The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings

This Passover, which is celebrated from April 15th and April 23rd , Kim Kushner shows us how to create memorable meals with her latest cookbook The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings.

         A culinary educator as well as mother of four and author of three other bestselling cookbooks on kosher food, Kushner is one of the leaders in redefining kosher cuisine. The term kosher means fit and is used to describe any foods that comply with a strict set of dietary rules called kashrut. Not all Jewish people follow a kosher diet but for those that do, Kushner works at making the cuisine vibrant and tasty. She does this by emphasizing seasonal and fresh Mediterranean-style dishes.

Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings


         As she noted in a previous cookbook, “if the title didn’t say kosher, nothing in this book would make you think it was kosher. This isn’t a kosher cookbook that happens to be great–think of it as a really awesome cookbook that just happens to be kosher.”

         Kushner’s cooking background is complicated which contributes to the many ingredients and flavors found in the recipes she’s created. She was raised in Montreal and taught to cook by her mother who was from Morocco. She spent summers with family in Israel which added another level to her culinary influences. Overall, her cultural identity and heritage is Ashkenazi-Canadian.

Kim Kushner Cuisine

         A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, Kushner worked at developing recipes for both Food & Wine and Chile Pepper magazines and has appeared on the Today Show and been featured in numerous newspapers and on TV. 17 years ago, she launched Kim Kushner Cuisine and now teaches cooking around the globe.

Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings

Passover Meals

         “When it comes to Passover cooking, I stick to bright and seasonal ingredients and keep it simple and modern,” she says about her approach to kosher holiday cooking. “Fresh, colorful salads, simply grilled fish and slow cooked meats using garlic, lemons and fresh herbs can take you a long way. “

         Whether we celebrate Purim or Passover or not, incorporating some of Kushner’s recipes into our own cooking repertoire is a way of expanding another cuisine into our daily lives and an entrée into the flavors and traditions of a different cuisine and culture.

         Kushner makes it easy to do just that. Each of the instructions for her dishes offers an introduction as well as tips in the cooking process making these easily accessible recipes even more so for home chefs.

Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings


Berry Frosé

Serves 4–6 people

  • 2 cups assorted berries
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle rosé wine
  • 2 cups ice
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves, for garnish

Place the berries, rosé, and ice into a blender. Blend on high speed, until ice is slushy and ingredients are well incorporated. Transfer to chilled glasses and garnish with mint or basil.


Get Organized Chilling the glasses in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes before serving keeps the frosé slushy and cool.

Optional Frosé can be served in chilled shot glasses as a fun party treat.

Substitutions Frosé can be made with white wine or Moscato.

Sliced Citrus with Pistachio Dust

What in God’s name is pistachio dust? Exactly as it sounds. Pistachios are chopped ultrafine until they transform into a bright green magical dust that adds incredible flavor to ordinary foods such as oranges and grapefruit. Sometimes the simplest desserts are the most loved.

Serves 6

1/4 cup shelled and unsalted roasted pistachios, finely ground

6–8 assorted citrus fruits (oranges, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit, or pomelos)

Using a sharp knife, slice off the top and bottom of the citrus fruit, just far enough to expose the flesh. Place the fruit, cut-side down, so that it is sturdy on your cutting board. Cut away the peel and as much of the white pith as possible by following the citrus’s shape. Turn the fruit on its side and slice into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Repeat with the remaining citrus.

Arrange the citrus on a large platter, slighting overlapped. Sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons of pistachio dust over the citrus slices. Serve immediately.


Make It Ahead The citrus fruit can be sliced in advance, covered, and stored for up to 3 hours in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pistachio dust just before serving.

Storage Pistachio dust can be stored in a small glass jar in your pantry or freezer for up to 3 months.

Garlic-Confit Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

“Confit” comes from the French word confire, meaning “to preserve.” Slow-cooking garlic in oil creates a rich yet mellow flavor. For this recipe, you’ll need to first prepare the garlic confit with lemon and thyme, and then add the chicken to cook in the confit.

Garlic confit can be used as a condiment, so I always keep a jar of it in my refrigerator. Once you have the garlic confit on hand, you can have a delicious meal on the table in a fraction of the time.

