These were part of a lovely lunch served by a friend in her sunny backyard, complete with wandering cat and amazing company. I'm fairly sure the meal was parve, but I didn't even think about it until afterward. It's always a good sign when it doesn't feel like anything is 'missing' just because there's no dairy.
This lightly spiced green bean recipe is Mizrachi (via Middle Eastern Jews), and comes from here.
6 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds sting beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1. In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in the vegetable oil over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the string beans, allspice, salt, 2 cups water, and, if desired, cinnamon and white pepper. Dollop the tomato paste by the heaping tablespoon over the surface of the cooking liquid. Do not stir. By letting the tomato paste remain undistributed, its thick consistency allows for maximum adherence to the string beans as the cooking liquid reduces.
2. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Note: some people braise the beans in a 350 degree F oven for 2 hours after simmering so that the beans are exquisitely tender.
Yield: 10 servings
The pastry 'coins' on top of the jam tart looked so beautiful that it was intimidating, but my friend swore it was in fact easy as...tart. She used peach jam, which was perfect, but I'm sure it will work with any other fruit. The source is here. If cornmeal strikes you as being too heavy for pastry dough, be assured it does not taste at all like it has cornmeal in it.
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (70 grams) stone-ground cornmeal or polenta
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces or 130 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg, whole
1 large egg, separated
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 to 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) jam (see Note above; I used the smaller amount) or marmalade
2 tablespoons (30 grams) coarse-crystal or granulated sugar
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a food processor, mix the butter and 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar together until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk (keep the egg white from the second egg on hand for later) and almond extract and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together.
Transfer about one-third of the dough to a lightly floured counter and shape it into a log about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. (As always, I was in a rush and put this in the freezer.)
Transfer the remaining dough to a buttered 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom. If using a tart pan, press the dough up the sides to the rim of the pan and set the tart pan on a baking sheet. If using a springform pan, press the dough about 3/4-inch (2-cm) up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate the dough-lined pan until firm, at least one hour. (Again, I used the freezer and it was firm in 30 minutes. I am impatient.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread the jam or marmalade evenly over the dough in the pan. Cut the chilled dough into very thin discs with a sharp paring knife. Arrange them slightly overlapped in concentric circles over the jam to form a top crust. Whisk the remaining egg white with a teaspoon of water until frothy; brush evenly over the tart lid and then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) coarse sugar. Bake until the top crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.