Sweetheart Salad (Shared Recipe)

Thanks Trina Kaye!

By Leah Schapira
November 2011
Hardcover/336 pages

Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients Extraordinary Meals
Delicious Recipes for Everyone to Enjoy

International food writer Leah Schapira cooks up simple and delicious mealtime solutions for every kitchen.

A recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious, nor exclusive to certain kitchens. Such is the mantra of Leah Schapira, co-founder of the popular culinary website, http://www.CookKosher.com, and author of the new book, Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals (Artscroll; November 2011). Inspiring everyone from traditional kosher cooks to everyday working women and moms, Leah shows how to use simple, fresh ingredients to create time-sensitive, tasty meals for all to enjoy.

A busy wife and mother, Leah extends her recipes to a wide audience of people who don’t have much time to cook. She includes useful tips, minimal ingredients, and easy-to-follow steps. The book is organized into delicious chapters with sections containing time-saving tips such as menus, freezer-friendly meals and an index of food pairings for weeknight recipes. Her seasonal menus encourage home cooks to take advantage of market-fresh, simple ingredients for even easier recipe planning.

“Food preparation shouldn’t be a point of tension,” Leah says. “This cookbook is all about easy, uncomplicated recipes for every day or for any occasion. I like to use ingredients from my pantry, adding new twists and improving on techniques.”

Leah’s collection of culinary favorites transcends all food-lovers’ kitchens, non-Jewish and non-kosher alike. While certainly easing the challenges of strict kosher cooking, Leah’s recipes also provide options for even the pickiest of eaters. “You certainly don’t have to keep kosher to benefit from Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking,” she says. “But if you do happen to be a kosher cook, you’ll find a great deal of help — even relief — from all of the resources I provide in the book.”

Recipes are divided into chapters covering Soups, Salads, Dips & Sauces, Sides, Brunch & Lunch, Main Dishes, Traditional, and, of course, Desserts. There is something for everyone in Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. Some of Leah’s tempting recipes include:

Carrot and Cilantro Soup
Mediterranean Tomato Salad
Roasted Mushroom and Pepper Salad
Chimichurri Skewered Steak
Citrus Sea Bass
Sweet Potato Fries
Sriracha Thai Noodles
Eggplant and Tomato Fettuccini
Basil Chicken Wraps
Overnight Potato Kugel
Lazy Man’s Cholent
No-Mixer Brownies
Square Donuts
Watermelon Sorbet

All recipes are indicated as meat, dairy, or parve; those with dairy food sensitivities will appreciate the abundance of non-dairy parve recipes, particularly the desserts.

Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking addresses a need for different, helpful, and great-tasting recipes. In a world of expensive dining and elaborate meals, Leah keeps it simple by combining fresh ingredients and classic flavors. The result: familiar and satisfying food that everyone can enjoy.

“It is my hope that this cookbook will keep cooking from turning into a chore. If we are going to cook, we might as well enjoy it! Have fun with these recipes, get creative, add some spice to your everyday meals and let the cooking begin!”


Leah’s early history with food was anything but sanguine. She describes her childhood as that of the classically finicky eater. When Leah was eight years old, her creative mother invited her fussy daughter into the kitchen to discover for herself what she liked to eat. It worked. Soon Leah was whipping up tasty dishes the whole family enjoyed. Fast forward to age 21; newly-married, Leah co-edited a community fundraising cookbook which has sold over 12,000 copies and is now in its third printing. A self-taught cook and seasoned traveler, Leah Schapira has been the food editor for two popular international Jewish weekly magazines and shares her love of cooking through articles; the culinary website she co-founded, http://www.CookKosher.com (a user-driven recipe exchange); through cooking demos and classes; and now through her latest creation — Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and children.

Recipe from FRESH & EASY KOSHER COOKING: Ordinary Ingredients, Extraordinary Meals
By Leah Schapira/November 2011
Makes 4-5 Servings
A slightly tart dressing complements the sweet ingredients in this salad. It’s named after my sweetheart sister-in-law who shared this recipe with me.

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup pineapple, fresh, cubed
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup roasted almonds
1 green apple

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

1 In a large bowl, combine lettuce, pineapple, apricots, cranberries, and almonds.
2 Combine dressing ingredients.
3 Right before serving, core and slice the apple, with peel on, add to salad, and toss with dressing.

BOB RECIPE: Sweet Onion and Citrus Salad with Herbed Honey Dressing

from:  Bland Farms
Product:  Sweet Onions

Tip:  Keep sweet onions in a cool, dry and separate space.

* Wrap onions individually in paper towel and store in refrigerator.  Be sure onions are dry before storing in paper.
* To freeze, chop onion and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  When frozen, remove and place in freezer containers or bags and seal.

BOB RECIPE:  Sweet Onion and Citrus Salad with Herbed Honey Dressing

1 small head curly leaf lettuce
1 large sweet onion
3 oranges, peeled and sliced
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
6 tablespoons EV olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 fresh oregano, garnish

Line salad plates with lettuce.  Arrange sliced and slivered onions over lettuce.  Top with orange slices and raspberries.

Whisk olive oil with apple cider vinegar, honey and celery seed untile well blended and drizzle over individual salads.  Garnish with fresh oregano.  Recipe yields 4 servings.

The Castelvetrano (Rich, Buttery) Olive from Roland®

Thanks Corinne Fay (The Lisa Ekus Group) for sharing this really-summer-good-eats Olives from Roland Foods.   And yes, I’m holding on to one olive — for an enjoyable straight up.