Ready in 1 hour and 50 minutes

Serves 4–6

  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced and pips removed
  • 5–6 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (3-lb) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin on and bone in, trimmed of excess skin and fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Combine garlic, lemon, and thyme into a baking dish that is large enough to hold the chicken. Pour in olive oil and bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes, until garlic has softened. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Increase the oven temperature to 375ºF.

Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub vinegar and honey over the chicken.

Using a wooden spoon, move the garlic mixture to the sides of the baking dish to create a space in the center. Add the chicken to the center of the dish and spoon the garlic mixture on top of the chicken.

Cover with an ovenproof lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake for another 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Discard thyme and serve.


Get Organized To save time, use store-bought peeled garlic.

Substitutions You can experiment with different herbs.

Omissions Garlic confit can be prepared with or without the lemon and thyme.

Make It Ahead Garlic confit with lemon and thyme can be prepared, cooled, and stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Before use, bring the confit to room temperature to liquify the oil.

Make It Ahead Garlic-Confit Chicken with Lemon and Thyme can be assembled, marinated, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Reheat Garlic-Confit Chicken with Lemon and Thyme can be reheated, uncovered, in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes with Onion Crème

Some of the best mashed potatoes are loaded with butter and heavy cream, but you can make an equally delicious dairy-free version that won’t compromise flavor. The star of this show is the caramelized onion. Laced in mashed potatoes, the puréed “onion crème” imparts an intense creaminess and a pronounced depth of flavor.

Ready in 40 minutes

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the light olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 10–15 minutes, until softened and caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Transfer onions to a food processor or blender and purée for 1–2 minutes, until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Place potatoes and salt in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 15–20 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain.

Return potatoes to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. This is called “pan-drying.” Stir in the onion crème, then mash the potatoes and onions together. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix.

Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over the mashed potatoes and serve immediately.


Get Organized “Pan-drying” is a cooking technique where boiled potatoes are cooked in a dry pot for a few minutes to remove moisture and “dry out” the potatoes.

Make It Ahead Onions can be sautéed and puréed in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Make It Ahead Potatoes are best mashed just after cooking and can be mashed 2 hours in advance of serving.

Reheat mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium heat for 5–10 minutes. You may need to drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil for added creaminess.

Chewy and Nutty Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ready in 20–25 minutes

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine nuts, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Stir in the chocolate.

Using a small ice-cream scooper, scoop small mounds of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, evenly spacing them two inches apart. Bake for 15–20 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside to cool completely. The cookies will harden as they cool.

The above were excerpted from The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings by Kim Kushner. Photography by Kate Sears. Copyright © 2022 by Kim Kushner. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Tahini Made Easy

Mighty Sesame Whole Seed Squeeze and Serve Tahini taps into the growing popularity of tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds. An important ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, sales of tahini are expected to grow by $ 279. 96 million between 2020-2024 according to

In the past, tahini was used as a sauce for falafels, but now is used as an ingredient in cooking (see recipe below) as well as a condiment for raw veggies, toast, falafel, and burgers that can also be used in place of butter and mayonnaise.  Nutrient-rich with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron as well as a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, like B1 and E, good fats, fiber, and protein, the Mighty Sesame Co. makes two types—their Organic Original Squeezable & Ready and now a new spicy Harissa flavor. Both are organic, vegan, gluten and dairy-free, kosher, and halal.

The Mighty Sesame Co.’s website,, features recipes showing how to incorporate tahini into a wide selection of dishes from dips to entrees to desserts. Included are tahini strawberry banana smoothie, creamy hummus, tahini caramel cups, tahini walnut brownies, tahini coleslaw, grilled sweet potatoes with tahini basil vinaigrette, and fish tacos with tahini and sriracha. 

All Mighty Sesame tahini varieties are ready-to-use with just a shake and a squeeze, no stirring required. It is packed with protein and contains 260mg of calcium per serving. Organic, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, kosher, and halal, it is a 100 percent guilt-free option for everyone. 


