For Hanukkah this year, switch things up and invite friends and family over for a late lunch instead of the expected dinner. It gets dark early, so serve a hearty, traditional meal. Get the party started with slices of a provencal vegetable tart.
After guests have had plenty of time to mingle, light the candles and ask them to join you at the table. Offer a selection of classic dishes like potato latkes with applesauce, brisket with dried apricots, and sautéed onion kasha with bowties. To make these delicious recipes for your Hanukkah celebration,
For ratatouille topping:
1 lb. eggplant (1 medium globe), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 3-1/2 cups)
9 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. onion (1 medium), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. red bell peppers (2 medium), peeled (as much as possible with a vegetable peeler; serrated works best), cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb. zucchini (3 or 4 small), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup chopped garlic (6 to 8 large cloves)
1 lb. tomatoes (2 medium), peeled (with a serrated vegetable peeler; otherwise, skip the peeling), cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Few drops hot sauce
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil (a chiffonade)
2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh mint (a chiffonade) (optional)
For tart assembly:
1 9-1/2x9-1/2-inch sheet puff pastry, fully thawed if frozen (thaw overnight in the fridge if possible)
Flour, for rolling
8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 to 1-3/4 cups Sautéed Ratatouille
1/3 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- Toss the eggplant with 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander and let sit in the sink or over a bowl while you prepare the other vegetables.
- In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, the thyme, and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deep golden brown, 15 to 20 min. Scrape into a clean colander or large strainer that's set over a bowl to catch the juices.
- In the same skillet, heat another 3 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften and get browned around the edges, about 5 min. Add the rosemary, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're extremely soft and sweet, another 10 to 15 min. Gently fold into the onions in the colander.
- Heat another 1 Tbs. oil over high heat, and as soon as you see the first hint of smoke, add the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Shake and stir to distribute the zucchini slices evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until tender and nicely browned on both sides, 5 to 7 min. Add to the colander and gently fold with the onions and peppers.
- Dump the eggplant onto some paper towels, and pat to blot up surface water. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in the skillet over high heat, add the eggplant (no additional salt), and shake and stir to distribute the cubes evenly in the pan so they all get browned. Cook over high heat until lightly browned on several surfaces, about 5 min, and then lower the heat to medium. Cook until the eggplant is very tender--not at all al dente--another 13 to 15 min. Fold into the other vegetables.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and all their juices and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook until the tomatoes collapse slightly and the juices thicken and darken a bit, 3 to 5 min. As you're cooking, scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze all the cooked-on vegetable juices. Add to the colander, scraping out all the juice from the skillet, and fold everything together.
- Now let the vegetables sit in the colander for 15 to 20 min. At that point, you should have around 1/2 cup liquid in the bowl. Pour it into a small saucepan, heat until gently boiling, and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. The flavor should be very bright and intense. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and a few drops of the hot sauce to taste. Fold this glaze into the vegetables, along with the basil, parsley, and mint (if using). Taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly flour a work surface, lay the sheet of pastry out, and gently roll until it measures about 11 x 15 inches. Slide the pastry onto a baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, at about 1-inch intervals.
- Gently stir the anchovies into the ratatouille. Spread the ratatouille over the pastry, to within an inch of the the borders. Distribute the feta over the tart.
- Bake in the heated oven until the pastry is puffed and browned (including on the bottom), 18 to 25 min. Slide onto a cutting board, sprinkle with the parsley, and cut into squares or strips. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make ahead: The ratatouille can be made in a day before the tart is assembled.
2 pounds baking potatoes—peeled, halved and sliced on a turning slicer or shredded
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
- In a bowl, mix the potatoes, onion, flour and eggs; season well with salt and pepper.
- In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil until shimmering.
- Drop about 1/2 cup of the latke mixture into the skillet and spread it slightly. Repeat to make 2 more latkes. Cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 7 minutes.
- Turn and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel.
- Make 6 more latkes, using the remaining oil and potato mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Makes about 9 latkes.
2/3 cup quartered dried apricots (about 4 ounces)
9 large garlic cloves
31/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 4 1/2- to 5-pound flat-cut beef brisket
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups homemade beef stock or canned low-salt beef broth
2/3 cup pitted prunes, quartered
Chopped fresh cilantro
- Combine 1/3 cup apricots, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in processor. Using on/off turns, chop to coarse puree.
- Using small sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over brisket. Set aside 1 tablespoon apricot mixture. Press remaining apricot mixture into slits.
- Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 300°F.
- Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle brisket all over with salt and pepper. Add brisket to pot and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, fat side up; spread with reserved 1 tablespoon apricot mixture.
- Add onions to same pot. Sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add carrots, ginger, coriander, cayenne pepper, remaining 6 garlic cloves and 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced almost to glaze, stirring up any browned bits, about 5 minutes.
- Return brisket to pot. Add stock and bring to simmer. Spoon some of vegetable mixture over brisket.
- Cover pot and place in oven. Roast brisket 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Add prunes and remaining 1/3 cup apricots. Cover; roast until brisket is tender, about 30 minutes longer.
- Cool brisket uncovered 1 hour. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled overnight.
- Spoon off any solid fat from top of gravy; discard fat. Scrape gravy off brisket into pot. Place brisket on work surface. Slice brisket thinly across grain.
- Bring gravy in pot to boil over medium-high heat. Boil to thicken slightly, if desired. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Arrange sliced brisket in large ovenproof dish. Spoon gravy over. Cover with foil. (Can be made 2 days ahead; refrigerate.)
- Rewarm covered brisket in 350°F oven about 30 minutes (or 40 minutes if chilled). Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup bowties, cooked (farfalle)
Reserve 1 cup pasta water, for tossing
Cooked kasha (buckwheat), recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook onions until tender and golden, about 10 minutes.
- Toss with bowties, reserved pasta water, kasha, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in parsley.
For the Kasha:
1 cup uncooked kasha
2 cups water
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine kasha and water.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes.