Kosher Kitchen

Loving springtime in my timeless kitchen


As Pesach holiday drew to a close, I wondered why I didn’t get to try out the 23 or 24 new Passover recipes I collected this year. Maybe next year.

And once again I found myself thinking (out loud) that our kitchen is too small as I stood between boxes of Pesach dishes and pots on one side and boxes of regular dishes and pots on the other side, not to mention the boxes of food I had to put back into the newly cleaned cabinets.

When we moved into our house, we had a 6-month-old baby. The kitchen seemed fine — until I tried to cook a company meal in the tiny wall oven. The roasting pan with chicken and the casserole dish with rice couldn’t fit in the oven at the same time. Then, when winter came, we discovered that the huge single pane window grew a thick sheet of ice — inside! The cabinets under the cooktop were impossible; if a pot or cover slipped off inside the cabinet, I would have to crawl inside to retrieve it. It was easy then — I was in my twenties! And then, one day, the counter suddenly developed a big long crack in the laminate.

So we redid the kitchen; took out a door, added an insulated window, new cabinets and a real stove. Domestic heaven. Within a month I noticed a bump in the counter. I called the installer; he came and fixed it — and the next one a week later. Like some bad whack-a-mole game, one bump would be fixed, and another would appear. They replaced the counter. A month later more, bigger, bumps. The kitchen guys were visiting even more than my mother! Eventually, they offered me a new kind of counter called Corian, indestructible and no more whack-a-mole laminate.! My kitchen was heavenly!

We soon grew from a family of three to four and then five. As the kids got bigger, the kitchen got smaller! Yes, the food got cooked, the meals got served and there was very little breakage or bloodshed. Still, I dreamed of expanding the kitchen out to the deck. With lots of Passover storage and lots more space for appliances and maybe even an additional wall oven.

We never did that; day school tuition came first. Over the years, our house became teen social central, and I would guess that several tons of food passed from the kitchen to their always hungry stomachs over the years. Teen boys can certainly eat!

The kids grew, I fed as many as 34 for a Seder one year, and still drew sketches of my dream kitchen. Then there was college tuition! And soon, before I blinked, everyday meals for five became meals for four, then three and finally, now, we are two with frequent mealtime visits by kids and grandchildren. My kitchen never grew, but we survived. And somehow, now, it doesn’t seem so small anymore, even with 18 guests for Passover and many of them back throughout the week.

So I guess my kitchen, though not the huge one I designed in my daydreams, has served us well through three kids, numerous parties, holiday meals and too-many-to-count Shabbat dinners. In all honesty, it really was the kitchen of my dreams! As they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home and mine is ticking just fine and filled with love and gratitude.

And now … it’s spring, time to enjoy fresh delicious spring veggies and healthy eating to help shed those Passover (chocolate) pounds.

Spring Onion and Potato Soup (Dairy or Pareve)

This is a creamless, milkless version. Delicious!

4 bunches of spring onions, about 8 to 10 spring onions

1/2 stick salted butter or pareve trans-fat-free margarine

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped

3 to 4 large russet potatoes

3 to 4 large yellow potatoes

4 to 6 cloves garlic, to taste, minced

2 to 3 quarts vegetable stock

Salt and white pepper, to taste

Garnish: Thinly sliced onion tops, or freshly snipped chives

OPTIONAL: Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish, chili oil, croutons

Cut the green parts of the spring onions away from the white and reserve. Peel and coarsely chop the white part of the onion.

Place the butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted. Add the chopped spring and yellow onions and stir. Cook until softened and lightly golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes. Add the garlic and mix for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to mix with the onions, and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly golden in a few places. Add the vegetable stock. Stir once more.

Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes fall apart, about 20 to 30 minutes or less depending on the size of the potato pieces.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for about 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender and process the soup until creamy smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.

