Childhood Memories Salad

A salad that can fill you with a lifetime's worth of memories...and delicious Middle Eastern flavors.

Growing up in Barcelona in a Jewish/Lebanese household, we were lucky to be exposed to an amazing fusion of cuisines that sparked our interest in food at a very young age.  We had the chance to enjoy an incredible array of herbs, spices, flavors and textures that we still remember and use to this day.

Almost every ingredient, flavor and recipe we use today has a memory attached to it. And that is something we treasure immensely, now that we live in a town on the east coast, so far away from home.

3 Persian cucumbers
3 kumato tomatoes, diced
9 medium radishes, diced
1.5 cups fresh chopped cilantro
6 0z sheep's milk feta cheese, crumbled
For the pita bread croutons:
3 pita pockets
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp za'atar
For the spiced chickpeas:
2 cans chickpeas (15 oz), drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the dressing:
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp luke warm water
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup

Growing up in Barcelona in a Jewish/Lebanese household, we were lucky to be exposed to an amazing fusion of cuisines that sparked our interest in food at a very young age.  We had the chance to enjoy an incredible array of herbs, spices, flavors and textures that we still remember and use to this day.

Lamb Kofta In Your Pan

Resist the temptation to just stare at "Jerusalem's" delicious photos.
Special To The Jewish Week

A feast for the eyes and the taste buds, “Jerusalem: A Cookbook,” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is inspiring, and easy to use. The pictures of the food and people of Jerusalem capture the spirit of the Old City – you can almost hear the Hebrew and Arabic and smell the mountains of spices.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

It's Hummus Day!

A simple recipe with enough ingredients to make it interesting.
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You could be forgiven for not knowing that May 13 is International Hummus Day. That's because it's only been so for a year, and it's only so at all because in 2012 a young Israeli tech entrepreneur named Ben Lang decided it should be. His idea, according to the Times of Israel, was that hummus is sufficiently beloved by the peoples of the fractious Middle East that it can serve as a source of unity.

Peace out. Fotolia

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The best thing I ever ate was a crepe off of a food truck in Paris. Perhaps it was because I consumed it at the fourth meal hour of 3:00 a.m., but I still dream of the soft yet slightly crunchy crepe oozing lots of gooey cheeses and fresh spinach. Once I started cooking Jewish cuisine for a living, I realized my beloved crepe was really just the French equivalent of Bubbe’s classic cheese blintzes.

How about a land flowing with cheese & cilantro sauce? Amy Kritzer

Covet Thy Cheesecake

Celebrate Shavuot with mini snickerdoodle cheesecakes topped with peach bourbon compote.
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Shavuot is upon us, and this holiday always reminds me of two things: dairy, and turning thirteen. One reason we eat dairy on Shavuot is in recognition of the Israelites receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. They instantly had to adopt the laws of kashrut, but without the necessary instruments to slaughter and prepare kosher meat, they opted for dairy – though they probably didn’t have the holy experience of tasting snickerdoodle cheesecakes.

From the Sinai Desert to Shavuot dessert. Amy Kritzer

Easy Does It

In the days of Shavuot, enjoy salmon three easy ways.
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Imagine if everything in life could be broken down into three skill levels from a simple task, to one made simpler, to the simplest of all.  I’ve taken that concept and applied it to cooking. Let's use basketball as a handy metaphor. A simple recipe could easily be mastered by Kobe Bryant, while a simpler recipe might be handled by a varsity ball player and the simplest recipe by a toddler learning to dribble! That's the concept behind Simple, Simpler, Simplest.

Salmon is delicious and easy, whether fancy or simple. June Hersh

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Bring on Shavuot with goat cheese ice cream and panna cotta.
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Chicken with strawberry balsamic jam or curried sweet potato borekas might not be what first comes to mind when thinking about a traditional kosher menu, but at 12 Tribes in San Francisco, innovative dishes like that are the norm. As a kosher catering company whose motto is “seasonally delicious, happens to be kosher” 12 Tribes is right at home in the San Francisco Bay Area where seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced food are a major part of the food ethos.

Panna cotta is sweet and jiggly, a kind of grown-up Jell-o. Shoshana Ohriner

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Try a chic take on the standard chips and dip with salad.
Food & Wine Editor

Now that spring has found its way to New York City, grab a blanket, a basket, and a bottle of sunscreen and head out to the park for a lunchtime picnic. Bon Appétit has some great picnic recipes for a cool and casual meal.

Picnic lunches make springtime special. Fotolia.

Crazy For Israeli Couscous

Pack some springtime flavor into fluffy Israeli couscous.
Food & Wine Editor

Couscous, the grain so nice they named it twice! Oy, a corny joke, but also quite accurate when it comes to Israeli couscous. As I learned from Sam Talbot on GMC Trade Secrets, Israeli couscous is smaller than ordinary couscous and therefore less granie, and quicker to cook. What’s nice about this recipe is it packs in a lot of great spices and flavors thanks to the dried coconut, pine nuts, onion, lemon and garlic. A perfect dish to welcome springtime.

Israeli couscous is a fresh, satisfying side dish. Fotolia

Shakshuka, Sabra-Style

Taglit-Birthright's online cookbook globalizes Israeli cooking.
Food & Wine Editor

After returning from a trip to Israel, it's difficult to find falafel in the United States that lives up to the deliciousness of the one you had on Ben Yehudah, or anywhere in Israel for that matter. But that's all about to change.

Pita and hummus recipes featured in the cookbook.
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