Learn more about B’teavon, a 4-day culinary exploration through the tastes, history, diversity and connections of all things Jewish food culture.
Dried Fruit & Nut Bar Cookies
by Leah Koenig
Makes about 10 large bar cookies (or 2 dozen smaller cookies)
This recipe is reprinted, with permission, from Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen, by Leah Koenig (W.W. Norton, 2023)
The Roman Jewish Ghetto’s most famous “pizza” has nothing to do with sauce or cheese. Instead, pizza Ebraica are crispy-edged, soft-centered, absolutely addictive bar cookies. Their exact origins are unclear, but they were likely brought to Rome by Sephardi Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. The cookies (the name roughly translates as “Jewish-style pie”) are also sometimes called pizza dolce (“sweet pie”) or pizza de beridde (“bris pie”)—the latter because they are traditionally served at circumcisions.
Locals and tourists alike form long lines outside Pasticceria il Boccione (see page 276) to buy the 200-year old kosher pastry shop’s beloved pizza Ebraica. Most famously, in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI declared Boccione’s take on the cookies to be his favorite dessert in all of Rome.
The bakery’s pizza Ebraica are at least an inch thick, and emerge from the oven with the charred patina that has become Boccione’s trademark. They are perfect, full stop, but a challenge to re-create at home. I have the best luck when I pat the dough a bit thinner, and take the cookies out of the oven when they are well browned rather than fully singed. I do follow Boccione’s impressive ratio of dough to nuts and dried fruit, however, making sure every bite is brimming with crunchy almonds, buttery pine nuts, and sweet-tart raisins and cherries.
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) vegetable oil (such as sunflower)
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) dry white wine
- 1½ cups (210 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (70 g) unsalted roasted almonds, left whole or very roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (30 g) pine nuts
- ½ cup (70 g) dark raisins, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained well
- ½ cup (75 g) candied cherries, roughly chopped, or dried cherries, soaked in water for 5 minutes, drained, and roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (40 g) candied citron or candied orange peel, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the vegetable oil and wine in a large bowl, until combined.
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture in a few stages, stirring until a soft dough forms. Add the almonds, pine nuts, raisins, cherries, and candied citron and, using clean hands, knead them into the dough. It will look like too many mix-ins for the amount of dough, but keep kneading until mostly incorporated. It’s okay if a few of the mix-ins are still falling out of the dough.
- Turn the dough out, divide into 2 equal portions, and place one portion in the center of each prepared baking sheet. Lightly flour your hands, then pat and press the dough into rectangles about 8 x 4 inches (20 x 10 cm) and ¾ inch (1.9 cm) thick. Using a floured bench scraper or knife, slice each rectangle crosswise into 5 brick-shaped pieces. (It can be tricky to cut through whole almonds, just do your best and pat the pieces back together as necessary.) Gently nudge the pieces away from one another on the baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch (1.25 cm) space between the cookies.
- Bake, rotating the pans back to front and bottom to top halfway through baking, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are a few shades darker on top and quite browned (almost burnt) around the edges. The cookies will still feel soft on top, but they will firm up as they cool.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and set on wire racks to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
- Serve the bars as is or break into smaller pieces, if desired. The cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey with Preserved Lemons & Dates
By Dr. And Chef Helene Jawhara Piñer
Total time for making this recipe: 5h for a 12–15-pound turkey.
Serves: 8 to 10 people.
Prepping the turkey, including thawing (if it’s frozen), rinsing, and applying the spice rub: 20-30 minutes.
Stuffing the turkey: 10-15 minutes.
Roasting the turkey: Approximately 3 to 4 hours for a 12–15-pound turkey.
You’ll need to allow about 13-15 minutes of cooking time per pound.
Resting Time: Letting the turkey rest after it’s done cooking: 20-30 minutes.
- 1 whole turkey (12-15 pounds)
- 1 preserved lemon, quartered (you can find preserved lemons in specialty stores or make your own)
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) for stuffing
- ¼ cup olive oil to coat the potatoes
- 10 potatoes with peel
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- Turkey stuffing
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds (to decorate)
- 3 fresh figs (to decorate)
- Thaw the Turkey: If your turkey is frozen, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator according to the package instructions. This can take several days, so plan ahead.
Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Prepare the Turkey:
- Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity. These are often packaged inside the turkey.
- Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan.
- Season the Turkey:
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cinnamon to create a spice rub.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly over the surface of the turkey, inside and out.
- Stuff the Turkey (or place the stuffing all around the turkey):
- You can stuff the turkey with quartered onions, preserved lemon quarters, dates, garlic cloves, and fresh herbs for added flavor. Make sure not to overstuff, as this can affect cooking times.
- You can also prepare a separate stuffing, but it’s important to cook it separately from the turkey to ensure it reaches a safe temperature.
- Roast the Turkey:
- Once the turkey is in the roasting pan, cut the potatoes into quarters and place them around the turkey. Coat them with the oil and add 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp smoked paprika. Make sure that all is coated. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and roast it, allowing about 13-15 minutes of cooking time per pound. Baste the turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The turkey is done when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C), and the juices run clear. This usually takes around 3-4 hours for a 12–15-pound turkey.
- If you stuffed the turkey, make sure the stuffing also reaches a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Rest the Turkey:
- Once the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier turkey.
- Carve and Serve: Carve the turkey and arrange the slices on a serving platter. Serve with the delicious preserved lemon, onion, and date stuffing.
- Enjoy with leftover garlic and parsley challah croutons and caramelized quinces sauce.
Leftover Garlic & Parsley Challah Croutons
Total Time: Approximately 35-50 minutes
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
Cooling time: 10-15 minutes
- Leftover challah bread, preferably a day or two old
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare the Challah: Cut the leftover challah into bite-sized cubes or pieces. You can remove the crust if you prefer, but leaving it on can add extra texture to the croutons.
- Make the Garlic Oil:
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic to the oil and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Be careful not to let it brown; you just want to infuse the oil with garlic flavor.
- Remove the garlic oil from the heat and set it aside.
- Toss the Challah Cubes:
- In a large bowl, place the challah cubes.
- Pour the garlic-infused olive oil over the challah cubes and toss them to coat evenly. Make sure the cubes are well-coated but not soggy. You can drizzle more olive oil if needed.
- Season and Add Parsley: Sprinkle the chopped fresh parsley over the challah cubes and season with a pinch of salt and a bit of black pepper. Toss everything together to distribute the seasonings evenly.
- Bake the Croutons:
- Spread the seasoned challah cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the croutons are golden brown and crisp. Be sure to check them and give them a stir halfway through for even browning.
- Cool and Serve:
- Once the croutons are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet. They will become even crunchier as they cool.
- Enjoy: Once cooled, use these delicious garlic and parsley challah croutons as a side for your Thanksgiving Roasted turkey with preserved lemon and dates.
Caramelized quinces sauce
Total Time: Approximately 1 hour to 2h15
Serves: 2-3 cups of sauce
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes (peeling, coring, and dicing quinces)
Cooking time: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours (to caramelize the quinces)
Cooling time: 30 minutes to reach room temperature
- 3-4 large quinces, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Pinch of salt
Prepare the Quinces:
Wash, peel, and core the quinces. Cut them into small, uniform pieces.
Cook the Quinces:
- In a large saucepan, combine the diced quinces, sugar, water, and a pinch of salt.
- If desired, add a cinnamon stick for extra flavor.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the quinces to prevent browning and add a fresh citrus note.
- Stir the mixture to combine.
- Simmer the Quinces:
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the quinces cook gently. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Caramelize the Quinces:
- As the quinces cook, they will release their natural pectin and slowly turn a beautiful caramel color. This process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the quinces’ ripeness.
- Be patient and watch for the quinces to transform into a caramelized sauce with a thick, jam-like consistency.
- Test for Doneness:
- To check if the quince sauce is ready, take a small spoonful and place it on a chilled plate. If it thickens and holds its shape without spreading too much, it’s done.
- Remove the cinnamon stick if you added one.
- Cool and Store:
- Once the quince sauce has reached the desired caramelization, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Serves with the Thanksgiving Roasted turkey with preserved lemon and dates, and the Leftover garlic and parsley challah croutons.
Thanksgiving Pistachio Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms, Cranberries & Fresh Dill
By Debbie Kornberg
I love this as a Thanksgiving stuffing dish because it is a rice-based dish with just enough bread to give that “stuffing-like” feeling without all the heavy carbs. With all the unique flavors from the Vegan Broth Base, it is deliciously aromatic.
