For years as a preschool and supplemental Hebrew schoolteacher this week’s parsha was always one of my favorites to teach regardless of the age of my students. The smell of a hearty soup cooking in the back of the classroom as we studied the text makes for a really strong memory. In each setting part of the fun was preparing the soup, chopping the vegetables, measuring the lentils. Red Lentils. Most often the children would curl up their noses and insist that there was no way they would eat lentils. Often parents would tell me that there was no way their children would eat lentils. Yet each year with all of the different groups of children they ALWAYS ate the lentil soup that we made. Often asking for seconds. After having such amazing success in getting my students to eat lentils I would rush home and make lentil soup for my family. The reception at home was not as consistent. Over the years my children grew up their tastes changed and then I met and my husband. He is my biggest fan and supporter. He loves the food I prepare. There are almost no exceptions. One of the biggies is the tiny little lentil. He has no problem telling me he doesn’t like lentils in any form. So for a number of years parsha Toldot has been without lentils in our home. Creating this series of parsha salads had me bound and determined to change that. So in honor of the parsha our Shabbos meal this week will include a robust salad made of lentils, red lentils to make us think of Yaakov brewing his stew and Esav returning from the fields famished and demanding “some of that red stuff”.
Yaakov’s Lentil Salad
1 cup dried red lentils
1 cup sliced baby carrots / diced carrots
1 cup red onion diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic or 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup to 1 cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 or 2 tablespoons caper berries
In a saucepan combine the dried lentils, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf and oregano. Add enough water to the pan to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until the carrots are tender and lentils are soft but not mushy. Drain water from veggies and remove bay leaf. Place in a bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice, celery, parsley, capers, salt and pepper. Toss gently to mix and then let sit to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temperature.
Hi, I'm Chef Shoshana. I have been cooking as long as I can remember starting out in both of my grandmothers kitchens learning by observing and practice. Over the years I have cooked my way through all of life's moments; cooking for family, friends, and clients. For me cooking has always been an expression of caring and love. Each meal I prepare is a reflection of that. When I cook for a client I want them to feel as if the meal was made by a loved one especially for them. The blog section of my website is where you will find recipes & anecdotes from my daily experiences in the kitchen with both clients and family. I hope you enjoy!