Stephen Darori’s Autumn arugula salad with caramelized squash + pomegranate ginger vinaigrette


Okay, so I get it.

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I

It’s October, the leaves are getting crunchy and people are losing their heads over everything pumpkin related. You could say that I’m deep in the throes of my own obsession, and I just might be but the real question I have is why isn’t everyone going berserk over pomegranates?!

They are the real jewel of fall… pun totally intended.


Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I

I get super excited every autumn for the reappearance of pomegranates that do not cost $6 a pop at my local grocery store. Now, we are still talking like $2.50 per fruit, but that’s pennies compared to what they go for in the spring and summer. Sometimes I can’t even find a container of the arils.

Not only am I a complete maniac over their gorgeous color, I just absolutely LOVE to use them as a snack, in yogurt, in chicken dishes and of course, in salads. Since I’m a bit fanatical over that little thing called texture, their juicy pop does me in. Flipping out over it. I also think they are totally refreshing. I have been known to sit on the couch with an actual pomegranate in a bowl and pick out the arils one by one.

I’ve also been known to create a giant mess. (Worth it.)

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I

I’m living in a world where the leaves appeared to have changed colors over night. This past weekend we planned on taking a nice little fall drive (because we are 85 years old) but it just seemed so… green. Instead we sat around and ate our weight in homemade chicken cheesesteaks, played on pinterest until our eyes hurt, watched so much TV that I don’t even know what real life is anymore and cuddled on the couch, which translates to laying on our own sides of the sectional since we desperately like our own space. I also put a major dent in a container of Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream, and for someone who has been eating pumpkin ice cream for 20 years or so, I actually think their version is the best one. Good old Joe. I’ve got a spoon in it now.

But then yesterday, I wake up and boom – the trees are suddenly red and orange and fifty shades of yellow. Can’t it be the weekend forever?

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I

Oh well. Salad time.

This salad is practically a big, fat copout – it’s quite similar to my autumn panzanella from a few years ago, but a few quick changes make it diverse enough for me. You can really throw it together in less than 20 minutes or so, but it definitely constitutes and entire meal. The squash just MAKES it.  I love roasting them in the skin so they can be little handheld snacks. For this particular acorn squash, I caramelized it in some coconut oil and a little brown sugar. I don’t know why but those two things make thing a complete flavor explosion, if I can be so cliché. Plus, they look like adorable little crowns or something with their pretty scalloped edges. So cute.

Says the person who now calls her food cute.

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I

Some other little bits to give it an autumn kick include the toasted spiced pecans. You can swap those out for almonds or walnuts or hazelnuts or no nuts – whatever floats your boat. I threw them in with the arils for the extra crunch crunch crunch. A salad is one of the few dishes that I don’t find nuts to completely DESTROY. Like brownies or cookies. Can you really trust someone who loves nuts in their brownies?

I kid I kid.

The final step in this healthy fall mess is the pomegranate ginger dressing – pom juice with some freshly grated ginger and garlic and lots of vinegar and oil. Vinegar is also what makes a salad for me and many times I’ll use my fave pomegranate balsamic to bring everything together. Since I’m all about a salad with as few green vegetable things as possible… this one does me in.

I like to eat seasons.

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I



Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette




2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepped
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
6 cups baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1 pomegranate, arils removed
1 seedless cucumber, sliced

pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil. Cover the squash slices with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If desired, you can add the brown sugar to help the squash caramelize. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Toss them with the pumpkin pie spice.

Add the arugula to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the avocado, pomegranate arils, cucumber, pecans and squash pieces. Cover in the pomegranate dressing.

pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
Combine pome juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette I 

And color!

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115 responses to “autumn arugula salad with caramelized squash + pomegranate ginger vinaigrette.”

  1. #

    Simone — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 8:36 AM

    I made this last night – with leftover acorn squash I had from doing stuffed acorn squash. Oh my goodness. This was so good. I didn’t actually make my own pomegranate dressing, we bought this delicious kind, but it was so incredible.


  2. #

    CathyKarr05 — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 1:19 PM

    just as Jack implied I’m impressed that any one can make $5759 in 1 month on the computer. learn the facts here now Exit35com


    • BRITT — OCTOBER 18TH, 2013 @ 2:42 PM

      ..send info on making $5759 in 1 month on computor….thanks


      • Bernice Pattow — JANUARY 12TH, 2014 @ 2:15 PM

        Please send details. Thank you!

  3. #

    katie @ ohshineon — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 2:38 PM

    i’m so glad you shared this stuff. totally mind-blowin-knock-yer-socks-off-hit-me-over-the-head-with-a-hammer good.


  4. #

    Heather — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 4:49 PM

    This. Was. Delicious. I love fall even more than I knew. Thanks for sharing!


  5. #

    Jaclyn — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 6:10 PM

    These photos are freakin gorgeous!!


  6. #

    Holly — OCTOBER 16, 2013 @ 7:45 PM

    I got stuff to make this and I have a crazy question, is the squash skin edible?


