I still remember one Sunday back in the days when not much was opened on Sundays in London and I had a meal in a Jewish restaurant before catching The Runaways and 999 in concert at Hammersmith Odeon.
I was clueless as to what the dishes offered were and I ended up ordering something by pointing at what a nearby table was having.
My knowledge of Jewish cooking has progressed a little (not that much) in all these years so I can learn quite a bit from Jewish Traditional Cooking (Kyle Books, March 2013 for US publication) by Ruth Joseph (a Welsh-Jewish author) and Simon Round.
Here's a first excerpt.
Leek and Pea Pie
This delicious quiche-style “pie” (which is made without pastry) has evolved in the Middle East as a
wonderful meatless meal.
Serves 6–8 as a main course
4–5 leeks, sliced and washed really well
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or coriander, finely chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube
6 organic free-range eggs, plus 6 organic free-range egg yolks
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup frozen peas
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated cheese of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large frying pan, gently sweat the leeks and onions in the olive oil until soft but not colored. When they are tender and sweet, add the herbs and crumble in the bouillon cube. (If you wish, you can process the mixture at this stage for a smooth texture.)
Mix the eggs, egg yolks, milk, and peas together in a mixing bowl.
Pour over the vegetable mixture and season to taste.
Pour into a deep 2-quart decorative baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden and set.
Add 4–5 sliced, cooked portabello mushrooms to the mixture, or substitute 8 oz blanched asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces, for the peas.
For a non-dairy alternative, substitute coconut milk for the cows’ milk and omit the cheese topping.
(* Recipe from Jewish Traditional Cooking by Ruth Joseph and Simon Round - Kyle Books, March 2013- reproduced with permission- Photography by Isobel Wield)