cook | Special recipes for special dietary needsby faith kramer
Throughout this holiday season I’ve been adapting recipes to take into account some of the special dietary needs of my guests. These gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian dishes with a Jewish twist work well for the last days of Sukkot or year-round Shabbat dinners.
Every time I serve tsimmes, an Eastern European mix of stewed root vegetables and dried fruit, someone always comments that it would make a good dessert, so I’ve turned it into one below.
The baked “kibbeh” dish was inspired by a recipe from “A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen” by Jennifer Felicia Abadi, with gluten-free quinoa replacing the bulghur. Kibbeh usually is fried as stuffed patties or croquettes. Here, the ingredients are baked into a vegetarian casserole. Use agave syrup instead of honey for vegan guests.
Tsimmes Dessert Compote
2 herbal or decaffeinated spicy cinnamon-orange tea bags
2 cups boiling water
1 cup pitted prunes, halved
1 cup dried apricots, halved
2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato (cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces)
1 cup sliced, peeled carrots (about 1⁄4-inch thick)
1 cup sliced, peeled parsnips (about 1⁄4-inch thick)
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
1⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. brown sugar
Steep tea bags in water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour liquid over prunes and apricots. Let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving fruit and adding liquid to pan with sweet potato, carrots and parsnips. Add salt and pepper. Stir. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Cover. Keep at simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in fruit, vanilla and sugar, return to simmer and cover. Simmer until almost cooked. Uncover. Simmer until soft. Serve warm or at room temperature with some of the cooking liquid.
Quinoa “Kibbeh” Casserole
Serves 8 as main dish, 16 as side dish
3 cups uncooked quinoa
6 cups water
1 Tbs. plus 1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. honey or agave syrup
5 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus extra for greasing pan
3 tsp. paprika
2 cups diced onion
4 tsp. minced garlic
1⁄2 tsp. crumbled dried mint
1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
4 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (cut in about 1⁄4-inch to 1⁄2-inch pieces)
1 cup broth or water, or more as needed
15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
11⁄2 cups chopped walnuts
16 whole walnut halves
Rinse and drain quinoa. Put in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, every grain shows its spiral (the seed’s germ) and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Put in bowl. Stir in 1 Tbs. salt, honey, 3 Tbs. oil and paprika.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13-inch baking pan. Evenly press in half of the quinoa. Heat remaining oil in large fry pan. Sauté onions until beginning to soften. Add garlic, remaining salt, mint, pepper, 1 tsp. cinnamon, allspice and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 minutes, add squash. Sauté until browned. Add broth. Cover to steam for several minutes. Stir well, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Repeat until squash is tender and liquid evaporated. Uncover. Stir in chickpeas, sugar, lemon juice and chopped nuts. Spread evenly over the quinoa in the baking pan. Spread the remaining quinoa on top. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon on top. Cut on the diagonal to create 16 diamond-shaped sections. Top each with walnut half. Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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