanah, as a symbol for prosperity and happiness. This dip is a Libyan Jewish recipe usually served as a starter or to accompany couscous with a main course. Tuershi is the name for many Middle Eastern pickled dishes. This dish is slightly different as it is not purely pickled and it is simple and fat-free.
This version of harissa — also called Felfel uciuma — is a key ingredient in Libyan Jewish cuisine. It is simple, without many ingredients, with a real kick of hot spicy chilli. The lemon gives flavour and helps preserve it for a long time if chilled.
‘The fish must be market fresh and the batter crisp and light. I have cod battered, but haddock in matzah meal, cod is just too thick for that. I like my chips dry and slightly crisp with lots of hot fluffy potato in the centre and only fried once. Malt vinegar, followed by salt, because if you put salt on first the vinegar washes it away.
Kosher pop-ups are springing up everywhere. The latest is from Shana Boltin, the Australian pickle queen and cook behind www.picklenation.co.uk working with Aron Cohen. She’ll be serving creative, seasonal, vegetarian offerings. Check her blog or Twitter feed @shanabananab for information.