summer eats

Grilled Crispy Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

If you’ve never tasted grilled pineapple, you’ve missed a real treat.

Cut into thick slices, it’s a fabulous side dish for dinners of grilled or roasted chicken, lamb, duck or fish.

But it has a sort of rum-like flavor, so I also think of it as a “solid cocktail.” Which makes it the perfect accompaniment to such items as grilled chicken wings and other savory nibbles. In that case, cut the large slices into cubes and skewer the chunks onto toothpicks.

OR — this dish is so versatile — top each slice with whipped cream, ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese (garnish with some chopped pistachios or mint) and use it as a dessert.

Any way at all — you can’t go wrong.

Grilled Pineapple

  • One whole pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, vegetable oil, melted butter or a mixture of these

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

  • sea salt

  • mint for garnish, optional

Cut the leaves off the pineapple. Remove the outer fibrous rind. Cut the peeled pineapple in slices about 3/4-inch thick. Set aside in a single layer in a pan. Heat the brown sugar, coconut oil, orange juice and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the pineapple slices, turning the pieces to coat both sides. Let macerate for about 45 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or use a grill pan or the oven broiler). Grill the slices for about 4 minutes per side or until well glazed and tender, brushing occasionally with some of the liquid. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Grilled Baby Vidalias


During the summer my family likes grilled everything. 

Like these gorgeous baby Vidalia onions. I bought some recently. They are a perfect side dish for whatever else I make for dinner (also on the grill). 

They are among the easiest side dishes I have ever prepared.

Just a few simple ingredients. You can do this with spring garlic, thick scallions too.

Whatever you're grilling for the 4th of July -- this goes with it.

Grilled Baby Vidalia Onions

  • 1 bunch of baby Vidalia onions (5-6), or use baby leeks or thick scallions
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • sea salt

Preheat and outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high. Trim the onions but leave enough of the root intact so the leaves don't come apart. Rub the olive oil over the surface of the onions. Place the onions on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, turning them occasionally to cook all sides. After the first turn, sprinkle the onions with the lemon juice and Aleppo pepper. When the onions are browned and tender, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings













Easy Peasy Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

Things are still blooming in my garden. And I'm not usually so lucky when it comes to my produce plantings, so I only planted tomatoes and herbs.

Next year: going to try berries. Strawberries and blueberries.

In the meantime it's store bought for me (including farmer's markets).

So the other day, when Fairway had a sale on blueberries (each dry pint for $1!!!!)I bought 5 (the limit). Even though I already had some fresh blueberries at home.

And then I had to use them.

I made blueberry cake, blueberry muffins and blueberry soup (so refreshing on a summer day!). And a blueberry crisp.

And also blueberry jam.

I like jam, but don't like fussing with sterilizing jars and putting the jars in one of those water-bath things. So I only make an amount that will be used within a couple of weeks and store it in my fridge. For example, for:

Here's the simple recipe:

Fuss-Free Blueberry Jam

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 cup sugar

Place the blueberries, orange juice, orange peel and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing down on the ingredients with a wooden spoon to crush the berries slightly. When the liquid has thickened to jam-like, remove the pan from the heat. Let cool and spoon into a jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups


Potato Salad with Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

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Some people say potato salad comes from German cuisine. Others tell you it is French. Or from some other European country.

But I think potato salad is actually thoroughly American.

Potatoes are a "new world" plant. Back in the 16th century, before Europeans ever knew there was even another continent, Spanish explorers sailed to what would later become the "Americas." They were looking for gold and plenty in the mythical kingdom of El Dorado. 


What they found were plenty of potatoes, and that was their real treasure.

They brought potatoes back to Europe, where it met with mixed reviews, especially because so many people thought potatoes were poisonous. Others refused to eat potatoes because they weren't mentioned in the bible. 

Fortunately potatoes are nourishing and easy to grow, so in the poorer European communities the people were obliged to eat them or starve. 

And so by the time Europeans settled in what would become the United States, potatoes were a staple part of the diet.

With all this in mind, I say again: potato salad is an American food, because -- it all started with the potato. And so it's the perfect side dish for a 4th of July picnic, barbecue or any other sort of get-together.

For my money -- potato salad is best when served at room temperature. Not hot, not cold. There are a zillion versions. Here's one:

Potato Salad with Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

  • 2-1/2 pounds small red potatoes        
  • lightly salted water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped        
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (1-1/2 teaspoons dried) 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain under cold water and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and toss ingredients gently. Add the scallions, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss gently. Let rest at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings




I Hate Going on a Diet


I hate going on a diet.

The thing is, I like food. I like to eat. It's not even that I have a sweet tooth and consume too many doughnuts or that I drink soda (haven't had one for decades).

I just like regular food. 

And unfortunately, last year I ate a lot more of it than usual. Stress eating. It was a difficult year.

I gained TEN pounds.

That's a lot.

