From the cover of "The Healthy Jewish Kitchen" by Paula Shoyer
From the cover of "The Healthy Jewish Kitchen" by Paula Shoyer

Paula Shoyer’s ‘Healthy Jewish Kitchen’ is a recipe for Passover joy

Looking for inspiration for main dishes for the your seder (or any occasion) that feature only natural ingredients and eschew processed foods? Reach for Paula Shoyer’s new cookbook, “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh, Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion.”

Shoyer reimagines Sephardic and Ashkenazi classics and gives kosher variations of international recipes. Many dishes are gluten-free and/or suitable for Passover. They feature a balance between what is good for you, what tastes good and what ingredients are readily available.

This column includes Brisket Bourguignon, a twist on classic brisket and beef bourguignon, and Dry-Rubbed Roast Salmon. Among the other recipes I look forward to trying are her sourdough challah, Israeli herb and almond salad and Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. The recipes in this column have been adapted for space and style.

Paula Shoyer’s Brisket Bourguignon

Serves 10 to 12

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 Tbs. potato starch
5 lbs. second-cut brisket, rinsed and dried
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 onions, halved and cut into ½-inch slices
2 medium tomatoes, halved, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
½ tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
8 to 10 oz. pearl onions
8 to 10 oz. small, white button mushrooms
1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large Dutch oven or heavy roasting pan. Sprinkle potato starch on both sides of meat. Brown on both sides over medium-high heat. Transfer to plate. Reduce heat to medium, add 2 Tbs. oil, carrots and onions and cook 8 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cook 2 minutes. Transfer meat back to Dutch oven. Add wine. Bring to boil. Add ½ tsp. salt and pepper. Cover. Bake for 1½ hours.

Bring pan of water to boil. Add pearl onions. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain. When cooled, snip off ends and press out of skins. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in frying pan over medium heat. Cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to bowl. Add 1 Tbs. oil to pan. Cook mushrooms over medium-high heat until browned, stirring often. Stir in ⅛ tsp. salt. Add mushrooms to onions.

Remove meat from oven. Slice against the grain into thin slices. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, return meat to pan, immersing in sauce. Cover. Bake 1 hour. Add mushrooms and pearl onions. Cover. Bake for 30 minutes or longer until meat is fork tender. Taste sauce. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Notes: First-cut brisket can also be used. Timing will vary. Make ahead for best flavor. Slice across, not parallel, to alignment of muscle fibers (grain).

Paula Shoyer’s Dry-Rubbed Roast Salmon (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Paula Shoyer’s Dry-Rubbed Roast Salmon (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Paula Shoyer’s Dry-Rubbed Roast Salmon

Serves 6

1 Tbs. coriander seeds
1 Tbs. whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs. mustard seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. juniper berries
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. smoked or regular paprika
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 lbs. salmon fillet

Place all the seeds, peppercorns and juniper in spice grinder or food processor. Grind into small pieces, but not completely into powder. (If still too big, place in sealable plastic bag. Smash with rolling pin.) Shoyer says to omit any unpermitted seeds during Passover.

Transfer to bowl. Mix in sugar, onion powder, paprika, cloves and salt. Press the mix onto top of salmon, covering completely. Place in ungreased roasting pan. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].