  7. #

    Amber — OCTOBER 17, 2013 @ 8:24 PM

    I made this for dinner tonight & omg this is amazing. I didn’t need to use the brown sugar on the squash & it was sooooo good! I will def be making this again, maybe even for thanksgiving!


  8. #

    Kerry — OCTOBER 18, 2013 @ 1:04 AM

    So I’m new to the whole pomegranate scene and I need a little help! Do I just eat the whole aril? Isn’t that a seed in the middle?! (Bought one, brought it home and dissected like the directions showed, now I have arils in the fridge awaiting further instructions!)


    • Jessica — OCTOBER 18TH, 2013 @ 7:00 AM

      i personally do eat the whole aril – i don’t mind at all. some people spit out the inside seed though. i think it’s just preference!


  9. #

    Ruta — OCTOBER 20, 2013 @ 1:52 PM

    What a grgeous salad. I love the idea of carmelized squash.


  10. #

    Rebekah — NOVEMBER 1, 2013 @ 10:45 AM

    I am NOT a fan of pomegranate arils but I do love the juice. This salad looks so good, I will probably just swap out the arils for dried cranberries and make the rest as is. Yum. Also, I now need to try Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream- thanks!


  11. #

    Alexandra @ Made to Glow — NOVEMBER 1, 2013 @ 6:50 PM

    This looks beautiful and delicious! I love all of those ingredients. What a fabulous combination. I’ve included this in my round-up of favorite recipe pins on my “Friday Favorites” post. Thanks!


  12. #

    Martin — NOVEMBER 2, 2013 @ 9:06 AM

    The richness of this photo has stayed with me for days!
    I am making this tonight 🙂


  13. #

    Cordelia — NOVEMBER 3, 2013 @ 7:07 PM

    This is on the menu this week for sure! Looks amazing! And quite simple to make… Thanks for posting this!!!!


  14. #

    Ellen — NOVEMBER 6, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

    Never thought all these leftover foods I had in the fridge would make a perfect salad like this! Glad google gave me this link when I googled for all those ingredients combined. Wooowww, truly amazing 🙂 Thanks for the recipe (and the pretty pics!!)


  15. #

    a quiet life — NOVEMBER 8, 2013 @ 1:07 PM

    love this, making for dinner tonight, was surprised you didn’t roast the squash, can’t wait to make your version~


  16. #

    Maddie — NOVEMBER 9, 2013 @ 4:06 PM

    So student life confessions… I love pomegranates but the price is definitely a deterrent (I live in Chicago). I heard a rumor that Aldi carries pomegranates on the cheap (not sure if you have one where you live) and when I went I bought some for 69 cents-79 cents and they are pretty fantastic re: taste and color.

    Also… tip for shelling! I cut my pomegranates into quarters and use the curved back of a spoon to hit the skin side of the pomegranate segments. It loosens up the arils and make its a lot easier and faster!


    • Kelly W — NOVEMBER 27TH, 2013 @ 12:38 PM

      Another tip…fill your bowl of arils with water and the white stuff will float for easy picking out.


  17. #

    Stacy — NOVEMBER 14, 2013 @ 2:34 PM

    I made this salad last weekend. Amazing! Delicious! (and it really DID seem like I was eating fall, hehe!)
    Thanks for this recipe, it’s definitely a keeper.


  18. #

    Natalie — NOVEMBER 16, 2013 @ 3:09 PM

    Hi there,

    I would love to make this salad for Thanksgiving, the only problem is that it has to serve 15-20 people. It seems like this recipe is designed as a meal and since my salad will only be as a side, by how much do you think I should increase the ingredients?

    Thank you!


    • Jessica — NOVEMBER 21ST, 2013 @ 2:45 PM

      Hi Natalie! I would probably triple the recipe. I think that will be good.


  19. #

    Claire — NOVEMBER 30, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

    Wow, that’s one beautiful salad! You’ve inspired me to rekindle an interest with the pomogranit. But more, 85 years?! Really.? Now I’m really impressed ! You’re an inspiration, I love your photos and your blog,




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Fay Drus Roll Mop Herrings

Roll mop herrings
Roll mop herrings


Serves: 8

  • 600ml (1 pt) water
  • 55g (2 oz) salt
  • 8 herring fillets
  • 450ml (3/4 pt) red wine vinegar
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dijon mustard, as needed
  • 1 dessertspoon sugar



Prep:20min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Extra time:3days8hr curing  ›  Ready in:3days9hr35min

  1. Dissolve the salt in 600ml (1 pt) of water.
  2. Place herring fillets in a shallow dish and pour over the brine. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  3. Put 450ml (3/4 pt) water and vinegar in a saucepan. Add the spices, bay leaves and sugar and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Pass through a sieve to remove the whole spices.
  4. Spread the fillets with Dijon mustard and then roll starting from the wide end and securing with a cocktail stick or short length of wooden kebab skewer. Pack them in a preserving jar and fill with the cooled vinegar.
  5. Place in the fridge and leave for at least 3 days before trying. They should keep for 3 months or more.


