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Light Dairy for Shavuot

May 29, 2014 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Great Shavuot dishes that will make your Yom Tov delicious and extra special.

For Shavuot, I do enjoy the treat of a dairy meal for Yom Tov. But I try and use dairy in different ways than most. I like a hint of cheese in a salad, a little sour cream in a fruit soup for tanginess, or a bit in a salad dressing to add creaminess. I avoid dishes with lots of melted cheese that have come to be expected. I like to pair lighter fish dishes and extra salads with all the dairy side dishes to create a balanced menu. Here are a few great Shavuot dishes that will make your Yom Tov delicious and extra special.

Chilled Strawberry Sour Cream Soup

Chilled Strawberry Sour Cream SoupThis is a recipe from my great Aunt Thelma. All of her recipes were quick and easy but people loved them and this one got passed down to me through my grandmother’s old recipe file.

Serves 5

  • 4 cups (1 quart) strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups cold water
  • ½ cup Rose Wine

In a blender or food processor, whirl all the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish

Romaine Salad with Pomegranate and Jicama and Sweet Onion Dressing

Serves 10

  • ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cups sliced hearts of palm
  • 1 small jicama, diced in ½-inch pieces
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, sliced


  • ½ onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For salad: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

For dressing: In a small bowl, whisk onion, mustard, sugar, and salt. Puree dressing with an immersion blender. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while blending to emulsify. Stir in poppy seeds. (Alternatively, this can be done with a whisk and whisk while drizzling in olive oil).

Pour dressing on salad. Toss to coat and serve.

Chopped Kale Salad with Goat Cheese and Figs

Serves 8 – 10

This salad is a kosher copy of a treif version with prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese by Giada De Laurentiis. I love the kosher version with crispy kale and sweet cheese and figs. Perfect for Shavuos!

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 10 ounces Tuscan kale, stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced
  • 3 Belgian endives, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • One 6-ounce head of radicchio, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 8 fresh or dried figs, cut into wedges
  • 4-ounce goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake for 8 minutes, until golden. Let cool.

In a very large bowl, whisk the mascarpone, vinegar and both oils; season with salt and pepper. Add the toasted walnuts, kale, endives, radicchio, figs and toss well. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese over the salad.

The mascarpone vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight.

Asian Bok Choy Salad

Asian Bok Choy SaladServes 8


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 stalk bok choy, washed and chopped
  • 8 scallions, chopped
  • 2 packages ramen noodles (flavor package discarded)
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup craisins
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Mix dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Divide dressing in half.

Asian Bok Choy Salad

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, cook bok choy and scallions until soft, about 4 minutes. Add ramen noodles (uncooked). Add half of dressing and heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix cooked bok choy/noodle mixture with almonds, sesame seeds, craisins, and romaine. Add remaining dressing, a little at a time, until fully coated. Serve immediately.

Mini Cheese Crepes with Cinnamon Pecan Cream Sauce

Serves 10


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • dash baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • pinch salt
  • Canola oil


  • 1 pound farmer cheese
  • ½ cup whipped cream cheese (4-ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar

Cinnamon Pecan Topping:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Crepes:

In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients until smooth.

In a 6 inch sauté pan, heat ½ teaspoon oil. When oil is hot, add about 2 tablespoons batter and swirl around pan. Cook until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from pan, and continue making individual crepes, using all of the batter. Cover to keep cooked crepes warm.

For Filling: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into crepe. Spread a bit, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll gently and set aside.

For Topping: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens lightly, about 3-4 minutes.

To serve: Lay warm, filled crepes in a decorative 9 x 13 pan. Warm sauce and pour over crepes. Sprinkle with roasted pecans and serve.

Salmon with Green Herbs and Lemon

Salmon with Green Herbs and LemonServes 6

This is an adapted recipe from Ina Garten. The herbs add flavor and the lemon gives it freshness. I added Dijon mustard and lemon zest to her original recipe. I also added the roasted lemons and squeeze the juice over the cooked salmon. Roasted sweet lemon is delicious.

  • 1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) salmon fillet, skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in an oven-proof dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet. Sprinkle the lemon zest all over the herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet. Dip the cut lemon (each half) in the sugar. Place in the pan next to the fish.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with squeezed sugared lemon on top.

Sesame Soy Semi-Homemade Salmon

Sesame Soy Semi-Homemade SalmonServes 8

  • 8 (6 ounce) salmon fillts, skin on
  • ½ cup Mikee sesame teriyaki sauce or other brand of same variety
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Place salmon in a 9 x 13 glass or non-reactive dish.

In a small bowl, mix teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Pour mixture over salmon and marinade for a few hours, covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to broil. Broil salmon for 14 – 20 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn. The top should be nicely browned and the interior soft but cooked through.

Flounder with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Flounder with Lemon Garlic SauceServe 4

This can be made with flounder or sole too. It’s a simple and classic fish dish.

  • 4 (6-ounce) flounder fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup pareve chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of fish in flour. reserve excess flour. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fish to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add reserved flour and garlic to pan; cook 90 seconds or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add wine and stock, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, parsley, and lemon juice. Serve fish with sauce.


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