Fit for the Fourth

In response to requests for recipes for some of the dishes at last Shabbat’s Fourth of July Kiddush, here they are. All are really simple as befits summer food.

July 6 potatoRoasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette is the perfect potato salad for those who like their potato salad a little lighter. There is no mayo at all. The potatoes are roasted so there are no hot potatoes to handle and the potatoes do not fall apart either. This recipe makes about 8 servings.

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons sliced garlic (if using dry, reconstitute first)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3.4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1. Pace a large heavy baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (keep baking sheet in the oven while it preheats.
2. Combine potatoes, 1 ½ tablespoons oil, garlic, and thyme in a bowl. Toss to coat.
3. Cover preheated baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil. Arrange potato mixture on baking sheet and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned and tender, turning after 20 minutes.
5. Combine remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, vinegar, shallots, Dijon mustard and tarragon in a small bowl, stirring well.
6. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes and mix gently.

NOTES: Easy to double or triple. Chopped olives would be a nice addition. Keeps well. Using parchment paper or foil on the baking sheet makes clean-up much easier.

July 6 gazpachoEasy Gazpacho is really just what it says. There are no tomatoes to peel, no fancy ingredients and no need to be precise in the shape of the cut vegetables. A food processor might speed up the cutting of the veggies, but it’s not really necessary. This recipe makes 4-6 generous servings.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup tomato juice or vegetable juice
2 tablespoons white or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Salt and ground pepper to taste

1. Combine onion, cucumber, peppers, celery, tomatoes and their juices, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil and garlic in a large bowl.
2. Blend with an immersion blender until mostly smooth.
3. Season with salt and black pepper.
4. Chill in refrigerator at least two hours to allow flavors to blend.
NOTES: Using diced tomatoes is fine. If the soup is too thick, it can be thinned with additional juice. Add pepper sauce or minced jalapeno for extra bite. Add corn kernels for color and texture. A little fresh lemon or lime juice brightens the taste. Fresh (or commercially prepared) croutons and chopped cilantro are a nice addition just before serving. Or serve with good quality corn or tortilla chips. Can easily be doubled or tripled.

july6 cakeLastly, here’s the secret to the patriotic American Flag Cake. You could make a chocolate cake (9×13) from scratch and then make a cream cheese frosting from scratch, too. But why add to your labor on a beautiful summer afternoon? Make two double recipes of Ghirardelli brownies (6 packs available at Costco). Let cool. Trim the hard edges and put the cakes together to make a 13×18 cake. Frost with premade cream cheese icing or try whipped cream if serving immediately. Decorate as for a flag with 50 blueberries for stars and alternately rows of strawberries (slices or halves) for the red stripes. Beautiful and impressive.


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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