Menu for an Israeli Shabbat Dinner

The Jewish day of rest is customarily marked with a festive meal on Friday night. These recipes bring an Israeli touch with an emphasis on Israel’s seasonal winter vegetables.

Israeli shabbat dinner.
Israeli shabbat dinner. Vered Guttman

For Jews, a large, festive meal is a once-a-week occasion in order to mark Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath. The big meal is customarily served on Friday evening. These recipes bring an Israeli touch to the weekly day of rest, with an emphasis on Israel’s seasonal winter vegetables.

What makes this menu Israeli? Fresh produce plays a key role in every dish, and ingredients such as Swiss chard, chickpeas, pomegranate and couscous are all common in Israel. It’s colorful, rich in bold flavors, and it doesn’t follow a strict culinary tradition. For me, that’s Israeli.

Israeli Shabbat dinner menu:

Celery root and parsnip soup with caramelized garlic.
Vered Guttman

Celery root and parsnip soup 

Meatballs in Swiss chard and chickpea stew.
Vered Guttman

Meatballs in Swiss chard and chickpea stew

Beet, pomegranate and tomato salad.
Vered Guttman

Beet, pomegranate and tomato salad

Cauliflower couscous.
Vered Guttman

Cauliflower couscous

Orange, polenta and marzipan cake.
Vered Guttman

Orange, polenta and marzipan cake