(Serves 4 – 6)
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice This will yield two cups cooked.
- (If you can find “old rice” it is even better. “Old rice” can often be found at international markets, Indian markets
- or Middle Eastern Markets.)
- 2 cups water in pot or 1 – 1/2 cup water in rice maker
- 1 tsp. SPICE + LEAF Premium Vegan Broth Base – Available on Amazon
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil (Recommend SPICE + LEAF Galili Olive Oil – Available on Amazon)
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 – 8 oz. package of sliced mushrooms, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh dill
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Pinch of Kosher salt according to your taste
- 1 cup of French bread, cut into cubes (omit bread to make dish gluten-free)
Step 1: Rinse rice in a bowl at least 4 times. This will help remove the starch from the rice and give you nice clean grains
once it has been cooked. Cook rice either in a pot or in a rice maker.
- Rice in a pot: Place 2 cups water in pot and bring to a boil. Add rice and 1 tsp. Vegan Broth Base. Mix well. Cover with lid and cook on simmer for about 18 minutes or until water is fully absorbed into rice.
- Rice in a Rice Maker: If using a rice maker, add 1.5 cups of water, 1 cup of rice and 1 tsp. Vegan Broth Base to rice maker. Mix everything well and set to cook white rice.)
- In a dry sauté pan (no oil) toast almonds on a medium-high heat. About 2 – 4 minutes until nice and toasty brown.
- Then heat sauté pan with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add onions, mushrooms, and celery, and sauté on medium-low heat until onions turn a golden brown in color. Set aside once done.
- Once rice is cooked, place in a large bowl and combine with onions, mushrooms, celery, toasted almonds, and remaining ingredients. Combine everything together well. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add salt to taste.
- Place cubed bread into a sauté pan and cook on medium-low heat until bread becomes toasty brown.
- Add 3 Tbsp. water to resoften bread and mix into rice to give a more stuffing-like texture to the rice.
This recipe is reprinted, with permission, from Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen, by Leah Koenig (W.W. Norton, 2023)
Chicken with Peppers
Pollo con Peperoni
Chicken braised with silky, roasted bell peppers and tomato is a classic Roman dish, and for good reason. Made with just a handful of ingredients, it captures the essence of summer’s bounty. Roman Jews love the dish as much as their neighbors – in Donatella Limentani Pavoncello’s classic, handwritten cookbook, Dal 1880 ad Oggi (page 152), she includes a version of the dish made with morsels of cut up chicken breast. She calls it “Chicken Delights with Peppers,” which I love – for the dish is, indeed, delightful. Serve it with lots of crusty bread for sopping up the vibrant, flavorful sauce.
- 4 medium yellow or orange bell peppers, washed and dried (stems on is fine)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs, excess fat trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
- One 14.5-ounce (411 g) can whole, peeled tomatoes
- Chopped fresh basil, for serving
- Roast and peel the peppers: Preheat the oven broiler and arrange the peppers on a baking sheet. Broil the peppers, turning every five minutes with tongs, until they are blistered and collapsing on themselves, 15 to 20 minutes total. Remove the peppers from the broiler and cover with foil or paper towels while they cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins and seeds, and slice into strips. Set aside. (This step can be completed up to 2 days in advance. Store the peppers, covered, in the fridge.)
- Make the chicken: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other large saucepan set over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and, working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down. Sear, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer browned chicken to a plate while continuing with the remaining pieces. Set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add a drizzle of additional oil if the Dutch oven looks dry. Add half of the roasted pepper strips, the garlic, and the red pepper flakes, if using, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and let cook down by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the whole tomatoes with their juices to a medium bowl and gently squeeze the tomatoes to break them up into small pieces. Add them to the Dutch oven along with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of pepper. Nestle the chicken pieces in the sauce, spooning some over top. (The sauce will not cover the chicken.) Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover the Dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.
- Uncover, turn the heat back to medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens a bit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining roasted pepper strips, taste and add more salt if desired. Serve hot, generously sprinkled with chopped basil.