Summer is here, and with it the season for good eating: lots of grilling, fresh produce, and cool drinks on the porch. Picture it: grilled chicken with olives and rosemary, a crisp salad studded with juicy green olives, and a frosty martini garnished with the perfect olive. The common ingredient? The olive. But this summer it’s not just any olive; it’s the Castelvetrano.
The Castelvetrano, harvested from sunny olive groves in the Sicilian town of Castelvetrano, has a jade green hue and a mild flavor. The bright color and natural sweetness are preserved using a mild, low-salt brine which allows the fruity, green essence of the olive to shine. Those who avoid the bitter pungency of other olives will appreciate the mellowness of the Castelvetrano, while olive connoisseurs will love the distinct and nuanced Castelvetrano character.

While wonderful in a variety of dishes, the rich, buttery flavor of the Castelvetrano really glows when eaten on its own. This is a true eating olive—best enjoyed straight up. The smooth and savory Castelvetrano will win the hearts of olive skeptics and make olive-lovers swoon.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve Castelvetrano olives as a sophisticated snack paired with Mozzarella Di Bufala and Marcona almonds
Toss Castelvetrano olives into a citrus salad with parsley and slivers of red onion
Castelvetrano olives are a perfect addition to braised meat, especially chicken or lamb

Whole Castelvetrano Olives
Roland® Castelvetrano Olives are a unique specialty olive from Sicilty. Their mild flavor and non-bitter aftertaste make them very appealing to both olive lovers as well as those who shy away from stronger, saltier olive varieties.

Chop and mix into salads and sauces. Serve as a snack with wine, mozzarella cheese, salami or bread.

These olive may be used directly out of the tin as an appetizer or with a salad.

Castelvetrano Olives
American Roland Food Corporation


Sarah’s Best-ever Potato Salad

Oh, May, oh my!  What a busy, crazy, fun-filled month this has been — and still a week to go before we say “Bye, May”.   With some days giving us in the Midwest a hint, a taste of what summer heat feels like, it is time to unveil summer salads I’ve been working on for days.  This post is all about my Best-ever Potato Salad, with lotsa bacon bites and nice balance of “sweet, salty, tangy and crunch” flavors, really outstanding.  I love potato salads but most recipes I tried were simply bland and a disappointment.   So I owe Roland Foods for letting me try a special Dijon mustard (Roland grained Dijon mustard with wine) that really made a big difference in my potato salad.

Sarah’s Best-ever Potato Salad
It really is best-ever, packed with all the goodness, freshness and deliciousness.

2 lb small red-skinned potatoes, cooked in skins in salted boiling water until just tender, peeled and  then diced (about 6 cups)
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
1/2 package bacon, cooked with light brown sugar until crisp, drained and then sliced
5 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
3 cans Vienna sausage, drained and chopped

1 cup mayonnaise (Regular Hellman’s, my only choice)
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup buttermilk (or whole milk with buttermilk powder)
2-3 tablespoons Roland Foods’ Grained Dijon Mustard with wine
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Garnish (optional):  snipped fresh dill

Add Italian salad dressing and lime juice to warm diced potatoes, tossing well.  Set aside to marinate.

Prepare dressing:  Whisk all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until blended.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Fold salad dressing along with the rest of salad ingredients to marinated potatoes.  Gently stir to evenly coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

1)  Don’t overcook potatoes.   Stick a fork in and if it gives and meets a little resistance, the potatoes are done.
2)   For perfect hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand 15 to 20 minutes.  Peel and chop away.

Put Spring in Your Step with Snappy Dijon Mustard from Roland® Foods! (Dijon Mustard & Dijon Mustard Grained with Wine).

For 75 years Roland® has provided customers (yes, also Asian customers) with exceptional gourmet food (noodles, tempura mix, mustard, etc.).   Warmer weather and brighter skies spark the craving for something bright and pungent, from astringent Dijon to the more subtly flavored grained mustard. Manufactured in Dijon, France (as authentic Dijon must be), Roland® Dijon has a strong mustard flavor without the acidity of domestic Dijon mustards. Roland® Dijon is ground from brown mustard seeds, giving it a rich yellow color, satisfyingly thick consistency, and bright flavor.
As either a condiment or a cooking ingredient, Roland® Mustard brings a strong, bold flavor to any dish.

Mustard, Dijon Grained w/Wine
Roland Grained Dijon Mustard is made from the seed of mustard greens. With the grained dijon, not all of the seeds are ground into a powder before processing. A large portion of the seeds are left whole for added flavor and texture.

Roland® Mustard Condiment serving suggestions and cooking tips:
*Serve Dijon or Grain Mustard with olives, crackers and bread.
*Grain mustard is the perfect mustard for Cajun style sandwiches of pork, fish or pan-fried oyster.
*When adding mustard to a recipe, be sure to add it near the end of the cooking process.  Too much heat will make the mustard flavor weak and bitter.
*Mustard is an essential ingredient in sauces, from hollandaise to reduction sauces.
*Mustard added to a salad dressing will not only add a dash of spiciness to the salad, it will help to hold an emulsion in the dressing.
*Either smooth or grained mustard is a great addition to a marinade for meat or seafood.

Visit website for product info and recipes:  http://www.rolandfoods.com

This potato salad earned “yummy and delicious” ratings from my # 1 fan/critic, hubby Glenn, so I named this my best-ever, it is one easy-to-fix, “beat -the-heat” salad, try it soon!