Moroccan Fish from "Best of Kosher." (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Moroccan Fish from "Best of Kosher." (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Moroccan fish and pomegranate eggplant will perk up your Shabbat

Two recently published kosher cookbooks inspired a recent Shabbat dinner that wowed my guests.

I served the Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant from Naomi Ross’ cookbook “The Giving Table” (Menucha Publishers) to accompany Danielle Renov’s flavorful but not-too-spicy Moroccan Fish. Renov is one of the 15 contributors to Mesorah Publications’ compilation cookbook “The Best of Kosher: Iconic and New Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbook Authors.”

The recipes have been adapted for space and style and to reflect my experience. Note: If substituting table or fine sea salt for the kosher salt in these recipes, reduce the amount by half.

Naomi Ross’ Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant

Adapted from “The Giving Table”

Serves 4

  • 1 to 1½ lb. eggplant
  • 2 tsp. plus ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus as needed
  • 3-4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, plus as needed
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
  • 1 green onion (scallion), thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cups cooked rice or couscous, warm
  • 2-3 Tbs. tahini
  • ½ cup chopped toasted peanuts or cashews
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant from "The Giving Table." (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant from “The Giving Table.” (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Peel and cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Put in colander over bowl. Sprinkle 2 tsp. salt over eggplant. Let sit 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Shake excess liquid off eggplant and blot with paper towels until dry.

Heat 3 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, ½ tsp. salt, black pepper and coriander. Sauté 5-6 minutes until onion is softened. Add eggplant. Sauté until lightly browned (7-8 minutes), adding 1 Tbs. oil if needed. Stir in pomegranate molasses, toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until cubes are glazed, 2-3 minutes. Taste. Add salt and or pepper as needed. Stir in green onions.

Serve immediately over warm rice. (The dish is also good as a side by itself.) Drizzle with tahini and sprinkle with nuts and cilantro.

Danielle Renov’s Moroccan Fish

Adapted from “The Best of Kosher”

Serves 8

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbs. saffron strands
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 3 cups fresh cilantro (with stems)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, quartered
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, halved (seed the jalapeños for a milder sauce)
  • 2 dried, small red chilies, rinsed
  • 8 garlic cloves, halved
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tsp. paprika, divided
  • 2 to 2½ lb. skinless, thick fish fillets, cut into 8 serving pieces (see Notes)
  • Garlic sauce (see Notes)
  • Challah

Pour boiling water in large cup. Add saffron, crumbling the threads into small pieces. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Remove cilantro leaves from stems. Reserve leaves and half the stems (discard remaining stems). Heat oil in large skillet over low heat. Evenly scatter the reserved stems in skillet. Arrange red peppers skin side down over the stems. Place jalapeños skin side up between red peppers. Distribute chilies and garlic between the peppers.

Pour chickpeas over vegetables. Sprinkle 2-3 tsp. kosher salt and 2 tsp. paprika over chickpeas. Raise heat to medium high. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir tomato paste into saffron water. Pour a quarter of the saffron water over vegetables. Cover. Cook 5 minutes.

Place fish on top of vegetables in a single layer. Pour remaining saffron water over fish, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. paprika. Scatter cilantro leaves on top. Bring to a boil and immediately lower heat. Cover pan. Simmer for 45 minutes, basting fish every 7 minutes with liquid. During the last 8 minutes, uncover and simmer to reduce sauce. Serve with garlic sauce and challah.

Notes: I used salmon, but a thick sea bass, cod or other fillet will work. I also made my own garlic sauce instead of using garlic mayo as recommended in the book. For garlic sauce: Whirl in blender until smooth ⅓ cup garlic cloves, ⅓ cup lemon juice, ⅓ cup olive oil and ¼ tsp. salt.

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].