You can use four whole herrings and fillet them yourself, if desired.
I use red wine vinegar but you can also use cider vinegar as an alternative.
The strange implement in the photo is an old gadget that was used to make a single cup of tea back in the days before tea bags were invented. Mine was given to me by my mother and I don’t think they’re available these days. It makes adding spices to a mix so much easier. The alternative is to just add the ingredients and then sieve the vinegar before use.

Fay Drus Danish Herish



  • 12 herring fillets
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 1 cup apple, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup pickles, diced
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp French mustard
  • 1 cup tomato purée


  • 1

    Cut herrings into bite size pieces.

  • 2

    Mix all ingredients together and pour over herrings.

  • 3

    Leave for a few days before serving.


List of culinary herbs and spices

A spice market in Istanbul

This is a list of culinary herbs and spices. Specifically these are food or drink additives of mostly botanical origin used in nutritionally insignificant quantities for flavoring or coloring.

This list does not contain salt, which is a mineral, nor is it for fictional plants such as aglaophotis, or recreational drugs such as tobacco.

This list is not for plants used primarily for “herbal teas” or tisanes, nor for plant products that are purely medicinal, such as valerian.





  • Dill seed (Anethum graveolens)
  • Dill herb or weed (Anethum graveolens)





















  • Za’atar (herbs from the genera OriganumCalaminthaThymus, and Satureja)
  • Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria)

List of culinary vegetables


Leafy and salad vegetables

Garden Cress

Iceberg lettuce field in Northern Santa Barbara County

Spinach in flower

Miner’s lettuce


Flowers and flower buds

Main article: Edible flowers

Globe artichokes being cooked

Podded vegetables (Legumes)

See also: Types of beans

Diversity in dry common beans

Varieties of soybeans are used for many purposes.

Bulb and stem vegetables

Garlic bulbs and individual cloves, one peeled

Root and tuberous vegetables

Carrots come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and also vary in color, including orange, white and purple.

Potatoes are one of the most used staple foods.

Sea vegetables

Caulerpa is a genus of edible seaweed.

French cooking terms


French cooking terms

Here is the definitive list of common French culinary terms — a useful partner to cookbooks, or watching your favourite cookery show. If we have missed any let us know.


The allumette measures approximately ⅛ in/2 mm by ⅛ in/2 mm by 2½ in/6 cm inches. It’s also the starting point for the brunoise.


A roasting pan or baking dish partially filled with water to allow food to cook more slowly and be protected from direct high heat. Used for custards and terrines.


Batonnet translates to “little stick”. The batonnet measures approximately ¼in/5 mm by ¼in/½ mm x 2½-3 inches or about 8cm. It is also the starting point for the small dice.


A creamy pudding made with cream and eggs, then set using gelatin.


Small dollops of dough that are fried — very much like fritters.

Beurre Manié

Butter and flour mixed together in equal parts and used to thicken stews, soups, and casseroles.

Beurre Noisette

Browned butter.


A smooth, creamy soup made from a base of shellfish stock.


To place fruit or vegetables in boiling water so the skin can be removed more easily.


A stew made from meat that has not been browned or fried. Usually refers to stews made of lamb, chicken or veal.


Small puff pastry cases with a savoury filling, usually served as an Hors d’Oeuvre.


A broth or stock, usually a meat, some vegetables and a bouquet garni boiled in water.

Bouquet Garni

A mixture of fresh herbs tied together with string and used to flavour stews, soups etc. It refers to a mix of parsley, bay leaf, thyme (and sometimes celery stalk). The bouquet is removed before serving.


To burn a food to caramelize the sugar on a foods surface.


Vegetables cut into very small diced pieces, based on a julienne cut, but just turned 90° and diced.


An appetizer consisting of a small bread or biscuit base covered with a flavoured topping such asPâté.


Browned breadcrumbs.


A French term describing a dish that is first cooked and then chilled for service.


Rolling up herbs, or leafy greens like spinach and cutting them into very fine shreds.


To remove the backbone from a rack of ribs.


Choux Pastry, or Pâte à Choux, is a light pastry dough made from butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent its high moisture content creates steam during cooking to puff the pastry. Amongst others, choux pastry is used make profiteroles, croquembouches, and éclairs.


A dessert consisting of fruit stewed in a sugar syrup, originates from the 17th century.


A French term for rough chopping ingredients — usually referring to tomatoes.


A richly flavoured, clear soup. To achieve this, egg whites are added and the soup is simmered to allow the inpurities to be skimmed off.


A thick sauce usually made from one main ingredient, such as raspberry coulis.

Court Bouillon

Flavoured liquid used for cooking fish.


Very thin pancakes.


A mixture of potato with ground cooked meat, fish or poultry formed into balls, patties or other shapes and coated with a breading before frying.


Bread piece dipped in butter and baked until it is crisp.


