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Fruit Salad with Basil Honey Lime Dressing

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

To me, Passover, or Pesach, is all about tradition. I’ve never actually hosted the holiday in my own home, but I imagine that when I do, I’ll be making the same foods that my mother always made.

I have fond memories of my mom’s Passover ratatouille, mock chopped liver, beet salad and cucumber salad all neatly arranged in mason jars on the door of the fridge. She always had big jars of simple syrup on the counter, which she used to sweeten everything from chicken to fish, meat and nuts. Towards the second days, when everyone had enough of the heavy meals, she always diced up a huge fruit salad in our giant glass Pyrex. And she doused it in simple syrup too.

The simple syrup didn’t bother me, especially as a kid, because the fruit tasted like candy. But the bananas – they just threw the whole thing off. There were never really rules to what went into the fruit salad – it was whatever was leftover around the house – but it almost always had melon, kiwi, sliced bananas, walnuts, and oranges.

There was always someone in the house who was walking around scratching their throat from one of the fruits – probably the kiwi, and I think it was usually my sister. But we still ate it – bananas, oranges and all – and we sipped up all those sweet drippings from the bottom of the bowl like they were liquid gold. Ah, Passover memories.

While everyone is busy preparing trays of Passover brownies, whipping up macaroons and fancy pavlovas – I’m here to say that it’s really just about the tradition. Fruit salad may be simple, but it’s what my Momma always made, and it’s what I plan to make when I host Passover in my home in the coming years.

For this recipe, I’ve done away with all the fruits that I picked out of my Mom’s fruit salad – the awful mushy bananas, pithy oranges, and throat-scratching kiwi’s. Instead, I used melons, mangos, plums and nectarines, and fancied it up with a basil honey lime dressing (a lot healthier and more flavorful than the simple syrup of my youth!). Feel free to adjust this salad to your liking – adding more lime juice for extra tartness, or more honey for extra sweetness. And you can also switch up the herbs with some fresh mint instead of basil, if you so desire. Don’t forget to top it off with some coconut whipped cream and chopped nuts to really take it over the top!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very fruitful and happy Passover!

Other Passover Desserts:

marzipan apple crisp
nutella banana ice cream
chocolate ganache tart with macaroon crust
raspberry sorbet

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Blueberry Sweet Potato Granola Salad

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

I gave you a sneak peek at this light summer salad a few weeks ago, and I’m so excited to finally share it here for keeps! Credit for this awesome combination actually goes to a restaurant named “BLUEBERRY” on Avenue M in Brooklyn. It’s a family-friendly place with fluorescent green walls (not their finest choice) and some great outdoor seating. I love to take my kids there because they’ve got great kid food and a frozen yogurt bar to boot! They’ve also got some really great salads on the menu, like a version of this blueberry salad (you’ve got to make a mean salad if it’s literally got your NAME written all over it, right?), and a delicious haloumi salad with grilled veggies and a sesame teriyaki dressing. I must reinvent that one next! They’ve also got an assortment of malawach and shakshuka, and you all know how I love me some Israeli food.

Thanks to Blueberry for giving me the awesome idea of putting granola on a salad, it’s such a fun way to add crunch, especially during the summer months. Enjoy!

Fruit Skewers with Dipping Sauce

Sunday, July 17th, 2011


Fruit skewers are a fun and easy way to serve fruit. It’s also a great activity to do with kids. If you really want to get crafty, you can use cookie cutters to cut the melon into different shapes for an over-the-top presentation. For a quick and easy fix, just cut melon into cubes (the more uniform the pieces, the better it will look). You can also use a melon baller to make circles, or come up with your own unique patterns and designs. Feel free to use the fruits that you enjoy.

Here are some suggestions:

watermelon
honeydew
cantaloupe
pineapple
kiwi
mango
grapes
starfruit (this looks really pretty on the skewers)
strawberries
blueberries
raspberries
blackberries
cherries

If you’d like to grill the fruit skewers, here are some fruit that work well on the grill:

pineapple (probably the most popular grilled fruit)
peaches
apricots
figs

Some less popular grilled fruits include:

bananas
apples
pears
papaya
mango
nectarines

If you’d like, you can serve a sauce to go alongside. The easiest accompaniment is yogurt, like I have pictured here. Here are some other suggestions:

flavored yogurts
plain yogurt mixed with honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, jams, citrus or mint
strawberry basil sauce (frozen strawberries in syrup, pureed in blender with a few basil leaves)
spiked sauce (rum or tequila with lemon or lime juice and honey or sugar)
whipped cream (you can add some citrus zest to it)
dark or white chocolate sauce
chocolate or vanilla pudding

To serve the skewers, here are some suggestions:

– serve on a platter
– serve in a tall vase
– stick into rind of a watermelon
– stick into a halved pineapple or canteloupe
– stick into styrofoam
– make sure the top fruit is flat (cubed) and serve standing up on a platter


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Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

In keeping with last weeks theme of cooking in season, strawberries are an all time favorite in the spring. They are packed with vitamins, fiber, and high levels of antioxidants and are low in calories, as well as low GI, with a value of 40 on the glycemic index. Strawberries are also a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving (about 8 strawberries) provides more vitamin C than an orange!

Regardless of their nutritional value, we love strawberries simply because they are fresh, light, sweet and delicious. Pair them with your breakfast cereal or yogurt, dip them in chocolate for dessert, or throw them into a salad. They compliment dishes in every course with a versatility all their own.

I came up with this salad to please everyone at the Shabbos table. I love spinach. My husband loves hearts of palm, and my daughter loves strawberries. I threw in some avocado for good measure, and some candied walnuts for crunch. The dressing complements the salad perfectly, with a fresh, light taste that is mildy sweet.

This salad will round off your dairy Shavuous meal perfectly!

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Asian Chicken Salad

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I love coming up with ways to repurpose my leftovers. Lets face it. Life is busy, and putting a fresh and healthy dinner on the table isn’t always possible. I’m sure you’ve had to resort to fish sticks and french fries every now and then, just as I have. Sometimes, it helps to make a double portion of chicken or pasta so you can use the leftovers the next day in a different way. When I made this dinner, my daughter came home from school with a fever, and I had to run to the doctor at the last minute. I didn’t have time to prepare dinner earlier in the day, so I was glad to have lots of leftovers from the previous night when I made teriyaki vegetable linginui with marinated chicken breast. I decided to throw together an Asian-style salad to serve alongside some of the leftover pasta. I hadn’t started with the salad yet when my husband came home saying, “I’m not in the mood for salad.” I told him to at least give it a try because he would definitely get in the mood when he tasted it! Sure enough, he loved it, and had two bowlfulls! This salad is so light and fresh-tasting. You can go ahead and add in other veggies if you’d like. I think some white cabbage or bok choy would be a great addition, I just didn’t have any.

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