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Greek Salad with Feta Croutons

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Well hello there everyone! It seems like forever since I’ve actually blogged a new recipe here on BIB! I’ve been in full on cookbook mode these passed few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited about how things are moving along!

I was so nervous about how I’d be able to juggle the cookbook, social media posting, messages and blogging but somehow it’s been working. Blogging has definitely taken a back seat, and for the first time in six years of blogging, I’ve starting skipping a week or two here and there. There was a time I thought everything would come crashing down if I didn’t post every. single. week. but lo and behold, the blog is still here and everyone is alive and well.

The truth is, it was hard getting back into it but I couldn’t let Chanukah go by without a few special recipes. I mean, it really is my favorite holiday and as many of you now, it’s both my birthday and Anniversary as well! Chanukah is my favorite time to fry up something crazy, make something Greek and go all out in the dairy department, and I’ve combined all three in this awesome salad!

Most of you have eaten Greek salad about a million times in your life, but you’ve probably never tried tried frying the feta into croutons. Yes! I said FRYING THE FETA INTO CROUTONS! How awesome, right?? At first I wasn’t even sure if it would work but a Chanukah miracle happened (early) and the feta fried up beautifully! It was also my first time using Trader Joes cholov yisroel feta which apparently has been a hidden treasure for the past several years, and OMG is it decadent. It’s crazy salty (which I kinda love), but oh so smooth and it also slices so, so nicely without crumbling. The breadcrumbs really help cut through all that saltiness, and with a forkful of veggies, it’s the perfect little bite.

It’s funny because I was never really much of a feta person, probably because I never had really good feta, so Greek salad wasn’t really on my list of faves. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of goat or sheep milk products, and most feta is made with sheep milk. I’m so crazy sensitive to the taste, that I can tell if my butcher used the meat grinder to grind lamb before he ground the beef, because I can taste even the slightest hint of it. And it’s so, so sheepy. I mean, I’m no picky eater but I just. can’t. swallow it.

What’s crazy is, I decided to give the Trader Joe’s sheep’s milk feta a try because so many people told me it was the best feta they ever ate (it’s imported from Israel after all), and even though it had the absolute, most slightest hint of sheep, I was able to tolerate – and even enjoy – it.

So, if you can find Trader Joes best kept secret, go grab a package for this awesome recipe, or use your favorite brand. This post is not sponsored by TJ’s, although how amazing would that be, right?

Related Recipes:

spinach pappardelle with feta and fried poached egg
harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant chips
summer tomato feta salad
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta

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Corn, Heirloom Tomato & Goat Cheese Salad
with Basil Lime Vinagrette

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

I don’t think we New Yorkers can complain about the summer this year, it’s been relatively mild (poo poo poo!). I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything (watch it be mind-numbingly hot next week), but I haven’t had to shower three times a day and jump into whatever sprinklers I can find…like last year.


You know how they say, “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!”, well what if you can’t handle the heat in your state? Do you just move to a colder climate, like Antarctica?

I am seriously not one for hot weather, which is why I would never move to Florida. My husband, on the other hand, wants to move to the Sunny State, and I always remind him that while he may get the sun, he’s not gonna have much sunshine in his life with his overheated wife! That kind of weather just turns me into some sort of heatwave-monster and you DON’T want to be around me when that happens. Which is why I’m going to stay right here, in perfectly mild Brooklyn, thank you very much. And when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into overly humid Brooklyn, I’ll just stay inside with my air conditioning and a cup of iced coffee, all calm, cool and collected.

Now when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into muggy and raining Brooklyn (like it did this week), I turn to my perfectly colorful summer salad so I can at least imagine green pastures and bright summer days. It just doesn’t get brighter than this salad! With fresh arugula, heirloom tomatoes, perfectly crisp-tender corn and creamy goat cheese, you just can’t go wrong. Even if it is muggy outside. Smother it all in a light and refreshing basil lime vinaigrette and you’ll be OK wherever you are…even the Sunny State.

What summer salad gives you an instant pick-me-up regardless of the weather? Share it with me in the comments below!



This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

summer tomato feta salad
watermelon corn salsa
pesto and goat cheese crostini

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Grilled Chicken Shawarma Salad

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

This past Friday, Food52 posted a happiness experiment on Instagram, challenging their followers to write a list of things that make them happy and tag it #happylist. Of course, it got me thinking about what makes me happy and I put together my happy list.