Crust. Sometimes refers to a pastry crust, sometimes to toasted or fried bread.


Small cubes of fried, or recooked bread used as a garnish in salads and soups.


A small cylindrical mold used for the creation of baked desserts.


To deglaze, or loosen the browned juices and fats from the bottom of a frying pan or saucepan by adding liquid, then bringing to a boil and stirring. The liquid is usually water, wine or stock.


To extract juices from meat, fish or vegetables, usually by salting them, then soaking or washing. It is usually done to remove a strong taste.


To skim off the skin that accumulates at the top of a stock or sauce.


Finely chopped raw mushrooms, used as a stuffing. Sometimes combined with chopped ham or scallops.

En croute

Wrapped in pastry and then baked in an oven.


Sirloin steak.


The term used to refer to something served before the main course but is used now to refer to the actual main course.


A dessert or sweet – but does not include pastries.


A thin, boneless slice of meat.



Flamber or Flambé

To set an alcohol — usually brandy — on fire.


Something that is iced, or set on or in a bed of ice.


A stew made from poultry, meat or rabbit that has a white sauce.

Glace de Viande

Reduced brown stock used to add color and flavour to sauces.

Gratiner or Au Gratin

To sprinkle the surface of a cooked food with breadcrumbs and butter, and sometimes cheese and left brown under heat. The finished food is referred to as au gratin as in au gratin potatoes.

Hors d’Oeuvre

The first course or appetiser.


Vegetables cut into batons — similar to julienne but thicker.


A standard Julienne cut is 4mm x 4mm x 5cm, or ⅛ x ⅛ x 2 inches. ⅛th of an inch is approx. 3mm, but these sizes do vary.

Jus or Jus de Viande

A French word loosely translated into “juice”, but has a more specific meaning than the translation. In French cookery it is primarily a sauce made by diluting the pan juices of a roast with liquid then boiling it in the roasting pan until all of the sediment has absorbed into the stock. Also used to describe thickened or clear brown stock, especially veal. The juices squeezed from raw vegetables or fruits are also referred to as “jus.”

Jus Lié

Thickened gravy.


Ingredients used for thickening sauces, soups or other liquids.


A salad of small pieces of mixed vegetables or fruit.


French word for a covered earthenware container for soup. The soup is both cooked and served in it. Not to be confused with the product Marmite!


A mixture of braising vegetables, usually celery, carrots and onions.


A cake tin that is wider at the base than at the top and only about 2cm or 1inch in depth.


To coat, mask or cover with something.


The word literally means ” hazelnuts “, but can also refer to something being nut brown in colour. For example, beurre noisette is butter browned over heat until it becomes a nut brown color. It can also refer to boneless rack of lamb that is rolled, tied and cut into rounds.

Nouvelle Cuisine

A term that refers to the style of cooking that features lighter dishes with lighter sauces and very fresh ingredients.


A very thick mixture usually made from a combination of flour, butter, and milk that is used as a base for dishes such as soufflés and fish cakes.


A wrapping of parchment paper around fish or meat used for cooking. The paper is used to retain moisture.


Refers to potatoes molded into balls with a melon scoop, and fried or roasted.


A basic mixture or paste – often refers to uncooked dough, or pastry.


A paste made of liver, pork or game.


Vegetables cut into thin slices.


A sweet or pastry, it also refers to a cake shop.


To insert fat, such as bacon into meat or poultry.


A French term describing dishes in which the food is stuffed, folded, or placed in layers. Common preparations of this type are omelets, gratins, or stuffed chicken breast.


A young chicken.


Quenelle is a minced fish or meat mixture that is formed into small shapes and then poached. It also refers to the shape that the minced mixture is made into.


A stew


Reheated food.


Flour mixed with water or egg white and used to seal pans when cooking food slowly. Often used when cooking a ragoût.


To quickly fry meats or vegetables in hot fat to warm them through.


Melted butter to which flour has been added – used as a thickener for sauces or soups.


A garlic and oil emulsion used as flavouring.


A deep frying pan with a lid – used for recipes that require fast frying then slow cooking.


A Pâté or similar mixture of minced ingredients is baked or steamed in a loaf shaped container.


A dish cooked in a mold that is higher than it is wide and has sloping sides.


A type of sauce made from butter, flour, cream and stock.


A large pastry case made of puff pastry that is usually used as a container for creamed dishes, such as creamed chicken.