Chef Gregg’s No-Bake Tahini Cookies

·      1 cup tahini
·      ¼ cup melted coconut oil
·      2 t. maple syrup
·      ½ t. vanilla extract
·      ¼ t. salt
·      ¼ cup semi sweet choc chips
·      ¼ cup peanut butter chips
·      Sea salt flakes to garnish
Line 8×4 pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl mix together tahini, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
Pour into pan and freeze for 10-15 minutes.
Then sprinkle more chips on top pressing them into the tahini cookies so they stick and stay.
Then freeze again for 1 hour. Once frozen sprinkle with flaked sea salt and serve.

Chef Gregg’s Sauteed Asian Tahini Chicken
·      ¼ cup Mighty Sesame Tahini
·      ¾ cup water
·      1 cube chicken bouillon
·      2 tablespoons soy sauce
·      1 tablespoon honey
·      1 clove garlic, minced
·      2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
·      2 teaspoons butter, or as needed
·      6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into cubes, or more to taste
·      1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
Bring water and bouillon cube to a boil, until bouillon cube has dissolved.
Lower heat to low. Whisk Mighty Sesame tahini, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger into bouillon mixture until smooth. Keep sauce warm over low heat. This will allow the mixture to thicken naturally, so keep a watch on it.

In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat, once pan is hot cook and stir chicken until cooked, about 10 mins. You want to get a nice sear on the chicken at this time.

Pour tahini mixture into skillet and toss chicken to coat.

Plate, garnish with sesame seeds, and enjoy.

Peas, Love and Carrots

Savory Stovetop Turkey. Photo by Moshe Wulliger.

So, before we start talking about Danielle Renov’s wonderful new cookbook, Peas Love and Carrots (Me’sorah Publications, Ltd. 2020; $28.93 Amazon price) I want to take a few moments to whine. I write a lot about food, I have a food blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts where I post about food and travel. I often think it’s lucky I have a large family including cousins who I am able to cajole into following me so I have at least some followers.

Some don’t seem to need large families to get followers. At least four or five times a year, I interview a cookbook author who started with an Instagram or Facebook or Twitter account and ended up with tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of followers. I’m not saying I’m anywhere near their level of ability and creativity. Far from it, but still—comparatively my numbers aren’t even close. I’m not writing this to make people feel so sorry for me that they follow me—but hey, if you want to it’s okay. it’s just that with Renov I ran into it again. Four years ago, with her husband out of town and her kids tucked away in bed, she decided to start Instagramming.

Tuna Salad A` La Moi. Photo by Moshe Wulliger.

Last year, she had around 43,000 followers. This year, as of May, the number was edging close to 60,000. She now is talked about as a kosher and food influencer—someone who has the audience and credibility to persuade others. To give an example of what that means, Kim Kardashian may be the ultimate influencer with 200 million followers across social media channels. Yes, 200 million. That’s more than half the number of people who live in the United States.

Burnt Cauliflower and Herb Salad. Photo by by Moshe Wulliger.

Renov, who grew up on Long Island, New York and moved to Israel about 13 years ago, deserves her followers. The 254 plus recipes she created for Peas, Love & Carrots reflect her many life experiences, her family’s heritage, her Sephardic and Ashkenazi roots and her own interest in food in her new homeland including her weekly shopping expeditions to the Machane Yehuda Shuk, a sprawling 19th century
market in Jerusalem selling among many other items, a variety of foods. In writing the introduction to her recipes, Renov tells a story about it, often displaying a sense of humor.

“Dinner again?” she writes in the introduction to Crispy Baked Chicken fingers. “I know. it’s crazy. No matter how many times you go through it, it comes back again and again. It’s almost like laundry. Only you can’t eat your laundry, so at least there’s that. This (recipe) is for those days. And since those days happen more than we’d like to admit, I gave you three versions so that you can change things up. You’re welcome.”
But food is also serious for Renov, who returns frequently to New York where she records cooking videos for She wants her recipes to work, to be easily accessible for both kosher and non-kosher cooks and to offer tastes beyond the everyday.

Describing her Savory Stovetop Turkey recipe as an ode to her father who doesn’t eat a lot of read met, Renov says she’s always on the hunt for tasty turkey recipes.

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers. Photo by Moshe Wulliger.

