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Vegetable Delights

May 9, 2009 | by Elana Mizrahi

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

I was studying in Paris during my junior year in university when I passed nearly every Shabbat in a Moroccan family's home. I'll never forget those Shabbats chez la famille Gabay, nor will I forget their Shabbat table laden with dozens of small side salads. If you were to ask Madame Gabay for a recipe, it would be, "A little of this and a little that." It's been years since I've experience those beautiful Shabbats, but I've kept the image of colorful healthy appetizers at my Shabbat table alive taking a little of this and a little of that -- using whatever is fresh and making it simply delicious.

Moroccan Eggplant

1 large eggplant (select a firm, dark purple eggplant)
1 clove of garlic minced
Olive oil
Salt to taste

Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and lightly coat with olive oil. Bake the eggplant at a very high temperature until it is soft and the skin wrinkled.

Let the eggplant cool. Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and discard the skin. Mix in the garlic and sprinkle with salt to taste (eggplants are bitter so you'll need salt). Now, cover the eggplant with olive oil, yes cover it and remember eggplants are high in fiber and anti-oxidants and olive oil is high in cholesterol lowering fat. Sprinkle with cilantro to decorate and serve.

Roasted Tomatoes

6 small to medium round tomatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
Cilantro or basil
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Stuff each tomato half with garlic and either cilantro or basil (you can use fresh or dried), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350 or until the tomatoes are soft. Serve at room temperature.

Fennel with Apples and French Vinaigrette

2 large bulbs of fennel
1 tart green apple
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 T balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off the leaves of the fennel and thoroughly clean the stalks and bottom of the bulb. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Slice and cut the apple into thin 1 inch pieces. Drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the mixture. Add the vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and a bit of black pepper to taste. Mix and serve.

Roasted peppers with anchovies.

4 bell peppers, I like to use a mixture of yellow and red
1 can of olive oil packed anchovies
2 scallions diced

Cut the pepper in half and drizzle their outside surfaces with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet with the outside up. Broil for about 25 minutes. Let cool and peel off the outer skin. Cut into strips lengthwise. Pour the olive oil from the can onto the peppers. Cut the anchovies into small pieces and mix with the peppers. Decorate with the diced scallions.

Mushrooms with Vinaigrette

250 g of white button mushrooms (a package) thoroughly cleaned.
Olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the mushrooms. Toss in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature.


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