Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

A Deli-Lover’s Barbecue

Charlie Kleinman is the chef at San Francisco’s Wexler’s — a modern barbecue restaurant. (For those interested in New York Jewish history, Kleinman’s grandfather was the owner of the storied Lower East Side kosher Garden Cafeteria — which stood next to the original Forward offices and often hosted Jewish intelligentsia — from the 1940s through to the 1980s.)

Appetizer: A Modern Play on Schav Soup

Combine two cups of coconut milk, a bunch of sorrel, one English cucumber, five leaves of mint, a big of chopped jalapeno, one clove of garlic and salt. Blend it all together in a blender or food processor. Serve it with pumpernickel croutons — made by cutting up pumpernickel bread and toasting it with olive oil and toasting.

Main Course: Pastrami-style burgers

Start with store-bought pastrami spice, or make your own using black pepper, coriander, fennel seed, garlic and onion powder, and mix it with hamburger meat (roughly 2 tablespoons of spice to 1 pound of meat). Grill the burgers.

Side: Deli Mustard Coleslaw

Shred a green or red cabbage, some carrots, and slice a red onion. Make a dressing out of deli mustard (Gulden’s Spicy Brown is Kleinman’s favorite), cider vinegar, salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Then toss the vegetables with the dressing. You can make this a hour ahead of time or 24-hours in advance.

Side: Quick-Pickled Green Tomatoes

Toast up some peppercorns and coriander in a dry pot at low heat until they smell fragrant. Add two cloves of fresh chopped garlic, a quart of water, one-to-two cups of white vinegar (to taste), one cup of sugar, and two heaping tablespoons of kosher salt. Let it all melt on the stove at high heat. Add quartered green tomatoes. Cook the green tomatoes in the brine for about three or four minutes, and then let everything cool. If you’re using ripe tomatoes (red ones), cool down the brine first, pour it over the tomatoes and let the tomatoes marinate in the juices. This dish can last in the fridge for two weeks.

Dessert: Grilled Stone Fruit Compote

Cut plums, peaches and apricots in half and throw them on the grill. Keep them there just long enough to make grill marks, but make sure they don’t get too mushy. Either slice or keep the fruits halved and pour Manischewitz sweet wine on top to mascerate them. Let them sit for 1-2 hours.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.