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Amy Rosen’s latest cookbook is filled with “living recipes.” By that she means dishes that feel as if they’ve been around forever, have been passed from one generation to the next and help define a people and their culture.

Rosen’s fifth cookbook, Kosher Style, is filled with such cherished dishes. They’re staples, really, such as matzo balls, challah and potato knishes, that speak to her own past and the shared history of the Jewish people. “I’m honouring history while freshening up recipes for our tastes today,” says the author, who also wrote Toronto Cooks and Toronto Eats.

“I’ve wanted to write this cookbook for over a decade. It’s for anyone who loves food and loves to eat. But it’s also for a generation who is in real danger of losing the Friday-night dinner memories,” Rosen says. It’s filled with recipes from her grandmothers, mother, aunts, cousins and extended family. “I still have the taste memory of my Bubi Fran’s cabbage borscht,” she says. “There was a lot riding on getting this dish right.”

“Sometimes these recipes were written down, sometimes not. They often were not complete because our ancestors made them from memory. It was important to me to put them all in one place as a way to preserve our collective heritage.”

Kasha Pilaf

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Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups kasha
  • 1 small bunch kale, fibrous veins removed
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups stemmed and quartered button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and paper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. In a medium pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil, then add the kasha. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Fluff the kasha with a fork, then tip into a large bowl to cool.
  2. Rinse the pot and add about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and add the kale. Cover with a lid and steam for eight to 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and chop the kale and add to the big kasha bowl. Wipe out the pot and toast the walnut pieces over medium heat for three to four minutes, or until slightly browned. Add them to the kasha.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil into the pot and sauté the red onion over medium heat for five minutes, then add the quartered mushrooms and cook for about 15 minutes more. Add to the kasha, along with the chopped dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and honey.

Excerpted from Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook by Amy Rosen. Copyright © 2019 Amy Rosen. Photography by Ryan Szulc. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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