Cook | Like pretty deli salads Make em yourself

Only one in five Jews decided to follow Moses out of Egypt. That’s one of the things I learned earlier this month from the JCCSF’s visiting rabbi, Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Encino’s Valley Beth Shalom. The others opted to stay with the devil they knew and remain slaves under Pharaoh.

I’m not sure why this twist on the familiar story surprised me. Taking a risk like that and venturing into uncertainty is a tall order in any century. As I grow older, I’m struck more and more by the fear of change that infuses so many things. Forget an unknown journey into the desert. I’m thinking of my daughter’s hesitancy when faced with a new class or teacher. My friend’s dismay when a favorite colleague leaves the office. My own fear of changing our picnic menu.

As the weather brightens, I remain dedicated to certain picnic staples. Versions of these salads appear at markets all over the Bay Area, mounted under glass on white platters and priced ridiculously. Why not make these addictive picnic salads at home and save a bundle?


Curried Turkey Salad with Currants

Serves 4-6

4 cups cooked, shredded turkey breast

1⁄2 cup, celery, cut in small dice

1⁄2 cup carrots, cut in small dice

2 Tbs. olive oil

1⁄2 cup shallots, minced

21⁄2 tsp. Madras curry powder

1⁄3 cup currants

2 Tbs. apple juice

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1⁄4 cup green onions, minced

1⁄2 tsp. salt

plenty of fresh ground black pepper

1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice

Place turkey, celery and carrots in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet. Sauté shallots over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add curry powder and stir for 20-30 seconds till aromatic. Add currants and sauté 20 seconds. Turn off heat, add apple juice, and cool to room temperature. In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, salt, pepper and lime juice, and stir till combined. Stir in cooled curry mixture. Pour over turkey mixture and stir to combine.


Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Teriyaki Sauce

Serves 4-6

11 oz. Japanese buckwheat noodles

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin

1⁄2 cup green onions, minced

3 Tbs. rice vinegar

2 Tbs. teriyaki marinade or sauce

2 Tbs. soy sauce

3 Tbs. tahini

1⁄3 cup mild vegetable oil

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil

Cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Transfer to large bowl and add peppers and green onion. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, tahini, oil, brown sugar and sesame oil. Pour over noodles and peppers and toss to coat.


Deviled Eggs with Anchovies and Capers

Serves 10

10 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

1 tsp. anchovy filets, minced

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

11⁄2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1⁄4 tsp. smoked paprika

1⁄4 tsp. cumin

plenty of fresh ground black pepper

capers for garnish

Halve eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl with anchovies. Mash with a fork until yolks are smooth and anchovies are pulverized. Stir in remaining ingredients except for capers. Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. If you’re feeling fancy, do some decorative piping using a pastry bag with yolk mixture. Garnish with capers.

Josie A.G. Shapiro is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.” Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Her website is

Josie A.G. Shapiro

Josie A.G. Shapiro won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff and is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.”