Poppy Seed Cake

with revisions

Recipe from Strawbery Banke Museum

Adapted by Joan Nathan

Yield: 12 servings

  • 1cup poppy seeds
  • 1cup milk or soy milk
  • 1cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pan
  • 1 cup sugar(original recipe called for 2)
  • 3large eggs, separated
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • 2½teaspoons baking powder
  • zest from 2 lemons and juice from 1
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Step 1In a small saucepan, combine the poppy seeds and milk. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to rest until cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. Step 2Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large loaf or tube pan by greasing it with margarine and lightly flouring the inside of the pan.
  3. Step 3In bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and poppy seed-milk mixture, and beat until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well; remove bowl from mixer and set aside.
  4. Step 4Place a clean bowl in mixer, with a whisk attachment, and whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter. Scrape into pan, and bake until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes. When cool, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.
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Roast Chicken Thighs With Fennel, Green Olives and Lemon

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes



  • 1 large fennel bulb, outer layers removed
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives, crushed open and pitted
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve fennel bulb lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges. In a large bowl, toss chicken and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil, turmeric, fennel seeds and cumin until evenly coated. Season generously with salt and pepper. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread fennel and chicken, skin-side up, across it. Do not overcrowd. Roast until fat starts rendering and thighs partially cook, 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add rice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover pot and simmer until rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Strain rice and toss dry. Season with more salt if needed.
  3. Carefully pour off rendered fat accumulated around chicken, and discard. Scatter olives around chicken and return baking sheet to oven. Continue roasting until chicken is fully cooked, skin is crisp and fennel is tender, 10-15 minutes more.
  4. Squeeze lemon over chicken, olives and fennel. Transfer chicken, skin-side up, to a serving dish along with olives and fennel. Pour any pan juices over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve over or alongside rice.
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Quick Hummus With Seared Oyster Mushrooms and Pine Nuts


  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar tahini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to season
  • 1-1½ cups ice water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1½ pounds Oyster mushrooms, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • Pinch turmeric
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 fresh, warm pitas or slices of brioche
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the tahini sauce: Nick off a quarter of the clove of garlic and drop it into the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon juice and tahini, making sure to scrape all the tahini out of the container. Season with a good pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon cumin. Process until mixture looks like peanut butter, about 1 minute. With motor running, stream in ice water, a little bit at a time, and continue processing until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Make the hummus: Add drained chickpeas to tahini sauce and continue to process until chickpeas are completely blended into tahini and hummus is smooth and uniform in color, about 3 minutes. While blending, pause motor occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, then proceed. Set hummus aside.
  4. Make the mushroom-pine nut topping: Toss pine nuts with a drizzle of canola oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Spread nuts across a small baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Let pine nuts cool.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is very hot, add 3 tablespoons canola oil. Stir in mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until mushrooms start to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of turmeric and a small pinch of cinnamon. Once mushrooms have browned all over, after about 2 minutes more, turn off heat and add Sherry vinegar to pan. Toss to combine. Return pan to medium-high heat. Cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms crisp, about 2 minutes more. Toss in toasted pine nuts and minced parsley.
  6. To serve, smear hummus across 4 individual plates or a large platter, covering the base in a ½-inch layer of hummus. (Save any leftover hummus for another meal.) Top hummus with mushroom-pine nut topping and drizzle fresh olive oil overtop. Serve with warm pita or slices of brioche for scooping.
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Butter Lettuce Salad

From “Michael’s Genuine Food,” by Michael Schwartz and Joann Cianciulli (Potter). Serves 6.



1     small shallot, minced

2     tablespoons fresh orange juice

2     tablespoons champagne vinegar

2     tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4   cup hazelnut oil

      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2     heads butter lettuce, wilted outer leaves discarded

2     navel oranges, segmented and membranes removed

3     cups 1/2-inch diced ripe avocado

      About 3 tablespoons shallot hazelnut dressing

      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4   cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and crushed


Make the dressing: In a mixing bowl combine shallot, orange juice, vinegar, olive oil and hazelnut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine. (Makes about 1 cup; you will have some left over. Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

Make the salad: Remove the core from the lettuce, and break apart, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces by hand. Wash thoroughly and spin dry. Put the lettuce leaves in a large salad bowl. Add the orange segments and avocado, and spoon in enough dressing to lightly coat the lettuce (I beg you not to overdress and drown salads). Gently toss and season with salt and pepper. Divide among chilled salad bowls, evenly distributing the oranges and avocados. Top with hazelnuts and serve.

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Wild Mushroom & Barley Soup

Serves 6


1 1/2 oz dried wild mushrooms, such as morels, porcini or shitake

3 TBLE olive oil

4 oz pancetta, diced (I had short ribs in freezer and used one… it was delicious)

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

2 cups chopped carrots (3-4 carrots)

2 cups chopped celery (3-4 stalks)

4 teas minced garlic (4 cloves)

3/4 cup pearled barley (or farro)

12 oz fresh cremini mushrooms (baby bella worked fine too) sliced to1/4 inch –pat with moist paper towel to clean and remove stems

1/2 cup plus 2 TBLE dry Marsala wine, divided

4 cups broth (I used chicken… original recipe called for beef)

3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together in kitchen twine

K salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and barley and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their juices.
  3. Meanwhile strain the dried mushrooms, saving liquid. Chop mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with soaking liquid, broth, thyme 2 teaspoons salt, and teaspoon pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until barley is tender. Discard thyme. If you like, thicken using a few seconds of immersion blender.
  5. If you feel the need, simmer for a few minutes adding 2 more TBLE Marsala. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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