Marissa Kaplinski’s Yiddisha Grandmother’s Polish Cholet Recipe



I love Marissa’s  and her Grandmother’s directness. Marissa and I have been going out occasionally for 4 months. This was the first time I met her Grandmaother Rochelle all of 88.
” Bobba Rochelle , Can I introduce you to my friend Stephen” ( Marissa)
” Stephen ? What sort of a name is that ” ( Bobba Rochelle)
” My Hebrew name is Shmuel”  ( Stephen Darori)
” Shmuel, what do you do …….do you have any degrees”
” Bobba Rochelle … I am and have 7 degrees ” ( Stephen Darori)
” So when are you and my Marissa go to have a Chuppa . It must be soon . I am not going to to live for ever” ( Bobba Rochelle)
Marissa blushes .
” Marissa did you say “yes” to Shmuel. Why haven’t I met his parents yet?. Hold his hand.”
 Marissa goes red as a beetroot and holds my hand . Her siblings giggle and one comments that Bobba Rochelel has made her Cholet.
We hurry off and a Polish Accent calls out to us , ” I expect a grandchild in 2014 from you , if not two”
“Bobba Rochelle we are going to my room to start one right now “
Chas vechalia . Come and taste my Cholet , You can have a Goose egg. They help with fertility. Marissa did you saw the Shema today . Shmuel did you Naniach Tefillim “
I love the directness of Bobba Rochelle  all 4 foot eight of her..

Schalet is the food of heaven,
Which the Lord Himself taught Moses
How to cook, when on that visit
To the summit of Mount Sinai…

Schalet is the pure ambrosia
That the food of heaven composes—
Is the bread of Paradise;
And compared with food so glorious…

From the poem Princess Sabbath by Heinrich Heine,
translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

The History of Cholent

Since Biblical times the Jewish people have scattered and settled all over the globe, adapting their foods to suit the regions where they’ve settled. Over the centuries countless regional ethnic dishes have been made kosher to fit the Jewish religious standards for pure eating. This means that “Jewish food” is really world cuisine; there are very few dishes that are uniquely Jewish. Bagels? A Polish baked bread originally created for Lent and later embraced by the Jews. Gefilte fish? A German dish adopted by Yiddish cooks. But cholent– well, cholent is one of the few foods that is totally and completely a Jewish creation.

In Joan Nathan’s fabulous book Jewish Cooking in America, she writes about this distinction:

“Throughout their wandering history, Jews have adapted their life-styles to the local culture. Food is no exception. Following the same dietary laws, Jews, relying on local ingredients, developed regional flavors. Because they have lived in so many places, there is no ‘Jewish food’ other than matzah; haroset (the Passover spread); or cholent or chamim (the Sabbath stews that surface in different forms in every land where Jews have lived).”

Cholent is uniquely Jewish. It was created because Jewish law does not permit cooking onShabbat. To adhere to this prohibition, Jewish cooks began to create meat and bean stews in heavy pots that would slowly simmer inside a low-heat oven overnight. They would prepare the stew on Friday before sundown, cook it partially, and place it into the oven to continue cooking throughout the night. That way, there would be no need to kindle a fire or light a stove during the hours of Shabbat; they would simple remove the stew from the oven at mealtime and it would be fully cooked and ready to serve.

Cholent is partially cooked before the Shababt candle lighting at sundown on Friday evening, then placed in the over to slowly finish cooking overnight.

How did this whole slow-cooking idea come about? Well, when researching the history of a dish I often like to start with the etymology. According the The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene, the word cholent may have come into usage in medieval Europe:

“The medieval word cholent (with ‘ch’ pronounced as in ‘chair’) may have come from the French chaud-lent, meaning ‘warm slowly,’ or, less likely, from the Yiddish shul ende which describes when the cholent is eaten — at ‘synagogue end.’”

Food historian Gil Marks refutes this notion of shul ende being the root of the word, because the word cholent was used in France before Yiddish developed as a language in the mid 1200′s. In his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, he contends that the word most likely evolved from the French chaud (hot) or from the Spanish escallento (warm), since the dish probably made it’s way to France from Spain. Still others believe that the word cholent is derived from the Hebrew she’lan, meaning “that rested” and referring to the pot resting in the oven overnight.

While nobody knows the exact source of the word cholent, it is without a doubt one of the most beloved dishes in Jewish cuisine.

Osh Savo, a Bukharan Shabbat stew made from rice, dried fruit, and vegetables

A Cholent By Any Other Name

Shabbat stews are cooked all over the world in different ways and under many different names. Here are a few of the many varieties of cholent:

Schalet – The Yiddish word for cholent, referred to in the German poem at the beginning of this blog. Schalet refers to an Eastern European-style cholent with meat, beans, barley, and sometimes kishke. Spicing is minimal; often only salt and pepper are used.

Hamin/Hamim/Chamim – From the Hebrew word “hot.” The Sephardic version of cholent is known as hamin. Popular throughout Israel, hamin is often made with chicken rather than meat and usually contains eggs. It is also spiced more exotically than Eastern European cholent.

Dafina & Skhina – In Spain, the Maghreb, and Morocco, cholent is referred to as dafina or skhina. It is generally cooked with chickpeas, meat, potatoes and eggs along with spices native to the Maghreb.

Osh Savo – A sweet and sour Shabbat rice stew served by Bukharan Jews.

