The Silver Platter

Disclosure: Artscroll provided me with a review copy of The Silver Platter. Opinions expressed are my own.

The Silver Platter is what you would expect from an Artscroll cookbook: beautiful photos of food, attractive layout and stylish recipes. The book also represents the launch of a new kosher food personality, Daniella Silver, under the mentorship of the beloved cookbook author (and fellow Canadian) Norene Gilletz.

If the book has a distinct “culinary point of view,” it is best summed up as follows: easy, uncomplicated recipes that are simply seasoned, gluten-free (or adaptable to gluten-free) and feature lots of fresh vegetables/grains/legumes. While the cookbook looks like it belongs on a coffee-table, it will get a work-out in the kitchen.

Within two days of getting the book, I made four recipes from it. On Thursday, I made the Cheesy Smashed Roasted Potatoes (big hit–see below for recipe), and on Friday, I made the Lemon-Infused Lentil Rice, the Roasted Baby Potato & Tomato Medley and the Shaved Corn & Asparagus Salad (substituting string beans for the asparagus–also see below for recipe). Everything was easy to make and was a success.

The cookbook has a certain level of health-consciousness, prominently featuring trendy grains and vegetables like quinoa and kale. As a nice bonus, the back of the book lists nutritional data for every recipe. But, the cookbook seems to be more about “family friendly” than “super healthy.” While sweeteners aren’t tossed into every recipe, sugar, honey, maple syrup, ketchup and jam are fairly frequent additions to marinades/sauces for fish/chicken/beef and to salad dressings.

The dessert section features mostly simple, home-ey recipes, like cookies, brownies and bundt cakes, which all use oil instead of margarine or butter. Additionally, every dessert recipe is either flourless or can be made with gluten-free flour mix. Not all the dessert recipes will work for Passover, but quite a few will, such as the Rocky Road Brownie Cake and the Almond-Crusted chocolate Tart.

Here is one thing that I wished this cookbook had: suggested menus. I would have loved to have seen how Daniella Silver puts these recipes together into full meals for different occasions.

Speaking of menus, if you are still looking for dairy recipes for Shavuos, here is a list of dairy recipes in the book: Dairy Blueberry Soup, Double Cheese Cauliflower Gratin, Crustless Spinach & Feta Cheese Tart, Caprese Penne Salad, Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes & Feta Cheese, Fresh Berry Toast, Lemon Garlic Spaghetti, Cauliflower Crusted Pizza, Grandma Marion’s Cheese Muffins, Carrot Cake and Heavenly Halvah Cheesecake.


Reproduced from The Silver Platter, by Daniella Silver with Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

Cheesy Smashed Roasted Potatoes
dairy | passover | gluten-free | do not freeze | yields 6 servings
Only four ingredients, yet these smashed, cheese-drizzled taters are mouthfuls of comfort and joy. My kids are in food heaven every time I make a batch. Serve as cute appetizer bites at parties, or as a scrumptious side dish with fish.

24 mini potatoes (1½ lb/750 g)
2 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella
 or Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until a skewer can be inserted easily into the largest potatoes.
3. Place a large piece of parchment paper over potatoes. Place a second baking pan or cookie sheet on the parchment; press down gently, flattening each potato to about half of its original thickness. Remove pan and parchment paper.
4. Drizzle smashed potatoes with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with cheese. (See Norene’s Notes, below.)
5. Bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbling.

Norene’s Notes Variation: Make Mini Pizza Taters by drizzling each smashed potato with tomato sauce and sprinkling with cheese. Top with minced scallions and red bell peppers. To shred cheese in a food processor, freeze cheese first for 15 minutes. Use medium pressure on pusher when grating. No food processor? Use a box grater. Four ounces (120 g) cheese yields 1 cup shredded.

Reproduced from The Silver Platter, by Daniella Silver with Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

Reproduced from The Silver Platter, by Daniella Silver with Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

Shaved Corn & Asparagus Salad
pareve | gluten-free | yields 8 servings
This fabulous salad is a staple in my house–it looks and tastes phenomenal and is always a crowd pleaser. For a grilled, smoky flavor, place the boiled corn on the barbecue grill for a few minutes, then shave off the kernels in long strips.

8 ears corn, husked and cleaned
1 bunch asparagus (snap off and discard tough ends)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh)
4 cloves garlic, minced
 (about 2 tsp)
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus; continue cooking for additional 3-5 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain corn and asparagus; place in ice-cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. 2. Shave off corn kernels with a sharp knife, leaving them attached to each other, if possible. Place into a large serving bowl. 3. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to corn along with tomatoes and basil.
4. Dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar; seal tightly and shake well.
5. Add dressing to salad. Toss gently to combine. Cover, refrigerate until shortly before serving time. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Norene’s Notes When corn on the cob is not an option, use frozen corn kernels. Cook 5-6 cups frozen corn in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. Canned corn niblets are also an excellent option. If using fresh corn, stand it upright on its base so the corn is stable. Shave off the kernels with a sharp knife — or even a shoehorn!

Reproduced from The Silver Platter, by Daniella Silver with Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

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5 Responses to “The Silver Platter”

  1. Norene Gilletz Says:

    Thanks so much for the fabulous review! It means a lot to us Daniella Silver and I would have loved to include menus but we ran short of space. Hopefully next time!!

  2. Norene Gilletz Says:

    We made the Shaved Corn Salad last night and it was a huge hit. Try it!!! Thanks again for your support. Chag Sameach and good Shabbos.

  3. shilohmuse Says:

    This post has been included in the latest  Combined Havel Havelim (Post-Shavuot) and Kosher Cooking Carnival, Sivan. I’d appreciate your taking a look and letting your readers know. Also visit the other blogs, comment and share. And of course you are welcome to join our Jewish blog carnival community.I wish I had been sent that book to review.

    Have a wonderful week!

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