Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions

Before I moved to Israel, the extent of my experience with stuffed vegetables was peppers and cabbage, and it was limited even at that. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine has opened me up to a whole world of vegetables that can be stuffed with a variety of meat or vegetarian fillings and simmered in any number of sauces. Stuffed peppers and cabbages appear, but not nearly as often as stuffed zucchini, eggplant, artichokes, and even carrots. And onions – what a revelation stuffed onions are! They’re not stuffed whole. Instead, the entire, skinned onion is simmered until tender, and the individual layers are separated and wrapped around a savory filling.

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Onions

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Bulgur Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

Nearly two months later, I still can’t stop thinking about our trip to Istanbul. The flavors have seeped into my repertoire, influencing how I approach ingredients and combinations. This simple bulgur salad with pomegranate molasses quickly transports me back to the enchanting city on the Bosphorus, where my husband and I took a Turkish cooking class with Selin Rozanes through her company Turkish Flavours. Check out the article I wrote about it here, and another related one here (both have recipes!).

Turkish Flavours Cooking Class Istanbul ~ KatherineMartinelli.com

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Fruit, Nut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Pear, Date, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette It’s been cold and rainy all week. In New York I knew how to deal with the rain, had no choice. But there I had proper rain boots, an underground train system to transport me through the dry belly of the city, more than one umbrella. Here, in Be’er Sheva, my wardrobe is now suited to the desert I live in. When it rains it takes all my energy to get out of pajamas, let alone leave the house. But therein lies the beauty of working from home – I don’t have to! And on days – more like weeks – like this, I crave warm, comforting dishes that I can curl up in. Yes, I literally mean curl up in. The other night, freezing in my poorly insulated apartment, I told my husband I wanted to make a stew just to bathe in it. I was only half kidding. Continue reading “Fruit, Nut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette”

Pomegranate Mojito and a Cocktail Blog Hop

Pomegranate Mojito
Pomegranate Mojito

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and that means I have cocktails on the brain. One of my favorite cocktail discoveries as of late is this refreshing Pomegranate Mojito that was concocted by my friend Ben Brewer of Israel Food Tours. I came upon it while doing research on Jewish cocktails for an article in the Jewish Daily Forward and simply fell in love. Although in the article I proposed it as a Sukkot-appropriate drink, the truth is I could sip on this all year long. Continue reading “Pomegranate Mojito and a Cocktail Blog Hop”

Applesauce Cake with Pomegranate Glaze for Rosh Hashanah

The celebrations for Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, begin tonight. This year we’ll miss having dinner with my family and the in-laws, ringing in the new year together (yes, both sides of the family celebrate together – how cute is that?). Instead we’ll be in Israel, enjoying a small potluck feast with our friends, who become the closest thing to family in a foreign place. I developed this recipe for parve Applesauce Cake with Pomegranate Glaze for the Jew and the Carrot this year and loved it so much that I’m making it again to bring to Rosh Hashanah dinner. Please check out the original article (full of fun facts and information) on the Jew and the Carrot! Continue reading “Applesauce Cake with Pomegranate Glaze for Rosh Hashanah”

A Tropical Cocktail for a Tropical Storm

I know everyone on the East Coast has already stocked up on groceries and other essentials this weekend in preparation for Hurricane Irene, as we all watch every moment of its journey North. My sister and many other friends had to evacuate from Red Hook to higher ground in Manhattan, and relatives in Long Island had to do the same. I wish I had a pantry meal ready to go for those who are homebound right now, but I’m running low on stockpiled recipes. Instead, I’ve got the next best thing: a cocktail. Continue reading “A Tropical Cocktail for a Tropical Storm”

Four Simple Syrup Recipes and a Grenadine to Kick Start Your Summer

As it gets hot out we’re all reaching for cold beverages to cool us down. Here, four simple syrup recipes to sweeten any drink, from a sparkling non-alcoholic mint lemonade to a boozy Mojito. Plain simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, simmered until the sugar dissolves. This is crucial for sweetening cold beverages since sugar crystals won’t dissolve easily in icy liquid. Simple syrup is a bar staple, used in ice coffees and cocktails alike. While I’m sure you can buy it bottled at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, it takes just minutes to make at home. Continue reading “Four Simple Syrup Recipes and a Grenadine to Kick Start Your Summer”

Cumin-Scented Eggplant with Pomegranate

Warning: this dish is addictive. The super savory cumin contrasts with the sweet pomegranate syrup and meaty eggplant for a killer vegetable side dish with bold Middle Eastern flavors. Since most of the cooking is done in the oven and the eggplant can be served at room temperature this is an easy side to make ahead for company. I served it with Butternut Squash and Sage Cannelloni, but it would be an equally good accompaniment for braised meat, roast chicken, herbed couscous, or a light salad. A dollop of labneh on top of each eggplant (a la this recipe) is also really good. Continue reading “Cumin-Scented Eggplant with Pomegranate”

Meditation on Pomegranates

My favorite thing about pomegranates – a seductive fruit if ever there was one – is that eating them is an activity in and of itself. It’s meditative. Pomegranates force you to take a moment and be mindful; it’s hard to multitask while eating one. You may get impatient and try to rush through, but the pomegranate, messy and playful, will just spit its juice at you. Continue reading “Meditation on Pomegranates”