Happiness Is…

– bike riding with my kids
apricot season
– sunglasses
– Masterchef (who am I kidding? Gordon Ramsay)
– ice coffee
– fresh corn on the cob
– blogging
– circus arts at the gym
saltwater sandals
harissa
– anything Ottolenghi
– homemade popsicles
– the weekend

When I wrote that “anything Ottolenghi” makes me happy, I meant it! I am a true Israeli at heart, and I love digging in to Israeli food – from homemade falafel, to shawarma, shakshuka, hummus, za’atar, roasted eggplants, halva, krembo’s….I think you get the point. With summer (finally!!!) here, It’s time to lighten things up, and this amazing grilled chicken shawarma salad is my go-to. For lunch or dinner, it’s so light and filling, you’ll want to eat it all summer long!

Now since my talented friend Miriam Pascal of OvertimeCook is busy putting finishing touches on her new cookbook, I’m only too happy to fill in with this guest post, so head on over to her blog for the recipe!

B’tayavon!

Winter Caprese Salad

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Growing up, my mom always taught me that you don’t wear white after labor day. But as I grew older, I learned that there are certain types of white that are acceptable in the winter – Winter Whites. Now I can’t say I ever really pulled off the trend, since I tend towards the slimming black clothes (especially in the winter!). But one thing I could do, is bring the trend into my kitchen.

When Natural & Kosher Cheese came out with their prepackaged sliced fresh mozzarella, I was so excited to work with it! It takes all the work out of dishes like caprese salad, gourmet pizza and paninis. And while it’s fresh and healthy, it doesn’t have to be just for light summer dishes. Winter Whites belong in the kitchen too!

Now if you’re winterizing a caprese salad, you have to do it right! You can’t just use out-of-season tomatoes and basil. You’ve got to find the right in-season produce to complement the cheese.

I was walking through the produce section this week thinking about what to use when I spotted my favorite winter fruit – persimmon! I’ve talked about my love of persimmon a lot on my blog. I’m just doing my part to get the word out about this often-overlooked fruit. They are just too delicious to pass up! Persimmon almost make the brutal New York winter worth it. Almost.

So when I spotted the fuyu persimmon (there are 2 types of persimmon, you can read about them here), it struck me just how much it resembles a tomato. They’re crispy, with a sweet canteloupe and sugarcane flavor. Fruits work so wonderfully with cheese – so I decided to incorporate them into  my kitchen version of Winter Whites! I rounded out the dish with some delicous sweet roasted beets and added another seasonal fruit, pomegranates, for some crunch. Bitter arugula helps to balance out all the sweetness, and thick pomegranate molasses (inspired by Caprese’s classic reduced balsamic vinegar) just seemed like the perfect finish.

And there you have it – a stylish salad that makes a statement. That my friends – is MY VERSION of winter whites ;)


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

passion for persimmon; salad and sorbet
persimmon coconut ice cream
persimmon guacamole
roasted beet salsa
summer tomato feta salad

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Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The best salads happen at the salad bar. It was Chanukah, and my sister in law and I made a run for Bagels & Greens to sample some of their amazing donuts. They had incredible flavors like Rosemary crunch, sweet basil, Oreo crunch, strawberry cheese cake, dulce de leche and even passion fruit. They were selling out fast so we made our way, babies in tow, and sat down for brunch.

To deguiltify our donut binge, we decided to start with a salad. We packed in some roasted veggies, beets, and quinoa with a drizzle of honey mustard dressing. I was used to eating quinoa salads where the quinoa was the main attraction, but I loved how the healthy grains coated my greens and stuck to the veggies. I decided to bring the idea home and roast up some veggies for a healthy lunch that’s packed with color and flavor.

I start by roasting up some veggies – there are so many to choose from! Keep it simple with zucchini and onions or add in some eggplant, peppers or mushrooms. A hint of oregano and balsamic add amazing flavor – and your house will smell incredible too.

I love topping my greens off with a poached or soft boiled egg. The creamy yolk coats the greens in a rich sauce that’s better than any salad dressing. Although, if you do want dressing (what’s a salad without a good dressing, right?), I’ve got plenty of options for you too!

