Boston Jewish Food Conference Dinner Recipes

Lentil and Avocado Salad IMG_3484
courtesy of Boston Globe

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 bunches scallions, sliced thinly in circles
  • 4 cups baby arugula, washed and dried

In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, mustard, salt, and black pepper to taste, then whisk in the ¼ cup oil and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Toast garlic about 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add lentils and continue to toast about 1 minutes. Add water to cover by 2 inches.  Partially cover with a pot lid, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are softened, about 18 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue cooking until lentils are al dente-tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Drain well and pick out the herbs. In a large bowl, mix the hot lentils, half the dressing, salt, and black pepper to taste and set aside to cool to room temperature. Fold sun dried tomatoes, avocado and scallions into lentils.

In another large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining dressing and salt and black pepper to taste. To serve, spoon the lentil salad atop a bed of arugula.


Wild Rice and Kasha Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds
courtesy of Starting with Ingredients, Aliza Green


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cups wild rice, soaked in cold water overnight, then drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Kasha mixed grain cereal
  • 4 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, heat oil.  Add drained wild rice and toast about 1 minute.  Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer slowly for about 45 minutes or until soft but still whole and firm.

In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil.  Add kasha to boiling liquid, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.


  • 1/2 cup olive oilkasha
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients.  Toss with grains while they are still warm.  Set aside.

Vegetables and Herbs:

  • 1 bulb fennel, small dice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 sweet peppers, small dice
  • 1 bunch scallion, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 Tablespoon each, fresh thyme and oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped


Combine the fennel and lemon juice and set aside.  When ready to serve, combine vegetables and herbs to the grains with dressing, fold together and adjust seasoning as necessary.


Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew
courtesy of Jim Solomon of The Fireplace Restaurant

Cooking your own chickpeas heightens the flavor of this dish. Cooking 3/4 cup of dried beans will yield enough for the stew. If you use canned, be sure to drain and rinse them.
Servings: 8

IngredientsBJFC15 Jim in kitchen

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1 1/2-inch irregularly shaped pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley stems
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch cubes or irregular shapes
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (either from dry beans or from two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons Harissa, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss well and roast until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet or pot, warm remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in parsley stems, cumin, and paprika, and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots and 1 cup chickpea cooking liquid (or water, if using canned chickpeas) to onion mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Raise heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in harissa paste, chopped parsley leaves, roasted squash, and remaining 1/2 cup chickpea cooking liquid (or water). Simmer, uncovered, until flavors meld, another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Rutabaga Soup with Sizzling Spice Oil
courtesy of Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, Peter Berley

This soup is the very essence of rutabaga and really shows off all of its best characteristics. A base of slowly sauteed onion and toasted flour tames the rutabaga’s more assertive qualities and brings out its natural sweetness. The soup is finished with an intense, fragrant spice oil, which adds richness to the soup and accentuates the inherent spiciness of the rutabaga itself. To serve, allow each person to flavor and enrich their own bowl of soup to taste.

  • 1 large onion, dicedRTK in kitchen
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sunflower oil or olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground caraway seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Cold water
  • Freshly milled black pepper


  1. In a heavy 3 to 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in the caraway, garlic, rutabaga and flour. Raise the heat and saute for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 1 inch, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rutabaga crushes easily against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon.
  4. Pass the soup through the fine holes of a food mill or puree with a handheld immersion blender.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the spice oil on the side.

Sizzling Spice Oil is made from freshly ground spices that are gently heated in olive oil until they release their heady flavors.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and lightly bruised
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cumin


  1. In a small skillet over high heat, combine all ingredients. Cook until the garlic turns golden and the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove the garlic and pour the oil into a small bowl. Serve immediately.