Milk ahoy

There are speculations as to where the tradition comes from, but one thing is sure: Shavuot is the festival of dairy dishes.

By ZOE FOX
May 18, 2010 16:07
2 minute read.
Mushrooms filled with goat cheese & pepper sauce.

mushrooms w/ goats cheese 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Whether you prefer eating cheesecake or blintzes, kreplach or burekas, all Shavuot dishes share one common ingredient: milk.   

The tradition has many possible derivations.  Some point to the scripture, consuming dairy to symbolize "the land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8).   

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Kabbalists calculate the numeric value of the word halav, milk, (het=8, lamed=30, vet=2) to equal forty.  Milk, therefore, represents the number of days Moses spent on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments.  

Others connect the description of Mount Sinai in Psalms (68:15), gnuvim, meaning “many peaks” to the word gvinah, cheese.  Scholars have also connected the tradition to other locales and ethnic groups and their spring harvest festivals.

Dairy dishes were the norm, perhaps because of cheese’s production season.

There is a drash saying that the Israelites’ religiousness had changed after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. Following the Revelation, they refused to eat the meat that had been prepared without regarding the laws of kashrut.  The hungry Israelites ate a dairy meal rather than preparing new kosher meat.

Eating a modest dairy meal was considered appropriate upon receiving the Torah, which required humility.    

The recipe below offers a modern twist on the millennia-old traditional of eating dairy products on Shavuot. There’s even a touch of honey, to reflect the land of Israel’s two most famous flavors!

MUSHROOMS FILLED WITH GOAT CHEESE WITH PEPPER SAUCE 

Courtesy of Nadav Camp, head chef at BBB: Borgos Burger Bar 

Serves 6

For the mushrooms

600 gr. champignon mushrooms 
100 gr. butter 
300 gr. chopped onions
2 chopped garlic cloves (1/4) cup 
5 gr. salt
5 gr. white pepper 
200 gr. goat cheese 
2 tsp. date honey 
2 tsp. Dijon mustard 

For the pepper sauce

1 kg. peppers 
1⁄2 kg. cherry tomatoes 
1⁄4 cup vinegar 
70 gr. of garlic 
3⁄4 cup brown sugar 
1 tsp. of sweet paprika

To prepare the mushrooms:

1. Remove the mushroom stems and chop them. 

2. Sauté the chopped onions, garlic and mushroom stems in a pan with the butter.  Seasoning with salt and pepper. 

3. Put the sautéd vegetables into a food processor. Add the bread crumbs. Grind until the mixture is pasty. 

4. For the filling: Mix the goat cheese, date honey and mustard in a bowl. 

5. Pour the cheese into the bellies of the mushrooms.     

6. Spread the bread crumb and mushroom stem cream on the mushrooms.  Deep fry. 

To prepare the pepper sauce 

1. In a pan, sauté the peppers until they are soft. 
2. Add the remaining ingredients. 
3. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat. 

Side dishes

Pepper mayonnaise 


1⁄2 kg. mayonnaise 
200 gr. pepper sauce mix 

Green Salad

Baby greens
Graded carrots
A bit of carrots 

Mix with vinaigrette:

Juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup of olive oil
A pinch of salt
A pinch of sugar 

Bon appetit!


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