Tabeet & Pacha – Iraqi Jews have two popular Shabbat dishes. Tabeet is made with a whole chicken stuffed with rice, herbs, and seasonings. Pacha is tripe stuffed with lamb, seasonings, and rose petals. Both are slowly cooked overnight for Shabbat, which makes them regional ethnic variations on the cholent theme.

Batia Restaurant in Tel Aviv

With Miri, the manager of Batia restaurant in Tel Aviv.


On my trip to Israel this summer, our friend Hagai brought me to a restaurant called Batia in Tel Aviv. It’s a traditional Ashkenazi restaurant, well known for their cholent. While there I met the manager, Miri. She gave me a tour of their kitchen and I got to snap a shot of their massive cholent pot, which is the size of about twelve normal cholent pots. Check it out:

Huge cholent pot at Batia Restaurant – Tel Aviv, Israel.

Miri told me that even with all of this cholent, they never fail to run out towards the end of the day. I had a chance to try it, and I understand why it’s so popular. It is absolutely delicious. Their cholent is made in the Israeli style with eggs, similar to mine but with less spices. They also add a kishke to their cholent and sliced meat if you ask for it.

Batia’s famous cholent, complete with kishke.

Cholent: A Family Affair

I recently chatted with Tamar Genger from the website Joy of Kosher, who posted anarticle about cholent earlier this week. In her article, she talks about the warm memories and feelings that a pot of cholent can conjure. “People have an emotional response to the word ‘cholent’ — it may be a memory of a meal at a grandparents house, kiddush after shul or that unmistakable smell that warms the entire home on a cold winter morning.”

I  totally relate to this emotional response, even though I didn’t grow up eating cholent. For the past eight years, cholent has made a regular appearance on our Saturday table. During the winter, it doesn’t feel like Shabbat unless a pot of cholent is slowly cooking in the oven, filling the house with its tantalizing, savory aroma. Cholent and challah are the official flavors of Shabbat in our home.

Cholent recipes vary greatly from region to region, and even from family to family. No two cholent recipes are exactly alike. It’s one of those dishes that evolves over generations, with spices and ingredients being added or changed to suit family tastes. Some cholent recipes have a hint of sweetness in them from the addition of honey or ketchup. Our family prefers a savory cholent, the recipe for which appears below. Later this year I’ll share my friend Sharone’s cholent, which has an added sweetness that many enjoy. Ashkenazi cholent recipes sometimes include kishke, or stuffed derma, which is a particularly unique Jewish delicacy. My recipe does not include a kishke, because I like to keep things simple– although you could certainly buy a kishke and add it to the pot. Couldn’t hurt!

Our family’s cholent recipe is a reflection of the heritage of my fiance’s parents; his mother was Sephardic, his father Ashkenazi, so I call this our Ashkephardic Cholent. The dish uses the basic ingredients of an Ashkenazi cholent– meat, beans, potatoes, and barley– but adds Sephardic and Moroccan spices for flavor. We also add whole eggs to the pot, another Sephardic custom. The eggs slowly cook in the broth, soaking up the flavor of the cholent and turning a lovely brown color. I sometimes use chickpeas, as is the custom in Moroccan dafina. Other times, I use a combination of kidney, pinto, and lima beans, which are more often used in Ashkenazi cholent. It just depends on what we have in the pantry on Friday morning. I use red potatoes because they have a lower starch content, so they won’t dissolve during the long slow cooking process. When we want a lighter cholent, I leave out the barley and let the potatoes take starchy center stage. Cholent is flexible that way. The result of combining all of these different flavors is an irresistible savory cholent that is always a hit on Shabbat.

Remember, this dish cooks overnight, which requires some forethought. The traditional way is to start the cooking on Friday before sundown so that the pot is in the oven before Shabbat begins. You don’t have to wait for Shabbat to make cholent, but you will need time to pre-soak the beans, so do plan ahead. Enjoy!


Cast Iron French Oven

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Ashkephardic Cholent


  • 1 cup dried beans (lima, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, or a mixture)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef stew meat cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 marrow bones
  • 6 eggs (optional)
  • 2 1/2 lbs large red potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2-4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley (optional)


