For the Jewish holidays


Serve classic dishes and try some that offer a twist on tradition



By Louise Fiszer and Jeannette Ferrary

Chronicle Books / 2005 / $9.95

This little book is just what it says, a collection of recipes and menus for the Jewish holidays. Simple and straightforward, the recipes incorporate traditional ingredients in sometimes novel ways.

Instead of roast chicken, for example, the authors offer a recipe of honey- and cumin-glazed cornish hens for a Rosh Hashana meal. Traditional apples and honey of a Jewish New Year feast are incorporated in a side dish with cooked red cabbage and wine.

The menu for Yom Kippur features dishes that can be made the day before the fast, including a delicious Spiced Pear-and-Almond Cake, loaded with fruit and having just a little batter.


Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Chronicle Books / paperback edition 2005 / $19.95

Long before fusion became a trendy culinary term, there were people around the world who created dishes by drawing on a blend of food traditions. Such is the case of the Jews who have lived in Italy for more than 2,000 years.

The recipes in this book draw on Middle Eastern, Spanish and Sephardic influences as well as Italian. So a Passover Matzo Soup features tomato sauce; spaghetti comes with a tuna sauce.

The book's stories of the people and the dishes are as fascinating as the recipes themselves.


By Marla Brooks

Pelican Publishing / 2005 / $15.95

If you don't want to tamper with tradition, this book has the classics you remember: knishes, chopped liver, meatballs, kugels and latkes. Marla Brooks, a Hollywood entertainment writer whose family owned a deli, offers recipes from her grandmother's kitchen as well as a few from celebrities such as Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Most are simple and have short lists of ingredients you're sure to find in your supermarket.


4 cups cored and coarsely chopped ripe pears

(5 or 6 pears)

2 cups sugar

1 / 2 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 / 2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 / 2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped blanched almonds

confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan. Combine pears and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Combine oil with eggs and add to pears.

In another bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, baking soda and salt. Stir into pear mixture. Add vanilla and almonds.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool on a rack about 20 minutes before turning out. Invert onto a serving platter and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Per serving: 404 calories; 6 grams protein; 17 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 61 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber; 35 milligrams cholesterol; 323 milligrams sodium

Recipe from "Jewish Holiday Feasts"

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