My children tell me I am not allowed to use the word "fat" because of "shaming."

So I suppose plump and chubby are off limits too.

I am supposed to say that I don't like how I look.


I don't like how I look.

Unfortunately my son-in-law Greg said he read an article that said women who go on diets and lose weight tend to re-gain the weight plus more.


Just in time -- comes THIS: The JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge.

This is a four week diet plan of the most scrumptious non-diet sounding, most gorgeous food you ever saw in a weight loss plan. 

Check out the photos. The first for Grilled Fennel with toasty, crunchy quinoa seeds. The second for an avocado and egg-filled portobello mushroom cap that is so easy I am going to make it when my cousins come to sleep over in a few weeks.

This is not your ordinary "diet food."

It's good food, coming to you via two good friends of mine: Jamie Geller, cookbook author and founder, JoyofKosher, and Tamar Genger, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition.

Have a look, even if you aren't on a diet. Even if you aren't kosher.

Here's what it is: When you sign up you get the menu plan for 28 days, plus a shopping list, plus 75 recipes with vegetarian and gluten-free substitutes (in a downloadable pdf file), plus nutritional info, plus tips, plus a Facebook page where you can discuss food stuff with other people on the challenge, plus --- go ahead and click the link and you'll see it all. For $28.

It's not a crazy diet. Just a simple plan, great, healthy, delicious food, easy, doable recipes with lovely photos and so much more. 


Sounds like a plan. I'm determined to like the way I look.

GRILLED FENNEL AND TOASTED QUINOA (from JoyofKosher 28 Day Challenge)

Servings 6

Fennel is high in potassium and loaded with other nutrients that have been found to improve bone health.


2 fennel bulbs, sliced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1⁄4 cup fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme and some fennel fronds

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1⁄4 cup raw quinoa

1. Trim fennel bulbs by removing stalks and fronds (set aside fronds to mix with herbs).

2. Cut off any hard inedible outer layers.
3. With your fennel bulb upright, cut 1⁄4-inch slices vertically.
4. Brush each side using 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Place slices on a medium hot grill, turning until you get a nice char on each side and fennel is tender to the touch. Alternatively, place on a baking pan and broil until charred.

6. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice and zest, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle all over fennel.

7. Meanwhile, toast quinoa: Rinse well, drain, and pour into a medium sauté pan. Stir grains over medium-high heat. Watch as quinoa dries out and begins to brown and even pop—that’s how you know it is ready. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

8. Sprinkle toasted quinoa over fennel and serve warm or at room temperature. Nutritional Information / Per Serving

110 calories, 7g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein 



Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Dill


Whether you are about to mourn the end of summer or celebrate the Jewish New Year, it's the right time to take advantage of local tomatoes, still at their glorious peak-of-the-season and soon to disappear until next year.

Here's a scrumptious way. Sure, you can make this dish anytime, but it's so much better with end-of-summer tomatoes.

This easy, easy recipe takes almost no time to prepare, is quick to cook and can be set up to the point of actual cooking several hours ahead.

Perfect for last minute dinners. Busy week dinners. Rosh Hashanah fish course.


Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Dill

  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds halibut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2-3 scallions or 3-4 tablespoons chopped red onion

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the fish in a baking dish. Brush the olive oil over the surface of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the tomatoes on top of the fish. Scatter the dill and scallions on top. Roast the fish for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish, or until just cooked through.

Makes 4 servings

Salmon Melt with Tomatoes, Squash and Chives

Salmon Melt

Salmon Melt

Everyone I know who has a garden says that it's overflowing with tomatoes and zucchini. Eggplants and basil. Lettuce and bell peppers.

What should they do with all this produce?

A question for the ages, because this happens to everyone who has a garden, every year.

Except for me. I got exactly one tomato on one plant, one tomato on another and the third one has three teeny green ones and a few flowers. Most of my basil was devoured by local animals and the few that were left have just a few leaves. 

I didn't even bother to plant anything else because I have failed summer after summer.

EXCEPT for the chives! I have a lovely, flourishing pot of chives!

So I snipped some of those lovely, fragrant stalks and added them to a Salmon Melt Sandwich. Leftover salmon of course, plus tomatoes and summer squash from someone else's garden.

I am certain that the chives make all the difference in how wonderful this tastes.


Salmon Melts with TOMATOES, SQUASH and Chives

  • 2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted
  • 8-12 thin slices yellow squash or zucchini
  • 4-8 slices tomato
  • 5-6 ounces cooked salmon, broken into chunks
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the butter equally on one side of each of the toast slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet. Place 2-3 slices of squash and 1-2 slices of tomato on top. Place equal amounts of the salmon on top of the tomato. Scatter with the chives. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake the sandwiches for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.


Makes 4 pieces

Panzanella -- the Ultimate Summer Salad for a Crowd?

Panzanella Salad 

Panzanella Salad 

There's a crowd coming to my house for lunch. 