  • A large heavy pot – a 7 or 8 qt. heavy Dutch or French Oven works best
Total Time: 8 – 12 Hours
Servings: 8 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • In the morning on the first day of cooking, cover beans with 3 inches of cold water. Let the beans soak all day until you are ready to cook the cholent. Drain and rinse.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium in your large pot. Rinse the meat, then add it to the pot. Brown the meat on all sides. Remove meat from pot, leave the fat in. Saute the onions in the fat until brown and caramelized. Add meat back into the pot and stir. Add the soaked beans and stir again.
  • Place the marrow bones evenly spaced the meat, marrow side up. Rinse the eggs clean, then nestle them within the meat, evenly spaced.
  • Put a layer of potatoes on top of the meat.
  • Cover all ingredients with water and bring to a slow boil. Skim the foam that rises to the top.
  • Add seasonings to the pot and stir the water gently (do not agitate the layers of potato, meat, and beans– just stir enough to disperse the spices in the liquid). If adding barley, sprinkle it evenly across the top of the broth; it will trickle down and settle amid the other ingredients. Let the mixture simmer slowly. While it’s cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  • After 15 minutes, taste the broth and add additional kosher salt and pepper, if desired. Add kosher salt carefully, there’s nothing worse than oversalted cholent!
  • Cover the pot tightly and place it in the warm oven.
  • Close the oven door and let the cholent cook overnight for 12 to 15 hours. The cholent is done when the potatoes have turned dark brown and the liquid has reduce by about half. Check the cholent periodically to make sure it’s not becoming too dry; don’t let the liquid reduce by more than half. If it seems too dry, add hot water to the pot (see note). If towards the end of cooking your cholent seems too soupy, remove the lid for the last hour or so to let the excess liquid evaporate.
  • Serve each portion of cholent with meat, potatoes, and an egg if desired.
  • Note: Adding hot liquid to the pot may be considered “cooking” under certain circumstances (cooking and working are forbidden on Shabbat), so if you’re a strictly observant Jew it’s best to check with your Rabbi or another halachic authority about the proper method of adding liquid to your cholent pot.

Comments (52)Post a Comment

  1. Shoshanna SS says:

    Hahaha, you knew I would comment!
    Great posting! My mother and I (and most Orthodox Jews that I know) use a crock pot for chulent, but one of these days I am going to try it “the old fashioned way.”
    Funny tidbit about chulent. I had a gastic bypass 7 months ago. About 3 or 4 months post op I was having a lot of trouble getting my protein requirement in and my nutritionist suggested that I cook beans and beef in the crock pot because the long slow cooking process could make it all easier to digest. Well, what do you know, chulent has become my post gastric bypass Shobbos meal of choice! It’s literally one of the only dishes that go down well for me.

    • Deborah says:

      Funny how links take you to an unintended but desirable place! :)

      My mother was the shiksa but did not convert. I consider myself spiritual but very proud of my Jewish genes. I was feeling a little nostalgic for my grandmother’s cooking and searched for cholesterol on this site.

      Unbelievable coincidences!!

      I am 8 weeks post bypass after a horror year where my stomach broke down. I too am having problems getting enough protein and now intend to introduce my gentile husband to the delights of my Jewish heritage.

      Thank you all! :)

    • Jo says:

      If I am using a slow cooker – can I put the inside of it on the gas hob? If I cook it to the simmering stage in a pan – how do I transfer it correctly – does it not have to stay in the right order to cook? Please help – making for this Shabbos!

      Jo, UK

    • Tori Avey says:

      I do not recommend putting any part of the slow cooker over the gas, unless your slow cooker is specifically built for that. Do the saute in a pan, then transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker. They don’t have to be in the same order.

    • miriam de bock says:

      I want to make this for Shabbat what day do I start on and are the eggs raw and in the shell when I put them in?

    • Tori Avey says:

      The eggs are raw, they cook in the shell as the cholent cooks.

  2. Tori Avey says:

    Shoshanna, I have used the crock pot for this before and it worked out fine, but there’s something I love about cooking it in the oven. I don’t know, it feels more “old fashioned” or something. :) But you could easily make this in the slow cooker too, as long as you partially pre-cook the ingredients on the stovetop through the step of simmering for 15 minutes) before placing them in the crock pot. Happy to hear that cholent is getting you the protein you need!

  3. Maria del Socorro says:

    oh!!! yummm and with the weather that we have around here Dafina is what I’m craving now, I cook for me the vegan version and for my kids the normal one, I’m going to try your recipe, I can’t wait, thank you! ❤

  4. randi says:

    can you put drema in the recipe

  5. This looks absolutely wonderful! I am definitely going to try this. Can you use a crock pot instead of an oven? Our oven is on the fritz and we only have a toaster oven which I know wouldn’t work.

  6. Mrs. Cox says:

    Yum!! I’m definitely trying this one this week :)

  7. Anna says:

    Hello, italian jew married to an ashkenaz…..
    I never cooked cholent, but ate it and loved it: do you put fresh eggs in it or do you boil them before?
    Thank you

  8. rich price says:

    It’s a. Mechiah!

  9. Tori Avey says:

    Randi, yes! Feel free to add a kishke/derma. I haven’t posted a recipe on my site yet, but most delis offer kishke, and you can also get it at many kosher markets.

    Kathryn, yes, you can make it in the slow cooker. Just make sure you partially cook the ingredients on the stovetop as directed, then transfer everything to your slow cooker. Use the “low” setting for 10 hrs. and keep an eye on the liquid level to make sure it doesn’t get dry (see my note in the recipe about adding liquid).

    Anna, no need to cook the eggs, they cook in the pot during the first 15 minute simmer. If you pre-boil them, they won’t soak up as many of those delicious spices and turn that lovely brown color.

  10. jillaurie says:

    love your blog. why would you precook if doing in a crock pot? Could you after brewing the meat and sauteing the onions put it in the crock pot on high to bring to a simmer and then put on low?thanks!

