Two holidays, one week, one menu.
Special to the Jewish News
ext week is quite a week. On Tuesday
evening, May 25, we begin the festival of
Shavuot. Hot on its heels is our American
holiday of Memorial Day.
Shavuot means "weeks" — in this case seven, the
number of weeks the holiday comes after Passover —
and refers to the date when Jews received the Ten
Commandments at Mount Sinai.
The word Shavuot also means "oaths" and suggests
the covenant between God and the Jewish people.
Shavuot is also a harvest holiday, which is significant to
Like Sukkot, homes are festooned with fruits, flow-
ers, branches and greenery. And for many reasons, it's
long established that dairy foods are served during this
Because Memorial Day is a time for families and
friends to gather, it becomes the unoffici l opening day
of the summer entertaining season. For many, barbe-
cues are fired up for the first time for mass feeding.
How do these holidays relate, foodwise? They don't,
really. Although many of the recipes that are appropri-
ate for Shavuot are suitable for a Memorial Day gather-
ing. Beyond blintzes and cheesecake for Shavuot, are
the many salads, side dishes and desserts which can be
prepared and that include dairy ingredients.
MARINATED GOAT CHEESE APPETIZER
1 log (about 10 oz.) soft goat cheese, such as . Chevre
1 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 T minced garlic
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the cheese log in a small, attractive, glass or
ceramic baking dish and mash cheese down with a
spoon (do not smooth it). Sprinkle the pepper, pepper
flakes, garlic, thyme and lemon peel over the cheese.
Drizzle the olive oil over the cheese. Cover the dish
with plastic wrap and marinate for up to five days.
To serve, preheat oven to 400F. Remove the plastic
wrap and bake the cheese for about 20 minutes, or
until it is bubbly and hot. Serve as a spread for gour-
met crackers or French bread rounds. Makes 8 servings.
CHEESY CHUNKY POTATOES
4 pounds new or redskin potatoes, quartered if small
and cut into eighths if larger
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped mild onion, such as Vidalia
2 T. minced garlic
1 t. salt
3/4 t. ground white pepper
3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Place potatoes in a large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and
toss well to coat. Transfer the
potatoes to an attractive baking
dish. Cover the dish with foil
and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil from the potatoes and bake another -
30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the
potatoes are golden and bubbly. Serve hot. Makes .8-12
PASTA SALAD WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA
AND TOMATOES AND CAPERS .
1 pound dry pasta shape (penne and gemelli are
good) or 2 pounds tortellini (stuffed with mush-
rooms, cheese or spinach)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1-2 roasted red peppers (jarred is fine), chopped
2 cups diced fresh Buffalo or fresh mozzarella
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T. parsley flakes
2 T drained capers
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta or tortellini in large pot of boiling salted
water according to package directions until al dente (do
not overcook — the pasta should not be mushy).
Drain well and rinse with cold water to stop the cook-
Transfer the pasta to a large to large bowl, add
remaining ingredients and toss well. Cover with plastic
wrap until ready to serve, up to one day in advance.
Adjust salt and pepper before serving. Makes 16 side-
GRILLED VEGETABLE SANDWICHES
WITH ASIAGO CHEESE
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced vertically
2 bell peppers, any color, halved, stem and seeds
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1 large or 2 smaller portabella mushrooms, stems
1 large onion, sliced into thick rings (do not separate)
2 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
olive oil for brushing on vegetables
1/4 cup lightly toasted pinenuts
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the vegetables very
lightly with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill until
the bottom side of the vegetables in well marked with
grill lines and turn over. Grill other side of the vegeta-
bles until tender. (Note: The carrots take a long time,
but the zucchini cooks very quickly. The vegetables
should be tender/crisp, not mushy).
Remove from the grill and cool to the touch before
cutting all the vegetables into strips and/or small pieces.
Toss the vegetables with pinenuts, salt and pepper and
vinegar to taste.
Cut the baguette lengthwise, but do not cut through.
Sprinkle the cheese and basil leaves along the inside
length of the baguette. Stuff all the vegetables into the
baguette. To serve, cut the baguette into sandwich
lengths (4 to 8), securing the sandwiches with long
toothpicks or skewers, if desired, and serve. Makes 4-8
QUICK PIZZA WITH GARLIC,
BLUE CHEESE, RED PEPPER AND ONIONS
1 premade pizza crust (such as Boboli)
extra virgin olive oil for brushing the crust
1 cup thin sliced red onion, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, sliced into very thin strips
2 T. rough chopped garlic
1 cup shredded brick cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, any variety (or more to
1 t. dried oregano
fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400E Brush crust lightly with olive
oil. Arrange the onions, bell pepper and garlic over the
crust. Sprinkle the cheeses over and season with
oregano and black pepper. Bake the crust directly on
the oven rack (or grill if you like) and bake for 10-15
minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. Makes 8 wedges.
BERRIES WITH MASCARPONE CHEESE
Alternately, you may serve the berries and Mascarpone
sauce over pound cake wedges.
4 pints (4 cups) fresh berries, any variety, rinsed (cut
strawberries in half or quarters if large, plus extra
berries for garnish
1 cup chilled whipping cream
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 berry liqueur or lemon extract
Divide berries among eight individual dessert bowls
or wine glasses. Set aside.
Whip cream in a cold bowl with cold beaters until
soft peaks form (do not beat until stiff). Fold in the
remaining ingredients and spoon the mixture over the
berries and serve garnished with a few berries and a
fresh mint leaves, if desired. ❑
More Shavuot recipes at vvvvvv.detroitjewishnews.com