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Dec 28, 2011 07:24 AM

Shabbat dinner menu - side dish suggestions?

Hello fellow Chowhounders...

Am planning a Shabbat dinner in a couple of weeks and have most of the menu planned, but am short a side dish. Wondering if anyone might come up with some ideas that are delicious, seasonal and pair well with the rest of the menu:

Homemade Challah
Creamy Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup with Beet Crisps
Fennel Chicory Salad
Lamb Roast with Garlic & Rosemary
Minted Peas
Caramelised Oranges with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Meringues

I am not a big starch eater, and neither are my guests, especially as there will be challah.

Thank you so much in advance!

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  1. Is there a theme you're going for here? I don't see one. That's not a criticism, I am just looking for a side dish that fits. How about mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic? Lamb pairs nicely with couscous, which is less starchy than rice/potatoes in most people's eyes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane


      no real theme, just trying to win hearts :) . i suppose i was really guided by seasonal produce/items, although i know lamb isn't quite in season just yet. do you think cauliflower soup and cauliflower again for side dish would be too much cauli? i personally love it and could eat it all day...

      a very herby coucous would work really well, and would be very pretty with the green flecks. great suggestion!

      1. re: RosaSharon

        Since neither cauliflower dish will be whole cauliflower (puree in soup, mashed in side dish), I think it's not too much. I actually think it creates a nice line connecting the apps and the main course. And given cauliflower's importance as a winter vegetable, it fits with the seasonal mentality.

        1. re: RosaSharon

          No theme eh? It doesn't take being married to Brit (although it helps) to know that there is nothing as English as Garlic and Rosemary Lamb with Minted Peas. Check out this interesting braised Radish recipe that could be tweeked to pair perfectly with your meal.

          and btw.....can we come for dinner too:)

          1. re: gotcholent

            Another interesting use for radishes-- roasting. Prob too late for this meal, but a thought

      2. I think steamed carrots would be nice with the minted peas. You could also pick up the flavors of the dessert with using a glazed orange carrot and honey idea.

        1 Reply
        1. re: docfood

          that is a nice idea, and although usually i shy away from sweet side dishes i think that's spot-on, docfood. it would sort of be a morrocan them, perhaps even a sweet/spicy flavour with some cumin and!

          i love chowhound.

        2. This is a very lovely menu. Do you have a recipe/link for the soup (and beet crisps!) you could share?

          I would go for some color - it looks like like it's mostly cream and greens so far. Maybe roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash with come cranberries thrown in.

          7 Replies
          1. re: helou

            yes ver ycream/green. i was actually thinking about small roasted cubes of sweet potato this morning on the bus. (this is what it's like inside a foodies brain!). the soup is actually a chow recipe: look at this gorgeous picture.


            i don't know if i need to do a trial run with a chow recipe..?

            1. re: RosaSharon

              I read the soup recipe & thought it sounded a bit bland, a hunch that was confirmed by some of the reviews. I suggest making it with chicken stock, then tasting it erev Shabbat with a view to spicing it up. Possible additions: nutmeg, curry powder OR minced dill or coriander leaves (not all together).
              Even though I love cauliflower - and basically love the sound of your menu - 2 times in one meal is too much. How about combining your sweet potato fantasy with lburrell's mushrooms somehow? Nice colors & flavors.

              1. re: almond tree

                dill and beets are a classic combination. and would look spectacular, I think. last time i used chicken stock for a butternut squash soup, it all tasted really chicken-y and not squash-y at all. what might i have done wrong?

                1. re: RosaSharon

                  My guess is the stock was too strong and overpowered the squash.

                  1. re: RosaSharon

                    When I make a meat butternut soup I use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water. The flavor of the squash comes thru but with a nice depth from the chicken stock.

                2. re: RosaSharon

                  Thanks. It does seem like it will be a little bland as the recipe is written, but I think the suggestions to use broth or (do I dare write this on a foodie board?) throw in some Osem consomme powder, although it might tend to color it a bit.

                  I also think that one tsp salt seems like too little. I'm not a big salter, but I think it will need more.

                  Finally, although I always like food that's as freshly prepared as possible, this seems like the sort of recipe that will really benefit from cooking a day or two ahead of time, and then let it sit in the refrigerator. You'll get a much deeper flavor.

                  1. re: helou

                    Rather than osem (ingredients are scary to some, why not use one of the excellent organic vegetarian broths. Imagine's vegetable or "no-chick" both give extra flavor to squash and potato soups without overpowering. And you can use it with dairy meals or when you want a soup to serve when vegetarians or vegans may be guests. That's a major issue here in Berkeley, maybe not so much "back East." And there's is even a kosher "better than bouillon" although I've had trouble finding it in local markets.

              2. I used a resource: Culinary Artistry that includes suggestions for combining food, herbs and spices. I noted that mushrooms work well with both lamb and peas. I suggest a mushroom saute medley. Even though you really probably don't need another dish to satisfy hunger, my experience is that it's nice to have a plate that looks complete. You might even purchase the small filo cups and saute the mushrooms, then chop them into small bits, put them in the filo cups and put a cup on each plate. I like to saute mushrooms in mirin. Easy to find kosher and gives a sherry type flavor.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lburrell

                  Love the mushroom idea.

                  Have you ever roasted mushrooms? oyster and shiitake mushrooms take on a crispy texture thats delicious. Toss with parsley once they've come out of the oven. Might be a good addition to this meal, but the mushrooms would have to be done last minute.

                2. and of course, any advice on roasting the lamb would be most welcome. i've done turkey and chicken and been before but never lamb.