Finely mince the green onion tops, or, for a milder flavor, some fresh chives, ladle soup into each bowl and garnish with a teaspoon of the greens. If you like, you can garnish with a dollop of sour cream and then sprinkle with the green onion tops. Makes about 3 quarts of soup.

Asparagus With Orange and Sesame (Pareve)

This is usually served cold, but is also delicious served warm.

1 pound asparagus stalks, ends trimmed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 shallots, minced

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

2 scallions, white part and about 2 inches of green, minced

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 tsp. grated orange zest

1/2 to 1 tsp. honey

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. soy or tamari sauce

2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Steam the asparagus until it is bright green and crisp tender, about 3 to 6 minutes depending on thickness of stalks. When done, place under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the shallots and scallions. Stir and heat a minute, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir often and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add orange juice, orange zest, honey, lemon juice and soy or tamari sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is reduced by about one third or about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. If not sweet enough, you can add a bit more honey. Place the cooled asparagus in a shallow baking dish and pour the sauce over. Toss to mix thoroughly. Add the sesame seeds, toss, and chill for 30 minutes, or overnight. Garnish with orange slices or mandarin orange segments before serving. Serves 4 to 8.

Roasted Baby Spring Vegetables (Pareve)

Yes, this is simple and mindless, but so delicious that I make it all the time with lots of different veggies. From family dinners to company, there is nothing better than beautiful roasted baby veggies on a gorgeous platter. Season with a simple vinaigrette or just salt and pepper and a little olive oil.

1 bunch spring onions

5 to 6 large shallots, peeled and cut in quarters lengthwise

1 cup baby red onions

2 bunches baby carrots (not the cut ones, true baby ones, just pulled from the ground with green tops still in place)

1/2 to 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 pound baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise

Small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise

Large white or small Portobello mushroom caps

OTHER VEGGIES: small tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, creamer potatoes, eggplant — any veggies you like

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 to 1 tsp. kosher salt

Herbs: 3 to 4 fresh rosemary stalks, small bunch fresh thyme, chives, etc.

OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 to 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and add a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the baby red onions for about 2 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and plunge them immediately into a bowl of ice-cold water. Peel the onions and set aside. Keep the water boiling.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the parchment and brush it over the paper. Peel the shallots, cut them in quarters and put them in the casserole dish. Trim the spring onions, peel them, trim off the green tops (save for salads), cut into quarters and add them to the dish. Add the rest of the olive oil and toss to coat the veggies. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Trim the greens from the carrots, leaving a bit at the top for color. Wash them and add to the boiling water. Simmer for about 10 minutes until barely fork tender. Remove from the water and place on a paper towel to dry them.

After about 20 minutes, check. The onions should be golden, but not burned. Remove the dish from the oven and add the other veggies. Place sprigs of the herbs over tall the veggies. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, stir the veggies and add the green beans. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes.

When the veggies are fork tender and beginning to brown, the onions and shallots should be just about caramelized, remove from the oven. Remove the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

If you are using a vinaigrette: Mix the maple syrup with the vinegar and the oil (or mix any vinaigrette you like) and drizzle half the mixture over the veggies right after adding them to the pan. Roast as directed above, checking often to make sure they are not burning. You can drizzle the rest of the marinade over the veggies for the last 5 minutes of roasting. Remove the herbs before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Goat Cheese (Dairy)

Broccoli Rabe is a vegetable that is frequently eaten in Italy. It is often called rapini and is loaded with phytonutrients, it has a slightly bitter flavor which can be reduced by boiling it first. Leave out the cheese for a Pareve dish.

1 pound broccoli rabe

2 to 6 cloves garlic, as much as you like

2 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 cup goat cheese, Feta cheese, or Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

OPTIONAL: A pinch of red pepper flakes

Rinse the broccoli rabe and trim the tough bottom stems. Roughly chop the broccoli rabe and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the well-drained broccoli and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, turning to coat with the oil and garlic. Cook until heated through and fork tender. (I taste a bite of the stalk to make sure it is not too tough.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter and drop little pieces of cheese over the rabe. Toss gently and serve. Serves 4 to 8.

