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Crisp Pickled Vegetables
1/2 pound baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1 zucchini (1/2 pound), cut into 2-by-1/2-inch matchsticks
1/2 pound yellow wax beans or green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 dried guajillo chiles, seeded and cut into thin strips
3 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped chives
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
In a large, deep, nonreactive bowl or heatproof glass jar, combine the cauliflower, carrots, fennel, red bell pepper, zucchini and beans. In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the chiles with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the chiles and transfer to a large saucepan. Add the cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander, peppercorns, ginger, bay leaf and garlic. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and cover with a plate to keep the vegetables submerged. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Drain the vegetables and transfer to a large platter. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with the parsley and chives and serve.
Herring And Beet Salad
1 (1-lb) jar sliced pickled beets, drained
1 (6-oz) bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded (4 cups sprigs)
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 medium Belgian endives, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and cores discarded
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking. Arrange herring and beets on a platter and drizzle with half of vinaigrette. Toss watercress and endives with remaining vinaigrette, then mound over herring and beets.
Sephardic Spinach Patties
2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed, cooked, chopped, and squeezed dry, or 20 ounces thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup matza meal or fine dried bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and, if using, the garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the spinach, matza meal, salt, pepper, and, if using, the nutmeg. Stir in the eggs. If the mixture is too loose, add a little more matza meal. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for a day. Shape the spinach mixture into patties 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, with tapered ends. In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat. In batches, fry the patties, turning, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm, accompanied with lemon wedges.
Sephardic Spinach Patties with Cheese
(Keftes de Espinaca con Queso):
Add 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Muenster, Swiss, Gouda, or Cheddar cheese; or 1/4 cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese.
Sephardic Spinach Patties with Walnuts
(Keftes de Espinaca con Muez):
Substitute 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts for the matza meal.
Italian Spinach Patties
(Polpettine di Spinaci):
Add 3/4 cup raisins soaked in white wine for 30 minutes, then drained, and 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts.
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