Home Food Holiday recipes from Israel

Holiday recipes from Israel


Chef Alon Hirtenstein from the David InterContinental Tel Aviv hotel and Chef Nir Elkayam, executive chef, the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel were kind enough to share their holiday recipes with CJN readers. I also include here one of my favourite Rosh Hashanah treats, a two-layer apple honey cake.

Festive holiday lamb

Submitted by Chef Nir Elkayam, executive chef at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.

o 1 lamb shoulder on the bone

o 2 tbsp. olive oil

Marinade ingredients:

o 20 small red onions

o 20 garlic cloves

o 30 pitted dates

o 1 bottle of semi-sweet red wine

o 1 ginger root

o 1 pod of cardamom

o 1 stem of thyme

o 1 cup of olive oil

Sear all sides of the lamb with the olive oil.

In a stockpot, pour the marinade ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Using a large deep roasting pan, pour in half of the marinade, add the lamb, then add the remainder of the marinade over the lamb.

Wrap the pan tightly in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator for about 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 280 degrees.

Remove 2/3 of the liquid from the pan and pour into a stock pot. Simmer until the sauce is reduced to a thick consistency (thick enough to coat the lamb and not too runny).

Remove foil and parchment paper and place the pan in oven for about 1 hour or until the lamb is soft and nearly falling off the bone. Raise the temperature to 325 until the lamb turns a golden brown.

Once the sauce has reached the correct consistency, using a hand blender, blend the sauce with the dates, onion and garlic from the lamb pot to create the final sauce for the lamb.


Quinoa and roasted acorn squash salad for Rosh Hashanah

Submitted by Chef Alon Hirtenstein, Aubergine Restaurant at the David InterContinental Tel Aviv

o 1 cup quinoa

o 1 acorn squash, roasted and sliced into thin half-moon shapes

o 1 tbsp. chopped cranberries

o 1 tbsp. diced fresh fruit (persimmon, kiwi, nectarine or any other fruit you like)

o 1 tbsp. chopped caramelized hazelnuts

o 1 tbsp. parsley

o 1 tbsp. coriander

o 2 tbsp. pomegranate seeds

o 1 tsp. honey

o 1/2 crushed garlic clove

o thyme to taste

o hot sauce to taste

o 1 tbsp. olive oil

o salt

o ground black pepper

o 1 tbsp. lemon juice

o apple ‘fan’ for garnish

o mint leaves in ice water

Preheat oven to 345. Peel and cut the acorn squash in half, clean out the seeds and slice into thin half-moon shapes.

Mix the olive oil, honey, garlic, thyme, salt and ground black pepper in a bowl.

Once marinade is ready, place the acorn squash slices in the bowl and let sit for a few minutes.

Place the slices on a baking tray with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Boil 1-1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa, stirring, for about 15 minutes.Drain off the water and let cool.

Mix all ingredients but the acorn squash in a bowl. Season with lemon juice and olive oil, salt, ground black pepper and hot sauce to taste.

Place the salad in a high martini glass and garnish with mint leaves and apple fan.

Two-layer apple honey cake

o 2 cups flour

o 2 tsp. baking soda

o 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

o 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

o 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

o 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute

o 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

o 2 large eggs

o 3/4 cup canola oil

o 1/3 cup non-dairy creamer

o 1/2 cup honey

o 3 cups grated apples


o 2 cups tofu cream cheese

o 1/2 cup unsalted pareve margarine

o 1 tsp. grated orange peel

o 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

o 2 tsp. vanilla extract

o 1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325. Spray vegetable spray on 2 9-in. cake pans. Place flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sugar or sugar substitute in a large bowl and mix. Add vanilla, eggs, oil, non-dairy creamer and honey. Mix then add apples.

Place half of the batter in each baking pan. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool.

Beat cream cheese and margarine in a bowl until fluffy. Add orange peel, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and blend. Add honey. Chill until firm enough to spread.

Place one cake on a serving dish. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with second cake and spread remaining frosting on top and sides.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks, and a food writer who lives in Jerusalem, where she leads weekly walking tours of the Jewish food market, Machane Yehuda, in English.