Bintel Blog

A New Twist on Israeli Cuisine

By Devra Ferst

  • Print
  • Share Share

“You can only go so long without eating really good hummus. And it’s about $1200 round trip to get to Israel,” said the Israeli-American Chef Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia’s year-old Zahav restaurant — serving up “modern Israeli” kosher-style cuisine. His solution to the hummus dilemma: Make your own, daily, and perhaps add a twist.

Solomonov recently delighted 30 guests at a cooking demonstration and dinner at DeGustibus Cooking School and culinary theater at Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan. During the 2 1/2-hour event, he prepared several dishes from the menu at Zahav. The restaurant’s offerings include the chef’s favorite aspects of the diverse cuisines in Israel, alongside Middle Eastern standards, such as hummus and tabbouleh.

The evening began with his signature nutty and earthy hummus, which was served along side three salatim or Israeli salads. There were beets with tehina, Bulgarian peppers, and twice- cooked eggplant.

Then came tuna carpaccio stuffed with tabbouleh, served aside harissa red pepper sauce. The tuna was followed by roasted lamb shoulder with pomegranate and Persian rice for the main course. The evening concluded with a truly exceptional “new school konafi” — a sophisticated version of an Israeli dessert made from shredded phyllo dough. The chocolate mascarpone-stuffed konafi was drizzled with a delicate kumquat syrup.

DeGustibus, as part of its Kosher Cadence series in May, will host New York-based kosher chefs Mike Gershkovich of Mike’s Italian Kitchen and Mike’s Bistro, as well as Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s. And for the first time DeGustibus will host a kosher knife skills class in June. For more information about the series or to register, visit the DeGustibus Web site.

Michael Solomonov’s Hummus-Tehina (Serves 6)

1 lb. dry chickpeas

1 tbsp.baking soda

1 whole head of garlic with the skin on, plus one clove with the germ removed

2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

12 oz. unhulled sesame paste

4 oz. grapeseed oil

Kosher salt

Ground cumin, to taste

Extra virgin olive oil (preferably from Turkey or Israel)

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Paprika (preferably sweet, smoked Spanish paprika)

(1) Cover the chickpeas and baking soda with at least double their volume of water and soak, refrigerated, for 18 hours. Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly in cold water.

(2) Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the whole head of garlic and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the chickpeas over low heat for approximately three hours, or until very tender. Drain the chickpeas, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the garlic bulb.

(3) In the bowl of a food processor, add the sesame paste and the cooked chickpeas. Purée the mixture with the grapeseed oil and lemon juice, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.

(4) Season to taste with kosher salt and ground cumin. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and paprika.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Zahav, Michael Solomonov, Hummus, DeGustibus



Find us on Facebook!
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.