Note: You can substitute bottled roasted bell peppers to save the time of roasting the peppers yourself. The flavor of the final dish will not be quite as delicate, but it will still be tasty.
by Dr. and Chef Hélène Jawhara Piñer
Fig & Almond Torta
Serving: 6 people
Time: 1hr 30min
For the Buttered Short-crust Pastry Dough (for one 12-inch or two 8-inch pan tarts):
- 1 cup (150g) icing sugar
- 1 ¾ cup (288g) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 9 Tbsp (135g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
For the Almond Custard:
- 2/3 cup (150g) sugar
- 1 cup (150g) ground almonds
- 8 Tbsp (120g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp organic almond extract
For the Fig Marmalade:
- 8 fresh figs
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 vanilla bean
For the Egg Custard:
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp (24g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (132g) heavy cream
- 2 figs, sliced
- 2 Tbsp almonds, chopped
For the Buttered Short-Crust Pastry Dough:
- In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar, flour and salt to remove any lumps.
- In another bowl, mix the softened unsalted butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract (or split the 1/2 vanilla bean into two halves and scatter it to take the beans).
- Slowly mix the two mixtures until they form a homogeneous dough. Make one ball for one 12-inch pan tart or split the dough into two equal parts if making two tarts (8 inches each). Place it/them in a plastic bag and cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Take two parchment paper sheets. Lay the first one on the working board and put the dough (the first ball if making two tarts).
- Cover the ball of dough with the other parchment paper sheet and roll it out until it is 0.12-inch (3 mm) thick.
- Remove the parchment paper on the top and put the dough (with the parchment paper on the bottom) in a tart pan (ideally with a removable loose bottom). Do not forget to put the dough over the edges (1 to 1.2 inches/2.5 to 3 mm) of the pan. Cool for 15 minutes.
- If making two tarts (8 inches each), repeat the same process with the other ball of dough.
For the Almond Custard:
- Preheat the oven to 365°F (185°C).
- In a bowl, mix together sugar and ground almonds.
- Add the softened unsalted butter and mix until the mixture is well combined.
- Add the egg and egg yolk. Stir.
- Add the flour and organic almond extract. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
- Cool the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Take the pan tart with the cooled dough and spread the almond custard over the top. If making two tarts, put the same amount of almond custard over the bottom of the dough of each pan.
- Bake for 13 minutes and remove from the oven. Set aside.
For Fig Marmalade:
- Open the fresh figs and check inside. Then, cut them into quarters and put them in a saucepan.
- Add the butter and the ½ vanilla (split the bean into two halves and scrape into the butter).
- Cook over medium heat for about five minutes until it forms like a marmalade.
- Take the baked tart and scrape the marmalade over the baked almond custard.
For Egg Custard:
- In a bowl, stir the egg, sugar and heavy cream until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour it over the fig marmalade.
- Add the sliced figs and the chopped almonds.
- Baked for 40 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C) until the top goldens.
- Pull it out from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes outside without removing it from the pan.
by Debbie Kornberg of Spice + Leaf
Pomegranate & Mint Baked Salmon with Honey
By Debbie Kornberg
- 1.5 lbs salmon (remove skin from bottom)
- 1 Tbsp SPICE + LEAF Salmon Spice Blend
- 1/8 tsp sea salt – optional
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/8 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/8 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (can substitute with Tamari or Coconut Amino to make soy-free and/or gluten-free)
- 1-2 Tbsp SPICE + LEAF Galili Premium Israeli Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped, (save one Tbsp for garnish)
- 1/2 lemon, juice one good squeeze over fish after cooked
- 3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds to sprinkle over cooked fish for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place salmon in a glass baking dish (Pyrex recommended). Rub Salmon Spice Blend onto salmon. Add salt.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, pomegranate molasses, pomegranate juice, soy sauce, honey, olive oil & mint.
- Whisk together well. Pour sauce over the fish.
- Optional: Cover fish and place in the refrigerator to marinate for up to 6 hours.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Fish should have an internal temperature between 140 – 145 degrees. When done, squeeze lemon juice on top of fish. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and the remaining chopped mint.
Join us this President’s Day weekend for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience! At B’teavon guests will enjoy delicious Jewish cuisine prepared by our guest chefs, a variety of workshops, demonstrations, food and wine tastings, evening entertainment, and all the beauty that surrounds you on our breathtaking 185-acre campus in the North Georgia Mountains.
If you would like to be added to our email list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.