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The Kosher Table
Cafe Shira - CLICK to see a larger, detail view of Cafe Shira, a Great Kosher Restaurant

Jewish Cooking for All Seasons: Fresh, flavorful recipes for Holiday and Every Day by Laura Frankel.

A Happy And Healthy New Year
For all of us.

-- Lisa Kelvin Tuttle

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the birthday of the world, and we make personal resolutions to change our habits for the better. At Yom Kippur, we take stock of our lives and vow to be better to one another and to ourselves. We wish one another good health and ask to be inscribed for another year in the book of life. What better time, then, to hold the kavannah --- the intention --- to choose health and to better nourish ourselves and the people we love?

This year, I renew my own intentions to choose health --- through the food I buy, prepare, and serve at my table, and by the actions I take that can make a difference to the health of others. I learned recently of the growing food insecurity (defined as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate or safe food) in our country, now estimated at 38 million undernourished people, and it made me even more committed to support organizations in our area that make a difference for those in need?such as Mazon, Manna, and the Jewish Relief Agency. Many synagogues have food drives at this time of year, and when you shop for your groceries, keep a lookout for ways to donate to hunger-relief organizations at the check-out counter.

For the start of they year, I present a selection of recipes that feature beautiful fresh vegetables and fruits, and that are in harmony with the season. They are heart-healthy and delicious to boot.

Wishing you and yours a joyful, healthy new year!

Until we eat again . . .


Lisa Kelvin Tuttle has professional experience in the gourmet, catering, and health-food fields, as well as being an experienced kosher camp cook. Her greatest pleasure, though, is cooking Shabbos dinner for family and friends. She is Communications Director for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and resides with her husband, Alan, and sons Adam and Jeremy in Wynnewood.

All questions concerning the kashrut of the establishments featured in this column should be directed to your rabbi. 

Caramalized Cauliflower Soup
Dairy or Pareve

The combination of roasted garlic and caramelized cauliflower lend this soup a wonderful, rich flavor. This recipe, adapted from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Laura Frankel?s Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, is festive enough for your Rosh Hashanah table or just the thing for a cool autumn night. It goes great with challah or a good crusty bread.

  • 1 head of garlic

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, cored and cut into florets

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped

  • 2 medium leeks, white part only (save the light and dark green tops for stock), chopped

  • 1 medium-large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced

  • 3 to 3 cups vegetable stock

  • cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

  • cup fat-free half and half or nondairy creamer (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Cut inch off the nonroot end of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place the garlic in a small baking dish or ovenproof ramekin and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and add enough water to come about 1 inch up the side of garlic. Cover the dish with foil and roast until the garlic is lightly browned and soft enough to squeeze out of the skins, about 1 hour. Set aside to let the garlic cool.

  3. Heat a stockpot or large saucepan over medium heat and lightly oil pot. Cook the cauliflower, celery, fennel, leeks, and potato with salt and pepper to taste until they are lightly browned and soft, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If desired, scoop out about cup cauliflower florets with a slotted spoon and reserve them for garnishing. Add 3 cups stock and the white wine to the remaining vegetables, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and add the cloves to the soup. Let the soup mixture cool slightly. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor, adding the half and half or creamer if desired. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with more stock or creamer.

  5. Reheat the soup just to simmering and serve, garnished with the reserved florets.

Baked Fish with Pistou

I love everything Faye Levy does. Her Low-Fat Jewish Cookbook was one of my Chanukah gifts a number of years ago and it has a special place on my cookbook rack. This is a simple, pretty presentation for just about any kind of fish. Faye recommends adding pistou, the French version of pesto featured here, to flavor soups, pasta, and vegetables as well.
  • 2 pounds fish filets or steaks, such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, or cod, about 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 cups baby lettuce leaves (such as Boston or mache)
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the fish in a single layer in a foil-lined roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Drizzle with one teaspoon olive oil. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the fish just flakes when tested with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the fresh basil well and pat dry. Chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the basil and chop finely. Gradually add cup plus remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, with the motor running. Scrape down the sides and puree again so the mixture is well blended. Set aside and reserve at room temperature.
  3. Serve the fish hot or cold. Line plates or a platter with the baby lettuce and top with the fish. Garnish with the cherry tomatoes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon pistou on each piece of fish.

Sepharic Beet Salad - Salata di Chukundor
Dairy or Pareve

Rabbi Gil Marks, author of the beautiful Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World, writes: ?While Europeans may season beets with dill or mix them with sour cream, Middle Easterners generally prefer them in tangy and spicy salads. This beet salad is popular Sabbath fare and a traditional Rosh Hashanah dish, because it is a symbol of a sweet year to come and because the Hebrew word for beet, silka, connotes that our enemies should be removed. This colorful, refreshing salad is a great accompaniment to poultry, meat, and fish.

  • 2 pounds 2-inch beets, about 8 total, stems trimmed to 1 inch
  • 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced


  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
  • About teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Or, put the beets in a large saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until fork-tender, about 35 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into -inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beets and onion. To make the dressing: In a small bowl. Combine the lemon juice, cilantro or parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the oil. Drizzle over the beets, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

 Serve chilled or at room temperature. Sprinkle with feta cheese just before serving, if desired.

Molly Roth's Honey Chiffon Cake
(Low-fat, No-cholesterol Lekach)

This lighter, healthier version of a tradition Rosh Hashanah dessert, adapted from Harriet Roth's Deliciously Healthy Jewish Cooking, is a winner. The coffee and apricot brandy or Sabra liqueur (my addition) lend the cake a wonderful fragrance and flavor. The original recipe calls for egg substitute in lieu of fresh egg yolks, but I prefer to separate whole eggs. I like to serve honey cake accompanied by an assortment of fresh and dried fruits and nuts.

  • 1 cups honey
  • 1 cups hot, strong coffee
  • 1 tablespoon apricot brandy or Sabra liqueur
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon ginger
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • cup canola oil
  • 4 extra-large eggs, separated
  • teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cup sliced almonds for garnish, optional
  • Confectioners? sugar, optional
  1. Dissolve the honey in the hot coffee; cool and add brandy or liqueur. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, cup sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oil, egg yolks (or cup egg substitute, if desired), and cooled coffee mixture; stir until smooth.
  4. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy; add the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy.
  5. Pour one third of the batter over the beaten egg whites and fold gently until blended. Repeat two times with the remaining batter.
  6. Pour and scrape into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Sprinkle with almonds if desired.
  7. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
  8. Invert the pan on a bottle or funnel and let cool completely.
  9. Loosen the sides of the cake wit a thin knife and remove from the pan.
  10. Dust with confectioners? sugar if desired before serving.

Previously on the Kosher Table