Cookbook features new kosher trends

(Kate Sears photo, courtesy of Simon and Schuster)

Shabbat Shalom! Kosher cuisine has really evolved in the last decade. Recipes in the latest kosher cookbooks focus on colourful fresh produce and local ingredients, and the food photography tends to be on-trend with non-kosher cookbooks. The photos are bold, colourful and artistic.

I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen by Kim KushnerKim Kushner, a New-York-City (NYC)-based, kosher cookbook author and culinary teacher, is an earlier adopter of this new style of kosher cuisine. Her third book, I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen (2018), melds traditional cuisine with modern ingredients. The recipes are easy to follow and Kushner also includes helpful ideas on simplifying meal prep.

Kushner was born in Montreal. She grew up in an Orthodox home and learned to cook from her Moroccan-born mother. Today, she resides in NYC with her husband and their four children.

A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, Kushner has worked as a recipe developer for Food & Wine magazine and as a private chef. She is also a very popular cooking instructor.

Her first book, The Modern Menu (Gefen Publishing), won Best New Kosher Cookbook of 2013 by The New Kosher, her second book, was published in 2015.

I Heart Kosher is available in Canada through Simon & Schuster.

**NB The following recipes are random sample fare from different chapters of I Heart Kosher. The recipes are not meant to be served together, but rather, they show the versatility of Kushner’s innovative cookbook.

Marinated Feta from I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen by Kim Kushner
(Kim Kushner photo)


1 lb (500 g) firm feta cheese, pat-dried and diced (about 1/2-inch pieces)

2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 shallot, sliced finely

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp sumac or paprika for garnish


Place the diced feta in a shallow dish big enough to hold the cheese in a single layer. Sprinkle the jalapeño slices over the feta. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except for the sumac and pour over the feta cheese. Cover the dish and marinate for 30 minutes unrefrigerated, or for up to one week in the fridge. Garnish with sumac before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Make-ahead tip: Marinated feta can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. The oil in the feta may solidify while refrigerated, so simply place the dish on the counter for 20 minutes before serving to allow the oil to liquefy.


(Kim Kushner photo)



For the salad

6 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 watermelon radish, peeled and sliced (1 cup/about 15 slices)

3 red radishes, sliced 1/2 cup /about 15 slices)

1 cup diced watermelon (1/2-inch dice), chilled

8 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped


1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp raw honey

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the salad: in a large shallow bowl, use your fingertips to gently mix together the spinach, radishes, watermelon, and mint.

To make the vinaigrette: in a small jar with a lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, and sesame seeds. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, toss all together, and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 large servings

Make-ahead tip: The watermelon and mint can be prepared and stored in the fridge in separate containers for up to 2 days. The radishes can be prepared in advance and stored for up to 3 weeks. This salad is best when assembled just before serving.





For the chicken

2 whole butterflied chickens, skin on and bone in, trimmed of excess skin and fat

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons, halved

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp minced fresh garlic

4 sprigs fresh thyme, thyme leaves plucked off the stem or 1 tsp dried thyme

For the hasselback potatoes

6 to 10 medium to large Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and dried

Light olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an extra-large rimmed baking sheet (or 2 regular baking sheets) with parchment paper.

To prepare the chickens, season on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemons over the chickens, then drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. Rub the garlic and thyme on both sides of the chickens. Place the chickens, skin side up, on the prepared baking sheet.

To prepare the Hasselback Potatoes, working with one potato at a time, cut thin slits into the top of the potato from one side to the other, cutting almost but not all the way through, almost like a fan. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and season generously with salt and pepper, then use your hands to rub in the seasonings and ensure that the potatoes are completely coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.

Place the potatoes, uncut side down, around the chickens on the same baking sheet.

Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until both the chickens and potatoes are crispy and golden, about 30 minutes longer.

Makes 6 to 10 servings

To reheat: The chickens with potatoes can be reheated, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.