Perfecting a North African Kitchen Staple: Moroccan ‘Tortitas’

Perfecting a North African Kitchen Staple: Moroccan ‘Tortitas’

A crisp bite of Moroccan galette with a steaming cup of fresh mint tea: This is the definition of a simple pleasure, a pick me up, an exercise in mindfulness, a meditative ritual. A staple of the North African kitchen, “tortitas” as the Spanish Moroccans affectionately call them, are thin, airy, crunchy cookies. A Moroccan host…

The Allure of the Onion: Perfectly Piquant ‘Pizza’

The Allure of the Onion: Perfectly Piquant ‘Pizza’

The cliché is that the secret ingredient of good food is love. For us, there is one essential ingredient that takes food to epicurean heights: the humble onion. Sautéed, caramelized or even raw, the addition of onions uniquely enhances the flavor of any dish.  Every roast, every chicken, every stew, every soup starts with onion….

The Kingly Roots of Kitchri: Lentils With Love

The Kingly Roots of Kitchri: Lentils With Love

When Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s forces destroyed Solomon’s Temple when Jerusalem was conquered in 586 B.C.E., he forever changed the diets of Jews. For millennia, Jews have commemorated the destruction of the First Temple and Second Temple (by the Romans in 70 C.E.) with three weeks of mourning. It starts with the fast of the 17th…

Moroccan Fish: It’s Kind of A Big (and Tasty) Deal

Moroccan Fish: It’s Kind of A Big (and Tasty) Deal

Majestically perched at the northwest tip of Africa, Morocco is blessed with more than 1,000 miles of sparkling coastline and an expansive desert interior. Its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Iberian Peninsula put it at the crossroads of ancient civilizations. The Berbers, Phoenicians, the Carthaginian state, the Romans, Muslims, Spanish,…

Father’s Day Grilling: Spicy Harissa Pargiyot

Father’s Day Grilling: Spicy Harissa Pargiyot

Narrow streets choked with cars. Loud honking and thumping, exotic music. Littered sidewalks teeming with people of every age and ethnicity. Shady money-changing operations, Yemenite bakeries, tiny makolets with owners and friends sitting on cheap plastic chairs, barbershops with posters of Wella hair models on the walls, and little hole-in-the-wall stalls selling gold chains. And…

The Best Tunisian Tuna Sandwich

The Best Tunisian Tuna Sandwich

Nestled among rocky inlets on the French Riviera is a beach enclave with bright blue waters, white sand and 20 kosher restaurants and cafes. You’ve probably never heard of Juan les-Pins (pronounced Juwan le’Pan), a small town that boasts two synagogues, gourmet kosher markets and patisseries offering the finest French delicacies. Bordered by glitzy, ritzy…

Am Yisrael Chai Falafel Fest
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Am Yisrael Chai Falafel Fest

Am Yisrael Chai Falafel Fest Is any Israeli Independence Day celebration complete without falafel? Well, not for Israelis who celebrate with a “mangal,” a Middle  Eastern-style outdoor grilling feast. But for us, no food is more Israeli than the golden falafel. During our last visit to Israel, the most memorable, most delicious, most reminisced-about meal…

The Mediterranean Sunshine in a Jar that Boosts Immune System

The Mediterranean Sunshine in a Jar that Boosts Immune System

The Mediterranean Sunshine in a Jar that Boosts Immune System Our group of young friends was enjoying Shabbat lunch alfresco. Rachel was a newlywed and already proving to be an amazing cook and hostess. I still remember taking a bite of her Israeli salad and thinking, “What is that incredible flavor?” The citrus tang was…

Sunny-Side Up: Egg Recipes Packed With Sephardic Flavor

Sunny-Side Up: Egg Recipes Packed With Sephardic Flavor

Sunny-Side Up: Egg Recipes Packed With Sephardic Flavor   There’s nothing more delicious than eggs enhanced with sautéed onions, bright green herbs and fresh vegetables. Moroccan megina, Tunisian ma’akoud, Spanish tortilla, Persian ku’kuu, Iraqi aj’a, frittata. Whatever you call it, there’s nothing more delicious than eggs enhanced with sautéed onions, bright green herbs and fresh…

Recipes for Mimouna – The Moroccan Celebration of Spring

Recipes for Mimouna – The Moroccan Celebration of Spring

Mimouna is the joyous Moroccan celebration of springtime, friends, family and good fortune. Marking the end of Passover and the beginning of the agricultural season, the doors of people’s homes are thrown wide open and everyone is greeted with the Judeo-Arabic blessing “Tirbah u’tissad,” may you prosper and succeed. The mimouna table overflows with sweet…