Fania Lewando's Vegetarian Cookbook Recipes


Following are featured recipes and cooking advice from Fania Lewando's The Vilna Vegetarian CookbookAll recipes are excerpted from THE VILNA VEGETARIAN by Fania Lewando. Copyright © 2015 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Schocken, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

See our Village Vegetarian Cookbook feature article HERE.

Cauliflower Cutlets
Cook a cut-up large head of cauliflower in salted water, and push through a food mill or puree in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs and 3 eggs. Mix well and shape into cutlets. Mix 2 eggs with bread crumbs, dip the cutlets, and fry in butter until brown. Serve with stewed carrots

Chickpea Cutlets
This recipe makes KosherEye think veggie burger. After soaking them overnight, cook 3 cups dried chickpeas until soft. Push them through a food mill or puree in a food processor. Add 3 raw eggs, some salt, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Shape into cutlets, dip in bread crumbs and fry in butter until brown. You may also serve some boiled, thinly sliced potatoes along with these.

Spinach Pâté
A vegetarian dip or shmear
Wash and cook 1 pound spinach. Place in a colander, and squeeze out the water. Then add 3 onions fried in [olive] oil, 4 hard-boiled eggs, 2 apples, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, some salt, and 5 tomatoes. Purée everything in a food mill or food processor. Stir in 2 raw eggs and ½ cup olive oil. Grease a pan with oil, put in the batter, cover tightly, and bake in a hot oven ½ hour. Then spread it onto a flat plate to cool. Serve spread on rolls or buns with butter.


Leek Appetizer

(This recipe calls for butter, but we suggest substituting olive oil for a parve version.
Cut 3 large leeks and 2 Spanish onions into small pieces, and sauté in butter (2 tablespoons). Add 3 diced hard-boiled eggs, 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, 3 diced scallion, and (chopped fresh) dill. Add 2 raw eggs and some salt (1/2 teaspoon) and mix well. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pot, and add the leek mixture. Cover well, and bake 1/2 hour. Serve sprinkled with dill.

From the translator (For best results, sauté the leeks and onions slowly over a low flame. It will take about 20 minutes. None of the recipes in this collection specifies an oven temperature, for the simple reason that temperature in the wood or coal ovens of that era could not be easily adjusted. A moderate oven of about 350 degrees works for most of the recipes unless otherwise specified


To the Housewife: A Few Words and Practical Advice
Fania Lewando launched her cookbook with an introduction whose title translates as: "To the Housewife: A Few Words and Practical Advice."
One must strictly observe the following directions:

1.   "The produce must be of the best quality. There is only a small difference in price between the best and worst produce, but in cooking there is a great difference, in taste as well as nutrition."

2.   "One must use clean utensils." Lewando cautioned that enamel utensils should have no scratches, "because this is harmful to health."

3.   "Use only centrifuge butter (clarified butter) for frying, baking and other cooking." Lewando preferred it over handmade. "It is not true that hand-churned butter is richer. The machine is more efficient than the hands."

4.   "Throw nothing out; everything can be made into food." Save vegetable cooking water for soups, she advises in one example.

5.   "Prepare everything precisely as instructed in the recipes, and do not rely on others. All these foods can be easily made, because I have tested each recipe several times."

Lewando's promise to readers: "I have the fullest satisfaction in the knowledge that my cookbook is practical and that it will be very useful to every housewife in her daily life."