I once heard Rabbi David Aaron say about Shavuot that it’s the holiday where it doesn’t matter where we eat (as opposed to Sukkot – in a sukkah) or what we eat (Passover – matzah).
When I ask anyone what food comes to mind when they hear the word “Shavuot,” the answer is usually “Cheesecake!” or “Cheese blintzes.” We have a tradition to eat dairy (not exclusively) on this holiday, as the nation was still new to learning the laws of kashrut at the time we received the Torah at Mount Sinai.
There are many other explanations, but the one I love the most is that in addition to receiving the Torah, we are celebrating the Land of Milk and Honey with sweet dairy treats. Even this carnivore is sold!
Strawberry Cream Soup
Want to start the meal with something sweet and creamy? This easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (yes, my eight-year-old taught me that) recipe is very refreshing, and the mint leaves on top give it that perfect harmonious flavor. This is also an amazing dessert that can be served in wine glasses with some white wine added, or frozen into ice pops for the younger members at your table.
Yields 6 servings.
- 700 gr. frozen strawberries
- 1 cup heavy cream plus more to drizzle
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Fresh mint leaves
Using a food processor with the steel “S” blade or blender on high, combine the strawberries and cream until smooth – about 3-4 minutes. Add in the orange and lemon juices and mix for another minute. Store in a container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Pour into bowls and use a spoon to pour some cream on top and place mint leaves in the center.
Bubby Meyer’s Blintzes
This recipe isn’t even from my bubby; it was given to me by my sister, who got it from her husband’s grandmother. Luckily, I had the honor and privilege of meeting this incredible woman on a few occasions many years ago, and I knew that any recipe from her would be foolproof.
This recipe can be done in three steps (each one on different days if you wish). Even though I am very pro easy one-step recipes, I found that the time spent on this was well worth the happy faces around my Shavuot table each year.
Yields 12 blintzes.
- Crepes (aka bletlach)
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Oil cooking spray
- Cheese filling
- 2 cups cottage cheese – 450 gr.
- 2 egg yolks (reserve whites in a separate cup for sealing crepes)
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
- Raisins (optional)
In a bowl, whisk together all the crepe ingredients until smooth and without any clumps. Heat a large frying pan about 9-10 inches/22-24 cm. and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Use a ladle to spoon about ½ cup of the batter into the pan, and tilt the pan from side to side to form a circle with the batter. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes until you see some browning on the edges. Do not flip the crepe over, as you will only be cooking one side of each crepe. Place the crepe onto a large plate with the browned side facing up (the undone side facing down). Repeat this until all your batter is used, layering the crepes one on top of the other.
You can move on to step two, or put these in the fridge uncovered until the next day.
Cover a space on your counter with baking paper. Mix all the cheese filling ingredients in a bowl.
Place one crepe (browned side up) on the baking paper. Place 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling on one side of the crepe and brush a bit of egg white on the opposite side.
Standing behind the side of the crepe with the filling, slowly roll it one time away from you and then fold over the right and left sides of the crepe. Continue to roll the crepe until it is completely rolled up. Place it in a dish and repeat with the remaining crepes.
You can continue to step three or wrap them up and freeze until an hour before you are ready to fry them.
Heat 1 -2 cups of oil in a fry pan until very hot. Carefully place a few of the crepes in the pan, and fry them for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve while fresh and warm, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Fish Filet in Pesto Cream Sauce
I love fresh filets like sea bass, bream (denise), or gray mullet, and if I’m serving dairy (a rare occurrence in our home), I am going all out. I make my own pesto that we serve each Shabbat as part of our salatim course, but now I’m taking it to the next level with some heavy cream and fresh fish.
Yields 6 servings.
- 6-8 filets fresh fish
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. pesto
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 230° C/450° F on broil mode. Line a baking pan with paper and drizzle on the olive oil. Place the fish pieces in the pan and squeeze the lemon juice on top.
In a bowl, mix the pesto, salt, pepper, and cream together and brush on top of the fish filets.
Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes, and serve warm.
For my pesto recipe: www.inthekitchenwithhenny.com The writer is a kitchen coach, inspiring confidence and creativity in the kitchen. Learn more about workshops and private events: www.inthekitchenwithhenny.com