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Pre-Tisha B'Av Dairy Dishes From "The Silver Platter"

Pre-Tisha B’Av Dairy Dishes From “The Silver Platter”


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While the seuda hamafsekes (the final meal before the fast begins) consists of a piece of bread and an egg, eaten on the floor, a more substantial meal should be eaten first. Spaghetti squash, veggies and quinoa are delicious and healthy foods to load up on before the twenty-five hour fast.

 

SPINACH CHEESE BITES
dairy, Passover option, gluten-free option, freezes well, yields about 18

These delicious cheese balls are packed with flavor (and iron-rich greens, too!) and pair with just about everything. A cheesy alternative to toast, serve these with eggs for breakfast. They also make a hearty addition to tossed salads at lunch and are a delicious side dish for fish dinners.

Ingredients:

1 (10 oz/300 g) pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry (see Norene’s Notes, below)
⅓ cup melted butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 eggs
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup unseasoned panko crumbs (gluten-free or regular)

Method:

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine spinach with butter, onion, eggs, cheeses, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and panko. Mix well.

Roll mixture into 1½-inch balls; place onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, while oven is preheating.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and piping hot. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Norene’s Notes:

Thaw with Ease: A quick way to thaw frozen spinach is to microwave it in a glass bowl, covered, on high power, for 3 minutes.

Variation: Instead of mozzarella, use Swiss or Cheddar cheese. If you like these gooier, then double up on the grated cheese.

Passover Option: Use Passover panko, matzo meal, or cracker crumbs.

Freeze with Ease: Mix and shape in advance, then freeze in a single layer. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag. When needed, bake frozen, adding 3-4 minutes to the baking time.

 

QUINOA PIZZA RAMEKINS
dairy, Passover, gluten-free, do not freeze, yields 12 servings.

Sometimes you need a little “fun” in the kitchen. These little individual quinoa pizzas are the perfect dish to serve to your kids or company. Packed with nutrients and veggies!

Ingredients:

3 cups lightly salted water
1½ cups white or red quinoa

1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce (about 3 cups)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups pizza toppings (e.g., chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, onions)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Method:

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; let stand for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff quinoa with a fork. Transfer to a large serving bowl; let cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 8 medium ovenproof ramekins with nonstick cooking spray; place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Spread about 2 Tbsp marinara sauce into each ramekin. Spoon about ¼ cup cooked quinoa into each ramekin; spread evenly. Top with veggies and mozzarella cheese. Repeat once more, ending with cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Remove from oven; sprinkle with Parmesan and green onions.

Norene’s Notes:

No Ramekins? Layer ingredients in a 7 x 11-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray, as directed above. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Spoon onto individual serving plates.

 

HARVEST SQUASH WITH PECANS & FETA
dairy, gluten-free, do not freeeze, yields 6-8 servings

I created this simple roasted squash dish for Shavuot — it’s divine. As the sugars in the squash begin to caramelize, the oils in the warm pecans and salty feta cheese become perfect flavor counterpoints. Great for Chanukah as well.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (about 3 lb/1.4 kg), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1½ cups pecan halves
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread squash and pecans on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and maple syrup; toss to combine.

Bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes, or until squash is tender-crisp and pecans are a deep amber color.

Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Norene’s Notes:

Microwave Magic: For easier cutting, slash squash in several places with a sharp knife. Place on a paper towel or plate; microwave on high for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut squash in half at the neck, making two pieces: a round ball and an elongated piece. Cut the round bottom part in half; use an ice cream scoop to scoop out and discard seeds and stringy fiber. Peel both halves of the squash and cut it into chunks.

 

SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA
dairy, Passover, gluten-free, yields 6 servings

A simple comfort-food dish that’s layered with creamy mozzarella, Cheddar, and Parmesan, it’s easy to forget there’s actually no pasta in this lasagna at all! This is a great dairy-based dish to serve for company, yet is easy enough for weeknight suppers. Perfect for Passover!

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb/1.4 kg)
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
¼ lb/125 g mozzarella cheese, sliced
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and pulp. Place squash, cut-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until tender.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round glass or ceramic quiche dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Use a fork to separate squash strands. Place a layer of squash strands into prepared baking dish. Spoon on 1 cup of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with half the spinach and half the cheeses. Repeat with a second layer, ending with cheeses.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, until piping hot. Uncover; bake an additional 10 minutes, until golden.

Norene’s Notes:

Using your Noodle: For short strands, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. For long strands, cut it into 1-inch rings. Discard seeds and pulp. Place on baking sheet and bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until tender. Separate squash strands with a fork.

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Daniella Silver

Daniella Silver comes from a long line of talented artists; in her case, artistry manifests itself in her culinary creativity, transforming simple ingredients into spectacular dishes. When she learned that two of her children had food allergies, Daniella had to modify many of her family’s favorite dishes, and she became inspired to create her own repertoire of recipes. As both a culinary artist and a busy mom of three, Daniella’s cooking reflects a focus on wholesome, family-oriented recipes that are beautifully presented and full of flavor. Combining her talent, creativity, passion, and enthusiasm, Daniella has created both magnificent cookbooks; 'Simple to Spectacular' and 'Simple Elegance' to help cooks of all levels simplify their cooking and enjoy better food. Daniella lives in Toronto with her husband and children. Find “The Silver Platter” cookbooks on Amazon, Artscroll and/or local Judaica stores. You can visit her Instagram @daniellasilvercooks.

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