Biblical Barley and Herb Salad

These days, most people consider barley—if they consider it at all—as something wintery, perhaps sharing space with mushrooms in a warming bowl of soup. Here, this ancient whole grain gets the tabbouleh treatment, and becomes a significant salad loaded with herbs (and love—see Proverbs). Nice as part of a biblical mezze (Middle Eastern tapas, if you will), served alongside a blob of hummus and flatbread or with roasted eggplant, it’s just right for spring. Tahini is an extremely luscious sesame paste, available in Middle Eastern groceries, natural food stores, and most supermarkets. Like natural (preservative-free) peanut butter, tahini tends to separate, with the oil floating to the top of the sesame goodness below. Stir well before using.

This vegan braided challah is filled with dried fruit like dates, figs, apricots, toasted walnut and orange zest. It is perfect for Tu BiShvat, the new year of the trees in the Jewish tradition, when people eat from the fruit of Israel to remember the country’s abundance.

This latke combines Jewish tradition with Indian, as it is inspired by the Indian pakora snack.

This super fresh herb and bulgur Mediterranean salad is the perfect snack, side, or even meal when paired with hummus and pita bread! It can be made gluten-free by swapping the bulgur grain for a gluten-free option like quinoa.

Vegan Gondi, Chickpea Dumpling Stew, is a Persian-Jewish Shabbat hors d’oeuvres. It is typically made with chicken, however, it has been veganized using ground cauliflower and chickpea flour. It can be served alone as a stew or along with basmati rice.

You need not wait for a holiday—or be Jewish—to enjoy carrot and sweet potato tzimmes. It’s a festive dish for any cool-weather occasion.

In Yiddish, “tzimmes” means a big fuss or commotion. Fortunately, this mélange of sweet vegetables and dried fruits is not much of a fuss to make, and is a traditional side dish for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Passover.

An article in Jewish Food Experience details the origins of tzimmes, stating, “A traditional side dish for Rosh Hashanah, the sweet compote of carrot circles, like golden coins, represents a wish for a sweet and prosperous year. The first-known use of the Yiddish name tzimmes is from 1892, and it is said to have originated from the German zuomuose, or ‘side dish.’”

Carrots are one of the most commonly used of symbolic foods in Eastern European meals. The Yiddish word for carrot also means to increase or multiply—a positive wish for prosperity and luck to bring to the table. In this classic Jewish dish, carrots are combined with sweet potatoes and prunes, adding bright color to the table and plate.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

This is easy, satisfying comfort food. Kasha is buckwheat or groats, and varnishkes is Yiddish and means (or some will argue it only implies) bow-tie pasta. It’s traditionally made with schmaltz, but this version is vegan and totally delicious.

This simple, fast, and easy chopped salad is the perfect side for any time of year. Also sometimes referred to as Israeli salad or Middle Eastern salad, it’s a classic that goes with any meal.

Flavorful fluffy mashed potatoes wrapped in a flaky golden brown crust. Authentic Brooklyn Knishes that warm the heart and soul.

Baba ghanouj originates from Lebanon and is pronounced as ba-ba gha-noosh (or nooj) in Arabic. Baba ghanouj is also known as baba ganoush, bab ganouj or baba ganousche. It is written as بابا غنوج in Arabic.

The word baba means daddy and the word ghanouj means spoilt. So this is a spoilt daddy dip, haha.

It’s the dried mint in this very creamy and luxurious Baba Ghanouj recipe that makes this Lebanese eggplant dip taste even more spectacular.

A couple of my Lebanese friends even commented how wonderful it is as their family usually make it without. My Lebanese family wins!

This recipe is from my Mother’s recipe index, there are a couple of variations she has passed to me;

smokey
boiled
baked
with garlic, or without
with mint or without, but mostly with.
Whichever way baba ghanouj is made, this authentic Lebanese eggplant dip (or aubergine dip) is a great side dish for any mezze or meal.

When serving baba ganoush, it is always topped with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil.