It tastes like Jerusalem.
One of the perpetual challenges of the Sabbath-observant Jewish cook is finding colorful and flavorful dishes to serve at Saturday lunch that don’t require tons of day-of prep work or any reheating.
Janna Gur got this recipe from Marina Toporiya, a Georgian cook who turned out wonderful and unusual dishes from the old country.
Pomegranate molasses (or syrup) is available at Middle Eastern markets, some kosher markets and Whole Foods.
Growing up in Israel, it’s natural for Vered Guttman to love eggplants. She almost takes it personally when American friends say it’s their least favorite vegetable.
Growing up, the only thing that Lag Ba’Omer signified was a time for bonfires. In the New York suburbs the closet we got was barbeques, which for me meant an opportunity to eat watermelon. Barbeques were never particularly exciting to me, and when I got older and became a vegetarian, they held even less appeal. Furthermore, the holiday of Lag Ba’Omer also never fully made sense to me. Why were bonfires the hallmark of a celebration for ending of the plague killing Rabbi Akiva’s students?
In my earlier CSA Psolet Challenge posts, I committed myself to trying new recipes—specifically pesto—as part of my effort to be waste-free this month. My relationship to all this pesto-making turned out to be a mixed bag: I enjoyed eating pesto on pasta. I enjoyed creating a simple yet elevated dinner by spreading pesto on a baked potato. I enjoyed watching my one year old son smear pesto all over his face. What I did not enjoy was making the pesto. In my tiny Manhattan kitchen, none of the lovely kitchen appliances that occupied the extensive countertop in my Brooklyn apartment are anywhere within reach—so I grab the very useful Magic Bullet mini blender whenever I want to make a smoothie or some hummus. But sadly, the Magic Bullet was not particularly effective at making pesto, and blending the basil leaves and walnut to the right consistency became a very time consuming endeavor.
Stir first three ingredients carefully and wait for the relationships to bloom. After ten years, move from Indiana to California. Introduce best friend into the mix. Ann is the same age as the child, who is now entering public middle school after years of Jewish day school. Ann helps this child transition because she herself has been in transition for many years. She came from Andhra Pradesh when she was young and had her friends call her Ann instead of Ananta to help her acculturate. She, like the child, has eating restrictions because she is Hindu and fiercely vegetarian. She is also equally curious about the world and similarly unintimidated by it. They become fast friends and will spend many years sharing food, culture, religion, fears, love interests, overbearing parents, a drive to overachieve and our friendship – which has stood the test of time and space.
You can call it bronjenas, aubergine, or Jew’s apple. Eggplant’s origins are in South Asia, but its popularity across cultures has led to a plethora of names, Philologos writes.
Reader Mike Benn wrote to the Forward’s word fiend Philologos about a childhood memory of bronjenas, a flame roasted eggplant dish that his grandmother who lived in Palestine in the early 20th century made. The dish, while now called h’atsil al ha-esh in Israel and by other names the Balkans, lives on as a roasted eggplant mixed with tahini and/or yogurt. Read the article to find out the origin of eggplant and the many words used for it around the globe including the “Jew’s apple”.