This week, I decided to include a few of my favorite Shabbat recipes. The first one is a carrot and candied pecan salad, which I included in one of my cookbooks over a decade ago, and for which I still receive so many accolades all these years later. You can swap the pecans with walnuts, almonds or cranberries – or really any other nuts or dried fruits you desire. You can also cut the carrots into different shapes to vary the salad.
The second recipe is eggplant salad with garbanzo beans. Eggplant is absolutely one of my favorite vegetables since it is so versatile and tasty. If you don’t want to fry the eggplant pieces, you can also roast them in the oven, but it doesn’t taste nearly as good prepared this way, in my opinion.
For the main course, I recommend serving stuffed zucchini and onions – a beloved Tunisian recipe that I know and love from my childhood. This version is not too spicy, so it is really appropriate for everyone. (If you love your food extra spicy, just add more pepper to the sauce.)
And of course, there’s dessert, too! I’ve provided a recipe for a scrumptious cream layer cake. It does require a bit of effort, but is completely worth it to make Shabbat a special day.
CARROT AND CANDIED PECAN SALAD
Makes 8 servings.
5-6 carrots, grated
Bunch of chives, finely chopped
100 g. candied pecans, crushed coarsely
½ cup oil
¹⁄3 cup citrus vinegar
¾ tsp. salt
2 level Tbsp. demerara sugar 1 clove garlic, crushed
Mix the carrots and chives in a large serving bowl. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and then pour over the carrots. Mix and then sprinkle pecans on top.
Level of difficulty: Medium. Time: 20 minutes. Status: Pareve.
EGGPLANT AND GARBANZO BEAN SALAD
Makes 6 servings.
1 kg. (3-4) eggplants
1 level tsp. salt
Oil for frying
3 large tomatoes
100 g. pitted green olives 100 g. pitted black olives 3 scallions, chopped
1 bunch of parsley, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans Salt and pepper to taste Juice from ½ lemon
Peel the eggplants and slice them into 1 cm. thick pieces or into small cubes. Sprinkle salt on eggplant pieces and let them sit for a few minutes. Rinse and dry them.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the slices on both sides until they’ve turned golden brown. Remove and place them on paper towels.
Cut up the pickles, tomatoes and olives into small pieces and mix together in a bowl. Add the onion, parsley, garlic, eggplant and garbanzo beans. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning before serving.
Level of difficulty: Medium. Time: 1 hour. Status: Pareve.
STUFFED ONION AND SQUASH
This recipe comes from Tunisian cuisine and is a favorite among people who love spicy food.
Makes 6-8 servings.
300 g. ground beef
1 large onion, peeled, rinsed and chopped finely 10 sprigs of parsley, rinsed and chopped finely
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
4 medium light green squash, cut into 2 or 3 pieces, with the seeds scooped out (set aside for later use)
2 large onions, peeled and separated into layers
4 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped coarsely 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cups water
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
Add the beef, onion, parsley, spices and egg to a bowl. Mix well. Stuff the squash and onions with the filling and then place them in a large pot so that they fit snugly.
Chop the remaining insides of the squash that you scooped out.
To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic and chopped squash. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste, spices and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove lid after it begins to boil.
Pour the sauce over the stuffed vegetables. Add more water so that it covers 1 cm. above the vegetables. Cover the pot and cook over a low flame for 40 minutes. Serve hot with rice or couscous.
Level of difficulty: Medium. Time: 90 minutes. Status: Meat.
LAYERED NUT CREAM CAKE
Use a round 24cm. diameter pan, or a rectangular pan.
5 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. warm water 1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur 1 Tbsp. instant coffee 2 Tbsp. oil
50 g. butter, melted 1¾ cup flour, sifted 2 packets baking powder
1 cup water
¾ cup demerara sugar
3 Tbsp. bittersweet chocolate liqueur
3 Tbsp. nougat spread or nougat powder 2 Tbsp. candied nuts
2 cartons (500 ml.) sweet whipping cream 1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. chocolate or other liqueur
Topping: ½ cup candied nuts
Add the eggs to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip on high speed. After stiff peaks have formed, slowly and gradually add the sugar. Keep whipping for 7-8 minutes.
In a separate bowl, add water, liqueur, coffee, oil and melted butter. Mix together. Add to the egg mixture slowly and gradually. Fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
Pour into a pan and even out. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 30 minutes or until the cake feels spongy and falls away from the side of the pan. Let cool completely.
To prepare the syrup, add the water and sugar to a pot and heat over a medium flame until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the liqueur, stir and remove from the flame.
To prepare the icing, whip the cream until light and fluffy. Add the coffee, liqueur and whip some more.
To put the cake together, cut the cake horizontally into three layers. Place the bottom layer on a platter and cover with syrup. Spread nougat cream or sprinkle with nougat powder and candied nuts. Spread icing on top so that it’s 1 cm. high.
Place the second cake layer on top and cover with syrup. Add more nougat and candied nuts. Cover with third cake layer and spread icing on top. Store in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle candied nuts on top.
Level of difficulty: Medium. Time: 60 minutes. Status: Dairy.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.