The Jew And The Carrot

Cooking Ahead: A Complete Break Fast Menu

By Devra Ferst

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Katherine Martinelli
Mezze are a perfect dish to welcome you home after a day of fasting and are easily made a day or two before.

After a day of atoning and fasting, the last thing any of us want to do is walk into our kitchen, fire up the stove and start cooking a meal that won’t be ready for a few hours. The key to preparing a lovely and delicious break fast, whether it’s for your family or a large group, is to cook dishes that store well and to reheat or finish them at the last moment. We’ve outlined a complete meal here. If you have family traditions for break fast, consider incorporating a dish or two from this menu to try something new.

Challah

While baking challah in advance isn’t the ideal situation, these two recipes call for apples or apple cider, which gives the challah a bit of extra moisture to help it stay fresh a day after it’s baked.

Apple Cider Challah

Apple Honey Challah

Shakshuka

If you’re not acquainted with the Israeli dish Shakshuka, allow me to introduce you to one of our favorite egg dishes. Shakshuka involves a skillet of vegetables, typically cooked in a tomato sauce, topped with eggs. What is already a simple dish, is made even easier at the end of the fast, by preparing the veggies in advance. All you have to do is top the skillet with eggs and pop it in the oven or cook it on the stove for a short while.

Classic Shakshuka

Shakshuka with Spinach, Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion

Kugel, Tzimmes and Hot Veggie Dishes

Kugels and tzimmes — and casseroles in general — are great foods to prepare ahead of time. They store perfectly well and won’t be harmed by a night or two in the fridge. For something a bit less traditional, try ratatouille, which is actually better a day after it is prepared as the time allows the flavors to meld.

If you come home between services on Wednesday, take these dishes out of the fridge so they will be room temperature by the end of the day and will heat up quickly in the oven. If you have an oven timer, consider setting it to a low heat to start warming the dishes on your way home from synagogue.

Gruyere and Kale Kugel with Buckwheat Noodles

Three Cheese and Spinach Kugel

Potato Kugel with Rosemary and Caramelized Onions

Sweet Potato Apple Kugel

Tsimmes With Marsala and Dried Fruit

Ratatouille

Salads and Cold Veggies

While many break fast meals seem to overlook salad, I always make sure it finds a place on my table. After fasting, it’s important to revive your body with nutrients. Kale, unlike more delicate leafy greens, holds particularly well over a day or two. Prepare the elements of these salads before Yom Kippur starts and store them separately. Right before dinner, combine the ingredients and toss with dressing.

Another way to incorporate vegetables into your break fast meal is with Mezze, which are wonderful at room temperature and can always be prepared ahead of time. Like the other dishes, I recommend taking these out of the refrigerator if you come home in the afternoon. Simply leave them on your table covered with saran wrap. They are a perfect thing to have out to snack on when you return home at the end of the day.

Kale with Oranges and Pomegranate Salad

Arugula Salad with Leeks and Apples

Classic Tabbouli

Mezze: Moroccan Carrot Salad, Tahini Dip; Baba Ganouj

Dessert

When planning a dessert in advance, keep in mind that you’ll want an something moist so that it doesn’t dry out while you are fasting. These three cakes are delicious options.

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Joan Nathan’s Apple Cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake


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