Eggplant parmigiana is a southern Italian classic. It is typically prepared by dredging the sliced pieces of eggplant in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and then fried. The fried eggplant is then typically baked in a dish layered with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. I prefer a version that is healthier, easier to prepare, and the net result tastes lighter and better. In my eggplant parmigiana, I slice the eggplant in half-moons, season and roast them, then layer with tomato sauce, fresh ovolini and grated mozzarella, and sprinkle with grated parmesan and a delicious combo of bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. The product is so flavorful you won’t be running back to the old frying method anytime soon.
Frittatas are such a great way to get a delicious meal on the table in just about 20 minutes. You can throw in whichever veggies you prefer or have on hand. I am describing my quick savory with a touch of sweetness (sweet potatoes!) frittata that makes a great breakfast, brunch, lunch, or my favorite– breakfast for dinner. Serve it on its own or with a tasty side salad and get ready to rock your meal.
The Jewish holiday of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) begins at sundown tonight, and many will be celebrating by eating dairy, and especially cheesecake, Shavuot’s traditional dessert of choice. There are many cheesecake recipes out there, but if you are looking for something simple, that’s also light and creamy (with a touch of citrus), this is the one for you. I trust Flour Bakery with all baked goods and their “luscious cheesecake” is no exception. One change I made to their recipe was to use granulated sugar instead of vanilla sugar. In good news for those without a springform pan, Alton Brown says “a cheesecake needs a springform pan like a fish needs a bicycle”–he’s right! For instructions on doing this springform-free, check out my instructions in the notes for baking this in a 9-inch round cake pan. Chag Sameach to all celebrating, and to everyone else, who doesn’t deserve a good cheesecake, even on a weeknight?
a healthier 4-ingredient take on the classic delicious frozen treat
As soon as the weather warms up and the sprinkler goes on, the cravings hit for refreshing frozen treats. The recipe below is inspired by a version found on Baker by Nature. I know you will love these healthier chocolate fudgesicles, if your family members leave any for you to try!
Skewered anything is easy to prepare, and makes for flavorful vegetables as well as the main ingredient. Adeena Sussman (a cookbook author, known best for her Israeli cooking) has a delicious herbed fish kebab recipe in her recent book Sababa. My take on her fish kebabs–using mainly herbs from my garden–are detailed below. I prepared halibut, salmon, and tofu skewers. All were enjoyed by all but the halibut was especially popular. This marinade is also great on chicken and beef.
eggplant rounds coated in delicious seeds and seasoning
Our friends live in a beautiful village in the hills west of Jerusalem called Nes Harim. Enjoying a meal in their home with their picturesque view is always a treat, especially since they are such wonderful cooks and hosts. A few summers ago on a visit there, David baked sliced eggplant (hatzilim) for us and I have been making slight variations of what I call Nes Harim style ever since. The eggplant is cut into rounds, dipped in egg, coated with whatever delicious seeds and seasoning you have in your kitchen, drizzled with olive oil and then roasted. You can eat them as is, or topped with hummus and/ or tehina, eggs, or fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. They are hardy enough to act as a tasty bread replacement in a delicious sandwich. They even keep well in the fridge, so you can enjoy them for a few days!
tender fall-off-the bone chicken roasted with potatoes
This rotisserie-style chicken prepared without an actual rotisserie, is cooked low and slow. Seasoned with a wonderful blend of herbs, lemon, garlic, and olive oil and surrounded by potato wedges, you will believe it was prepared on an actual spit. Below is my version of a “faux-tisserie” recipe by Bon Appétit’s Food Editor-at-Large, Carla Lalli Music.
Sweet potatoes are very tasty whichever way prepared–steamed, grilled, or roasted. Cut up in fry-shape and roasted until crispy and caramelized make for a great side, snack or appetizer. I paired these with a bright, bold and zesty green tahini dip, inspired by a recipe from Soomfoods (a company, founded by 3 sisters, that sells high quality tahini products). The colors are beautiful, bright and this pairing made for a perfect match. Don’t feel like sweet potatoes? Pair this dip with any raw or roasted veggies, drizzle it on grains and/or any protein. I love to drizzle it on a fresh sabich (see photo below).
So we have been baking. A lot. There are so many amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookie recipes to choose from – I have posted a few here already (more amazing ones to come) such as my Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Ina’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies. When I first saw the recipe by Sarah Crawford, the creator of the Boston food blog Broma Bakery, for chewy peanut butter cookies (along with her great photos) I was inspired. Once I made them myself, I was sold. I made half the batch as directed and the second half with dark chocolate chips. Pure heaven.
I try to make a large pot of chicken stock every week or two. From there, the meal options are endless. Chicken soup, matzah ball soup, use of the stock in many, many different recipes. One night, the family members were craving chicken wonton soup. I came up with a recipe for wonton wrappers and filling and the results were fantastic.