Over the past few years, when I've had a question about Passover or kosher cooking, I've turned to one person: Leah Koenig. She was the editor of The Jew and the Carrot for two years, and now she has just written a beautiful new book: The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook. Here's a quick review and a peek inside, with a delicious cucumber lamb salad — perfect for lunch or for Passover itself.
This is a big, beautiful book that is also down-to-earth, and completely accessible. It's full of recipes that are all kosher. In fact, each recipe has a D, M, or P symbol (for dairy, meat, and pareve) beside it so you can see at a glance its kosher status.
The book showcases simple, unfussy, delicious kosher cooking. There are chapters for every meal and course, from Breakfasts and Breads to Mains, Sweets, and Anytime Snacks. Leah has it covered.
I found the recipes fresh, unpretentious, and just delicious. I loved the salads in particular; there was a honey sesame slaw I promptly bookmarked, and a late summer fig salad that sounds wonderful.
The book is very vegetarian-friendly as well; I noted a recipe for quinoa-stuffed squash, and another for couscous with dried cherries and mint.
At the end of the book there menu ideas, ingredient sources, and an at-a-glance kashrut index with lists of the dairy, meat, and pareve recipes in the book.
Whether or not you keep kosher, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's beautiful — full of big spreads of food — and completely down-to-earth. Very few of the recipes have long ingredient lists; they all are simple and straightforward, and yet still delicious. I think that the recipe below is a very good example of this.
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 English cucumber, julienned 2 carrots, julienned 4 scallions, thinly sliced 1/2 pound arugula
1 teaspoon ground cumin * 1 teaspoon chili powder sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 lamb chops 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mint leaves, salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Combine cucumber, carrots and scallions in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Make the lamb: Preheat the grill or a grill pan over medium heat. Combine cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Brush lamb chops with oil and season with spice mixture. Place lamb on preheated grill or grill pan and sear on one side until browned, 3-4 minutes; flip and cook on second side another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
3. Spread arugula onto a serving platter and top evenly with cucumber mixture. Lay lamb chops on top of salad and drizzle with vinaigrette.
* If it is your custom to refrain from eating cumin on Passover, you can substitute paprika.