Easy Lemon Garlic Sesame Asparagus (Pareve or Dairy)

2 pounds asparagus

3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. butter or pareve margarine

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

1 to 2 tsp. water

Additional extra virgin olive oil

Trim the asparagus and cut each spear into about 3 to 4 pieces, depending on length. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet and add the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and mix, stirring constantly just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus and 1 scant teaspoon water. Cover, and heat for 1 minute, stirring once or twice. Add 1 teaspoon of water if the water is completely evaporated. Add the lemon zest and stir to heat. When the asparagus is cooked to your liking, remove from the pan to a platter, Sprinkle with sesame seeds and a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve or place in a Tupperware like container, refrigerate and serve cold on salads. Serves 4 to 6.

Almond Crusted Fillet of Sole with Chive Lemon Sauce (Dairy)

This is a simple variation of sole almandine. A yummy dish for family or company.

8 sole fillets, about 5 to 6 ounces per person

1/2 cup unbleached flour

2 eggs

1 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs

1 tsp. onion powder, divided

1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, divided

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Canola oil


Juice of 1 or 2 lemons, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup

1/2 stick butter

1/3 cup pareve chicken broth

OPTIONAL: Splash of white wine

1 Tbsp. freshly snipped chives

1/2 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press


1/2 cup toasted, slivered or sliced almonds

Heat a frying pan and add the sliced almonds. Shake the pan or stir constantly until just fragrant and beginning to turn golden. Remove from heat immediately and pour right onto a plate to cool.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and add half the onion powder and parsley. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the breadcrumbs and ground almonds in a flat shallow bowl and season with the remaining onion powder, parsley and some salt and pepper. Place the bowls side by side, flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Place a plate next to the bowl of crumbs. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the crumbs on the plate.

Heat a large frying pan (you can use the one from the almonds) and add enough Canola oil to generously coat the bottom.

Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry. Dip the fish in the flour, shaking off the excess, then the egg, letting the extra drip off, and finally, into the crumbs, pressing gently to coat. Place on a plate. Repeat with three more pieces of fish. Place the four fillets in the hot oil and cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the fish on a heatproof pan and place in a 250-degree oven to keep the fish warm. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

FOR THE SAUCE: Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup. Add the pareve chicken broth. Place half the butter, garlic, and the snipped chives in another microwave-proof small bowl. Heat both until the butter is just melted. Stir and set aside to cool for just a minute. Add the heated liquid to the butter and whisk. Add the remaining butter in small pieces whisking constantly until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Drizzle over the fish and top with the toasted slivered almonds. Serves 4.

Rhubarb Berry Crumble with Whipped Cream (Dairy)

The rhubarb in my yard is about 10 inches tall and lush. Can’t wait to harvest! This recipe calls for 5 cups of berries. You can use all strawberries or any assortment you like. It is really a simple recipe to make and is delicious.


4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

3 cups strawberries, hulled, rinsed, cut in half or quarters if large or a mix of 1 cup raspberries, washed and gently dried

1 cup blackberries, cut in half, if large

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

Crumble topping:

1 stick plus 3 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts or a mixture

Pinch salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 stick butter melted


2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter the bottom of a large (4-quart) baking dish.

Place the rhubarb and berries in a large bowl, add the sugar and lemon rind and toss gently.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the pomegranate juice and toss with the rhubarb mixture. Pour the berries into the prepared dish and set aside.

Cut the butter into small pieces and set aside. Place the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add the butter and cut into the flour with two forks or a pastry blended. Add the nuts and mix well. Add the eggs and mix well until the mixture is crumbly Spread the mixture evenly over the rhubarb mixture. Melt the butter and drizzle over the crumble topping.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until nicely browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place the beaters of an electric mixer in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip the cream on slow. As it begins to thicken, increase speed to high and add the sugar, slowly. Add the vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form. Serve the crumble with the whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.