Not really. It's a "virtual" lunch, connecting my fellow kosher bloggers who live throughout the world. We are celebrating three years of friendship. Everyone will post a recipe so we can feast together, if only in our imaginations.

So, what to feed a kosher crowd?

It isn't as straightforward as you might think. The rules of kashruth are not simple. In fact, books have been written on the subject. Most people, even those who aren't Jewish and/or kosher, know the basics: no pig, no shellfish, no meat with dairy; only kosher meat, etc. etc.

But there's more to it and not everyone who is kosher follows the same rules. For example, some people only eat dairy products produced under the supervision of a Jewish person who will make sure the animals are kosher. People who are orthodox won't eat fish together with meat, whereas people who are conservative will. 

And more, too much to go into here.

That, plus all the other, nonkosher dietary stuff -- lots of folks these days are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant. Some people don't eat meat. There are fish allergies! Nut allergies!

I want to avoid all that.

Oh myohmyohmy. 

Here's what I decided to make:

It's August and it's hot out. No one want s a heavy meal. The best food on the market now?


So my lunch is a salad built around summer's gorgeous produce. Plus a sprinkling of August's other culinary gem: fresh basil from my garden.

It's still a filling lunch, because I've added lots of vegetables to the usual bread-and-tomato salad. For the gluten-free folk there are plenty of good, crusty breads to substitute for the Tuscan-style or ciabatta called or in my recipe.

This dish has no meat, no fish, no poultry, no cheese, no dairy. Can be gluten-free. Strictly kosher. Delicious too.

Happy 3rd everyone!




  • 1 pound crusty, 2-day old Tuscan style bread or ciabatta
  • cold water
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 sweet red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 7-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into large dice and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the bread for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and place the pieces in a large bowl. Let cool. Add the red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, peas, capers, basil and garlic and toss the ingredients. Mix the smaller quantities of olive oil and red wine vinegar and pour over the salad. Sprinkle with freshly ground back pepper to taste. Toss the salad and add more olive oil and/or vinegar as needed to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Makes 6 servings

More delicious Kosher Connection recipes right here

Love Those Tuna Burgers


Tuna is not one of my favorite fish. It's frequently dry and chewy, except when it's rare, and unless you buy a really thick hunk of really high quality fish, it's difficult to get it rare to perfection -- if the piece is thin it cooks to an unpleasant looking grayish color.

But tuna burgers? I love them. Because grinding or chopping the flesh makes it tender, even when the burger is well-done. And the color is just fine for burgers, especially because the outside surfaces crisp to a gorgeous golden brown whether you grill, broil or saute them.

I don't mix in too many seasonings when making tuna burgers. Instead, I add flavor with a tangy condiment to serve with the tuna burger on the roll. Recently I mixed the fish with chopped fresh chives -- the only herb I have been successful in growing in my garden this year -- and served the burgers with mayonnaise mixed with chopped kalamata olives and a hint of lemon peel.

This recipe is extremely easy, also quick to cook. Just perfect for casual, summertime eating, meatless/dairy meals and any old time.


Tuna Burgers with Olive Mayo


  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
  • 20 ounces fresh tuna
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 rolls
  • lettuce, spinach or arugula leaves
  • 4 slices tomato


Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler (or use a sauté pan). Mix the mayonnaise, olives and lemon peel together and set aside in the refrigerator.

Chop the tuna into very fine pieces (or pulse in a food processor). Place the fish in a mixing bowl. Add the chives and garlic and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Shape the mixture into 4 patties. Brush the remaining olive oil over the surface of each patty. Grill or broil the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy on both sides and cooked to the degree of doneness preferred. OR, pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the burgers for 2-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat.

Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise mixture on the bottom side of each roll. Place a lettuce leaf on top, then top with a slice of tomato. Place the burger on top of the tomato. Cover with the top of the roll.

Makes 4




We're big meat eaters here. During the summer, when the grill is open for business on our patio, we especially like beef ribs and veal chops, chicken and salmon.

But sometimes veg-only is on the menu. Maybe it's a meatless Monday -- or Tuesday, Wednesday -- whatever.

Or a fast during the Nine Days.

Or we are too tired to have a big, heavy meat meal.

Or it's just plain too hot to eat a heavy protein meal.

At those times we like a light, vegetarian, filling salad.

Like this one:

Tomato and Pasta Salad with Egg, Avocado and Blue Cheese

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni or other small shape pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into dice
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 3–4 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat a half tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Beat the eggs together and pour them into the pan. Cook for about one minute, stirring slightly, turn the egg over and cook for 30-60 seconds or until the eggs are cooked through. Place on a cutting board and chop into pieces. Add to the pasta. Add the tomatoes, avocado, cheese, red onion and dill and toss ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil, 3 tablespoons vinegar and the mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar if desired. Season to taste with pepper.

Makes 4 servings.