Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Whenever I go to my dentist, Dr. Howard Rosen, we always get into a major discussion about food. We discuss recipes, restaurants, and even wine. Actually, Howard usually does most of the talking because it’s somewhat difficult for me to respond other than with a nod or grunt as he’s busy doing his dental magic in my mouth! I think Howard talks about food because he knows how passionate I am about it—and he’s discovered it’s a great way to distract me. He also makes sure to have the Food Channel on while he’s working on me – lots of ‘food for thought.’ I once brought him some Wheat Berry Salad, and since then, each time I come to his office, he reminds me about it, hoping that I’ll do it again.
His dental assistant, Tamar Oziel, is also involved in our culinary discussions as she loves to cook. Tamar is currently developing a line of parve vegetable based “cheese” products and chips under the brand Vegeez. I asked her if she would share some of her favourite Shabbat recipes with my readers and Tamar kindly obliged.
I’m also including the recipe for the Wheat Berry Salad that Howard loves so much. He takes excellent care of filling my cavities and now I’m taking care of filling his stomach! Enjoy…
HOWARD’S FAVOURITE WHEAT BERRY SALAD
This versatile grain-based salad was inspired by a recipe from Lee Ann Gallant, a Toronto pediatrician and vegetarian. She uses organic foods whenever possible to optimize good nutritional health. Use your food processor to speed up the preparation time.
1 cup wheat berries (white or red), rinsed and drained
3 cups lightly salted water (for cooking)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 green apples, unpeeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery or fennel
2/3 cup of your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing (homemade or store-bought)
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine wheat berries with lightly salted water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1–1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain if necessary and let cool. (Can be prepared in advance and refrigerated.)
- In a large bowl, combine wheat berries with peppers, green onions, parsley, cranberries, apples, and celery. Add vinaigrette, salt, and pepper; mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
Makes about 6 cups. Keeps about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Shop Talk! Wheat berries come in soft and hard varieties, but this doesn’t refer to tenderness. Soft wheat berries are low in gluten and hard wheat berries are high in gluten. They will triple in volume when cooked. Soaking overnight helps reduce cooking time.
- Chews Right! Wheat berries have a chewy texture, so be prepared to chew! Use in salads, as a substitute for rice, pasta. or other grains, or even as a breakfast cereal.
- Short on Time? Instead of wheat berries, substitute 3 cups of your favourite cooked grain (e.g., freekeh, quinoa, rice).
- Can I Freeze? Cooked wheat berries will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator or can be frozen for 3–4 months, so cook up a big batch and use them throughout the week in different recipes. Now that’s using your grain!
TAMAR’S MOROCCAN FISH TAGINE
Chermoula is a Moroccan sauce that is made with garlic, fresh herbs, and spices and is used to flavour fish dishes. Although there are several steps to this recipe, it’s quite quick to assemble.
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Your favourite fish (e.g., sole, cod, haddock, salmon, or grouper); enough to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, approximately 2 lbs
8 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into 3 mm (about 1-inch) slices
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 each green and red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
Chopped parsley and cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with oil.
- Prepare Chermoula by adding all of the ingredients except the olive oil into a mortar and pestle and pound them into a rough paste. Slowly add olive oil, pounding in between additions.
- Coat fish with Chermoula on both sides and set aside.
- Coat potato slices by tossing them with Chermoula.
- Place a layer of potatoes in bottom of baking dish.
- Place a layer of fish on top of potatoes.
- Place another layer of potatoes on top of fish.
- Place a layer of tomatoes over potatoes.
- Place a layer of pepper slices over tomatoes.
- Pour remaining Chermoula over the top and spread evenly.
- Stir together sauce ingredients (except parsley and cilantro) in a bowl. Pour sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with parsley and cilantro.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and move baking dish to the top rack. Bake an additional 10 minutes, until fish and potatoes are tender and the top is lightly crusted. Serve warm.
Serves 6 to 8.
TAMAR’S ALMOND MACAROONS
3 cups almond flour
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp orange or rosewater, or water
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well to mix.
- Beat egg together with lemon zest and add to dry ingredients. Mix into a firm paste and knead lightly to form dough into a ball.
- Divide into walnut-sized balls. Roll the balls in icing sugar.
- Place the balls onto the cookie sheets and flatten with the back of a fork. Place 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown at the edges. Bake them a little longer if you prefer crunchier cookies.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing cookies from parchment paper. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 dozen. Freezes well.