1 year ago: nut omelette
2 years ago: Bubby’s challah kugel
3 years ago: perfect pareve french toast

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Holiday Salad with Apple & Honey Vinaigrette

Monday, September 2nd, 2013


When I first developed this salad recipe, I did not have Rosh Hashanah in mind. In fact, it was just about getting creative with the ingredients in my refrigerator (which is pretty much how all my salads happen). When all the components came together, it just screamed holiday, and I knew I had to share it for the upcoming Chag.

Although figs are not one of the traditional fruits eaten on Rosh Hashanah (like pomegranates, apples and beets), it’s a good idea to take advantage of the season’s bounty. Fig season is short and sweet, and besides, they are one of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel. The figs add a chewy texture, sweet flavor, and beautiful color to the salad making it the perfect holiday appetizer.

Fresh figs are not the only bright piece to this beautiful salad puzzle. Chioggia beets also add amazing color and design. On the outside, the humble root vegetable is unassuming (ie. ugly). But when you cut into it – you get the most beautiful candy cane spiral that is almost too magical to eat. The thing about chioggia beets is that when you cook them, that beauty all but disappears into a dull pinky beige mass. To appreciate the bright pink spirals, candy cane beets should be eaten raw – shaved thinly on a mandolin.

To further the Holiday theme, I whipped up an “apple and honey” dressing, using apple cider vinegar and sweet honey. If you have a custom not to eat vinegar on Rosh Hashanah (due to it’s sour taste), you may substitute with lemon juice.

Watch me make a Rosh Hashanah Simanim salad with TorahCafe here:


Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Other Rosh Hashanah Salad Ideas:

rainbow slaw with poppy seed dressing
pomegranate coleslaw
apple celery veggie dip
roasted beet & orange salad
couscous with thyme & honey roasted carrots, parsnips and beets

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Kani Caesar Salad with Nori Croutons

Monday, May 20th, 2013

When the Kosher Connection team decided on “croutons” as the link-up theme for May, I was so excited to finally try out a recipe that I’ve been dreaming of developing for months now. Truth be told, I am not the biggest nori fan. I mean, I wouldn’t eat the stuff if it didn’t hold my sushi together. It’s got that fishy quality about it that’s just kind of, well, stinky. But you know what? when you use it to top off a kani caesar salad, it just sorta, goes.

Talking about dislikes, I used to have a serious aversion to surimi, those orange-colored mock crab sticks. But after I tasted this salad at my cousin’s house a few months back, I was hooked. You see, it’s all a matter of how you serve it. Pulling the kani apart into shreds and coating it in a spicy sriracha dressing takes it from what-is-this-spongy-orange-stuff-in-my-california-roll to what’s-in-this-amazing-salad?! Seriously people, kani salad has changed my outlook on surimi forever.

So that’s sorta how this happened. At first, I came up with the brilliant concept of a nori-flavored crouton. But who would want to eat a nori crouton on a standard lettuce salad? I knew I had to incorporate some kind of seafood to bring the whole sushi concept together, but it also had to have greens to hold up the whole croutons thing. Alas, I figured I would do a take on a salmon-caesar salad with a Japanese-inspired recipe. This Kani Caesar Salad combines the classic Caesar concept with the awesomeness of kani salad, with nori croutons and a sriracha caesar dressing to round it out. If you think this salad looks good, just wait until you taste the dressing. It’s got an amazing depth of flavor from the anchovies that is only made better by the Asian hot sauce, it’s heat  balanced by the addition of sweet rice vinegar.

So, if you’re looking to wow your guests with a nontraditional twist on a classic Caesar salad, give this Kani Caesar Salad with nori croutons a try. And don’t forget to check out the Kosher Connection Link-Up below for more fun & creative twists on croutons!

1 year ago: cream of leek soup
2 years ago: home-made fish sticks

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Roasted Beet & Orange Salad

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

This salad is delicious and refreshing, and a nice change from the typical shredded beets or vinaigrette made on Pesach. It is usually made using mixed greens (bitter ones work best) but if you don’t use them on Pesach, it can be made without as well.

Beets have a delicious robust flavor when roasted. Many people boil their beets in water, but that releases the flavor into the water. When you roast the beets, the flavor just intensifies (this is true for boiling vs roasting all vegetables).

For a nice presentation, you can use both red and golden beets (just roast and cut them separately because the red ones will bleed), and serve them sliced on a bed of greens. Top it off with regular and/or blood oranges.

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