Yom Kippur break-fast is all about indulging. Everybody is starving and has spent all day contemplating what they are going to ‘break their fast on’ (or is that just me?). Make it worth their while. Give them foods they can dig into that will make them lick their lips, like this Charred Eggplant Dip with Maple Drizzle. It’s smoky, but sweet—perfect to serve along crudités or warmed bread. I also love making the Caramelized Onion, Dill, and Smoked Salmon Frittata because it’s the ultimate Jewish all-in-one dish. All that’s missing is the bagel, which no doubt you will serve alongside.

As a child, I always grew up eating my mom’s delicious Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad. It’s just one of those dishes that tastes like home to me, which is why I always have it on my break-fast table. But, the pièce de résistance of this break-fast menu is, without a doubt, the Sticky Date Bread Pudding—warm toasty challah doused in gooey, sticky caramel sauce that’s been sweetened with golden dates. To me, it’s perfection.

Charred Eggplant Dip with Maple Drizzle

This is a smoky but sweet eggplant dip probably unlike any you’ve tasted before. If you have a gas stove, I recommend charring the eggplant directly on the open flame. An outdoor grill is also a good way to achieve the smoky flavor. But don’t worry if you don’t have either. You can roast the eggplant in a hot oven and you’ll still get an extra kick of smokiness from the cumin. This dip is fantastic served with pita chips or crudités.

1 large eggplant
1 tablespoon tahini
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Rose buds for garnish (optional)

To char the eggplant on a gas stove top: Turn on a burner to high heat. Place the eggplant directly on
the open flame and cook, turning with tongs, until the eggplant is charred on the outside and completely softened on the inside, about 6 minutes per side. Place the eggplant in a plastic bag for 10 minutes, then carefully peel away the charred skin and discard. Place the flesh in a bowl, discarding any large seed pockets.

To char the eggplant on an outdoor grill: Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Place the eggplant on the grill and cook, turning with tongs, until the eggplant is charred on the outside and completely softened on the inside, about 6 minutes per side. Place the eggplant in a plastic bag for 10 minutes, then peel as directed above.

To char the eggplant in the oven: Preheat the oven to 450° F. Wrap the eggplant in aluminum foil and place in a baking dish. Roast until the eggplant is completely softened on the inside, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the foil for about 20 minutes, then unwrap and peel as directed above.
Use a fork to mash the eggplant flesh. Whisk in the tahini, ginger, lemon juice, and cumin and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with the maple syrup, and garnish with rose petals, if desired. This dip is best made just before serving but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Makes about 1 cup

Caramelized Onion & Dill Frittata with Smoked Salmon

Some of my favorite flavors come together in this recipe to create the ultimate frittata. Instead of cooking it in a frying pan, I use a springform pan, which allows for foolproof transferring to a serving dish. I always switch between using za’atar and chipotle chile powder to flavor this frittata (usually depends on who is eating it!). So here, I’m letting you choose between them.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
8 slices smoked salmon, about 1⁄4 lb total weight, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon za’atar (for mild flavor) or chipotle chile powder (for some bite)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and slightly crisped, 8–10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the dill and salmon. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the butter in the base of a 10-inch springform pan. Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts, about 3 minutes. While the butter is melting, add the eggs, za’atar or chile powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper to the onion mixture and whisk well.

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, swirl the melted butter around so it covers the base of the pan evenly, and pour in the egg mixture.

Immediately return the pan to the oven and bake until the frittata is firm, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then release the sides of the springform pan and transfer the frittata to a serving dish. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one 10-inch frittata; serves 6–8

Avocado, Hearts of Palm, Edamame, & Za’atar Salad

When I was growing up, every Friday night there was a salad made of avocado and hearts of palm on the Shabbat table. Sometimes my mom would add a can of corn to it. To this day, it’s still the salad that all the grandkids fight over. In this version, I’ve omitted the usual mayo and seasoned it with za’atar, which is an ingredient the kids have come to love. I like to serve this salad on a platter, instead of in a bowl, so the avocado doesn’t get mushy.

2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6–8 hearts of palm (from 1 can or jar), cut into thin rounds
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 tablespoons za’atar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon pure raw honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Place the avocado slices in a single layer on a platter and drizzle the lemon juice over the slices. Scatter the hearts of palm over the avocados and top with the edamame. Sprinkle the za’atar over the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and honey until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the dressing over the salad and garnish with the lemon zest. Serve right away.

Serves 6–8

Sticky Date & Caramel Bread Pudding

I love serving something indulgent at brunch—something that I can make with rich ingredients like butter and cream but that isn’t overly sweet. This bread pudding has become my go-to recipe. The bits of dates literally melt into the caramel sauce, creating sticky, gooey goodness. Every single person to whom I have fed this goes crazy over it. Plus, you can make it ahead of time and freeze it. Who doesn’t love that?

1 cup pitted soft dates
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large challah, homemade or store- bought, cut into small cubes or thin slices
5 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half Kosher salt

For the caramel:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add the dates and baking soda, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is bubbly and the dates have completely softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and stir in the vanilla. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, transfer to a blender and process until creamy. Let cool.
Place the challah in a 15-by-10-inch glass baking dish. You can arrange the cubes or slices in neat layers or just throw them all in.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, cream, and a pinch of salt until foamy, about 2 minutes. Pour in the cooled date mixture and stir to combine. Pour evenly over the challah. Use your hands to push the challah down into the liquid to ensure all of the pieces are immersed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake the pudding until it is golden and the edges are crisped, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the caramel: In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, and brown sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until a thick caramel forms, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the caramel, or yourself! Keep the caramel on the lowest heat setting while the bread pudding bakes.

When the pudding is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the caramel over the top. To make in advance, let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 350° F oven until warm before serving.

Serves 8–10

Recipes reprinted with permission from The New Kosher: Simple Recipes to Savor and Share, by Kim Kushner.

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