Okay, so I’m being a geek and listening to Jewish World Radio as I plan for a catering gig I’m doing tonight. Nothing fancy, just a nice gourmet romantic dinner for two friends’ Anniversary. My main thought on dinner tonight is Spring, the season of birth and new beginnings. Concidering we’re counting the Omer, this is especially important. You see, during this time, the Jewish People were being reborn, awaiting the law, and is in memory of wandering in search of the holy land. What better expression of this time of year can you find than enjoying some of spring’s most delicious foods?
First off, I reccomend a good spring greens salad as something to refresh the body and mind. You can find pre-made starter bags of spring greens in most grocery stores, but I prefer to make it from scratch!
Spring Greens Salad
2 cups baby spinach
1/16th cup radish sprouts
1 cup young kale
1/4 cup baby carrots
1/4 cup cauliflower and broccoli flourets, diced
Wash all the vegetables, and toss together in a salad bowl. Serve with a light vinaigrette (I prefer a nice raspberry vinaigrette, myself.)
For the dressing, you can either make it from scratch using the OU’s recipe, or you can look to Heinz for their kosher vinaigrettes. Either way, another use of this dressing is to take a loaf of gifilte fish and coat it with 2 cups of the vinaigrette before baking as normal, as well as adding in some fresh raspberries around the loaf in the pan. This infuses the flavor into the gefilte, and gives it a unique taste that is hard to beat!
Now, another special spring delight is strawberries. They are just coming into season now, and much joy is brought to the table with these sweet berries. Now, traditionally, many will look to the classic chocolate-dipped strawberries to woo that loved one. These are easy to make yourself. Simply find some kosher dipping chocolate (Or use a fondue pot to melt some kosher chocolate), dip some large strawberries into the chocolate, and set them on a plate or platter to chill in the fridge to solidify. Try to use large berries with a nice long stem so that you have something to hold onto when dipping & eating.
But, as wonderful as this simple yet romantic dessert is, I prefer a more classic nod to youth, Strawberry Shortcakes! Now, I’d post a Kosher Strawberry shortcake recipe, but The Kosher Blog beat me to it! Furthermore, there’s even a Kosher for Pesach recipe floating around, as well. But, what I CAN do is reccomend a variation I use to liven it up a bit. Washing and dicing the strawberries up, I like to add in some fresh blueberries and diced kiwis into the mix for a bit of extra flavor, then using an ice cream scoop, I set the fruit mixture atop of a kosher shortcake (See above for baking one yourself, or check in your local grocery stores for kosher shortcakes. They DO exist!) before topping with freshly whipped cream. Another variation, for a true treat, is a dollop of dairy-free frozen vanilla yogurt, or even a dollop of strawberry sherbert! Either way, both of these alternatives are excellent for when serving this dish after a meat meal, so as not to break kashrut. The same fruit mixture could also be served in a tart shell, mabye adding in some mango, as well, to create a light dessert that most can eat with no worry! I hope this helped my readers to want to explore the wonders spring has in store for them, food-wise. Until next time, Shalom & Good Cooking!