Cookbook Review: Little Book of Jewish Appetizers

First in a series of elegant little books exploring Jewish culinary traditions, this perfect hostess gift or self-treat takes us through the most social part of the meal: the appetizers. From nibbles and salads to dips and meatballs, more than 25 inspired, modern starters draw from global Jewish influences. Rounding out this lovely and informative resource are vibrant photographs and helpful sidebars featuring tips on how to build a Jewish cheese plate, what foods to buy rather than make, and more. Don’t expect reverence: with a wink and a nod to classic Jewish dishes, borscht has been reinvented as crostini and gefilte fish cleverly crisped into fritters. Dainty in size but mighty in delicious recipes, this book is a treasure for the nosh crowd.

Little Book of Jewish Appetizersis available at and

Vegetarian Chopped Liver with Shallots


3 eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 lb [340g] shallots, thinly sliced into rings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb [225g] cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup [30g] chopped walnuts
One 15-oz [425g] can kidney beans, drained
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp onion powder

1. Place the eggs in a small pot. Cover with water by 2 in
[5 cm] and set the pot, uncovered, over high heat. When
the water boils, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit
for 18 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse well under cold
water to stop the cooking process. Peel the eggs, cut them
into quarters, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet set over medium
heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook
until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Uncover the pan, add the mushrooms and brown sugar,
and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply
browned and most of the mushrooms’ liquid evaporates,
about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to
cool slightly.

3. Combine the cooked eggs, the shallot and mushroom mixture,
walnuts, kidney beans, mayonnaise, paprika, onion powder, and a
generous amount of salt and pepper in a food processor bowl and
pulse until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate
for at least 2 hours or overnight to let the flavours meld. Serve cold or
at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the
refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books.


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