“What I never saw was a turkey roast recipe where I felt like the turkey was treated like a proper beef roast,” she says, and I have to agree which is another reason why this recipe looks so intriguing. From the photo, and I’ll soon have my own photos too as I’m making it for company tomorrow, it looks like a richly braised beef roast.

“That’s what was aiming for here,” she says, “Turkey that was deeply savory, moist, and extremely satisfying.”

Go ahead and follow Renov, I won’t mind. Really. She posts her recipes, cooking tutorials, lifestyle tips and inspirational ideas for the kitchen, home, and family on both her blog and Instagram feed @peaslovencarrots.

The following were excerpted from Peas Love & Carrots by Danielle Renov. Copyright 2020 by ArtScroll Mesorah Publications, photos by Moshe Wulliger. Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.

Burnt Cauliflower and Herb Salad
Yield: 2+ quarts
2 (24 oz) bags frozen cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1⁄2 Tablespoons)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sumac
1⁄2 teaspoons paprika
1 lemon, halved

Herb Salad
1⁄2 cup chopped parsley
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
1⁄2 cup chopped scallions (from about 4 scallions)
2 tablespoons chopped mint, optional
1 small purple onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1-11⁄2 Tablespoons white vinegar kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil; coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Toss frozen cauliflower with 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric, sumac, and paprika.
Spread out on baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast undisturbed for about 45 minutes (DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR DURING THAT TIME!).
After 45 minutes, cauliflower should begin to get crispy and charred.

Open oven door remove baking sheet, and squeeze both halves of the lemon over the cauliflower. DO NOT MIX OR STIR. Just squeeze over the top, return to oven and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Herb Salad
While cauliflower is roasting, combine parsley, cilantro, scallions, mint, and onion in a large bowl.
When cauliflower is done, add to the herb mixture, tossing to combine. Add vinegar; toss to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve warm or cold.
Note: If not serving the same day, combine herbs with cauliflower before serving time.

Tuna Salad A` La Moi
“This is my favorite lunch salad,” says Renov. “I could eat it, on repeat, every day. I know, mercy. Ok, fine. every other day. It’s filling, the
flavors are punchy, and it’s my absolute favorite way to eat tuna. Make it today, double the recipe, and store it in an airtight container for tomorrow. it is actually better the second day.”

2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded radicchio
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup finely chopped celery
1⁄2 cup diced purple onion
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup chopped preserved lemons
1⁄2 cup chopped capers 15 ounce canned tuna in water, drained,

Roughly chopped juice of 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Toss well to combine.

Let sit for 5 minutes. Toss again.

Savory Stovetop Turkey
1 large whole deboned turkey breast
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1⁄2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 1⁄2 cups dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
1⁄4 cup duck sauce

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Season turkey breast with mixture on all sides.
Heat a pot over medium heat. Add oil; place turkey top side down and sear for 4 minutes on each side.
Remove turkey from pot; set aside.

Add onion; cook for 12 minutes.

Add garlic and tomato paste to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add wine, bay leaves, and vinegar, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.

Cook for 2 minutes; add chicken broth and duck sauce.

Return turkey to the pot, spooning some of the mixture over the top.

Bring mixture to a boil, cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 1⁄2 hours, basting every 20 minutes or so. Serve hot and enjoy.
Tips + Tricks
If making in advance, slice turkey when it’s cold, return to sauce, and reheat gently.

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers:

Crispy Asian Baked Shnitsel
1 package chicken tenders (about 18 pieces) OR 12 thin cutlets
1 cup mayo
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons sriracha (depending how spicy you like it!)
1 Tablespoon white miso
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
Barbecue Crispy Chicken
1 package chicken tenders (about 18 pieces) OR 12 thin cutlets
1⁄4 cup mayo
3⁄4 cup favorite barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
3 cups panko breadcrumbs

Honey Mustard Crispy Chicken
1 package chicken tenders (about 18 pieces) or 12 thin cutlets
1⁄4 cup mayo
1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F

Coat a baking sheet liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine flavoring ingredients (aside from chicken and breadcrumbs) in selected recipe.
Add chicken to wet mixture; mix to coat.
Dip coated chicken into breadcrumbs, then place flat on prepared baking sheet. Spray the top of the chicken pieces with a little more nonstick spray.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.