  11. Tori Avey says:

    Thanks, Jillaurie. I suppose you could do the simmer in the crock pot– I’ve never tried it that way, but as long as it’s simmering for 15 minutes before the slow cooking, it should be fine. :)

  12. Fanny says:

    I’ve been making Cholent for the last 40 years – 30 years in a crock pot and do not precook any of the ingredients. I add the kishke on top with a whole onion (uncut). Just followed my Mom’s instructions and it’s just like her Cholent with kidney beans, barley, potatoes, a chunk of beef and marrow bones. I live in Israel so I do add a few eggs. Salt, pepper and several slices of garlic. I start it on high until it simmers for a while and then before I go to sleep, I cover it with a towel and put it on low. It’s yummy everytime.

    • HannahBearsMom says:

      I have your recipe, with a couple exceptions, in a crockpot right now. I used white beans rather than kidney beans and left out the marrow bones. I also aded a squirt of ketchup. I normally add kishka, but my daughter doesn’t like it. I made this batch at her request, so no kishka. Like you, I do not precook anything.

  13. Shoshana says:

    Love this! Your recipe looks amazing. I make a variation of Cholent called Adafina, both slow-cooked yummy meals.

  14. Holly Hunsicker says:

    My most recent favorite Jewish food is the cabbage soup I made for dinner tonight. Lots of other veggies and shredded cabbage with tomato and veg broth base. I added some sweet (stevia) and sour salts to make it taste like my mom’s used to. Yum

  15. Susan says:

    from one shiksa to another, great job with the website! looking forward to trying out your recipes for my hunny

  16. Britney says:

    Hi There,
    With the rainy weather we are having I am going to try and make my first cholent for Shabbat dinner this week. What side dishes would you suggest serving with it? Looking forward to your suggestions!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Susan- thanks!

      Britney- wow, your first cholent– congrats!! Not sure where you live, but where I am (Southern California) it is totally cholent weather– cold, drizzly. I would suggest serving a green veggie; something light, since the cholent is somewhat heavy. Roasted asparagus might be a good choice, or my green bean pepper salad. I’ve pasted links to both recipes below. Let me know how it goes! :)

      link to

      link to

  17. Rich Price says:

    I made your cholent recipe this morning. Can’t wait until it’s done. Should be about 10PM tonight. I don’t remember anybody making it in Brooklyn where I grew up. My grandmother cooked a lot of great Jewish food. On Friday night, the apartment building she lived in smelled like chiken soup. She useed to make stuffed helzel which was better than the kishka from the deli. Wish I had some kiska to throw in the cholent. “Give me kiska or give me death” :-)

    • Tori Avey says:

      Oh Rich, I’m jealous! Bet it smells amazing. Wish we had cholent cooking in the oven here, it’s a cloudy cholent kind of day in my neck of the woods. Enjoy!

  18. Rich Price says:

    Here’s a picture of my cholent. We ate it with kashe varnishkes and it was delicious. Thanks for the inspiration and recipe.
    link to

  19. Jackie says:

    Hi! Stumbled on your site while looking for Passover recipes, and I love it! I just wanted to add that my father used to make cholent (until he had to lower his cholesterol!) with marrow bones, flanken, potatoes, red beans, barley, salt, pepper, and whole garlic cloves. He used to cook it on a blech, then check it every couple of hours overnight to see if it needed some more boiling water (eventually he bought a slow cooker). But I have very fond memories of waking up on a Saturday morning to the aroma of cholent—and only being able to eat about half a bowl because it’s so filling.

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  21. Moshe says:

    Great article, and awesome illustration. I’ll be making my first cholent shortly… although with more marrow bones.


  22. Lisa Tuchmann says:

    Thanks so much Rich! You picture really helped with ideas on texture and amount of broth. Yours looks incredible.

  23. SecretAgentMan says:

    Makin’ it right now, just put it in the oven. 12 hours to go and we’ll see . . . . .

  24. Jo says:


    This recipe sounds fab! I am going to make it in a 6.5litre slow cooker is that large enough? Also how many people does it feed? X

  25. GringoViejo says:

    I never even heard of cholent growing up in Great Neck (go figure). Ours was a household of chicken soup, matzoh balls, maybe kreplach at Grandma’s. But here’s my brisket recipe:

    1. If you have a Romertopf or other clay Dutch oven, soak it in cold water for 15 minutes. If not, use any oven-proof casserole.

    2. Layer the following ingredients in the dish. I like to put onions on the bottom because they caramelize nicely, but that’s an option:

    * A 2 or 3 pound piece of brisket of beef, fat side up
    * A medium onion, sliced or diced if you like
    * An equivalent amount of chopped celery
    * Bay leaves to taste
    * Fresh parsley
    * Carrots (I often use those pre-cleaned little baby carrots, but lately I’ve found gigantic, sweet Belgian carrots at the farmer’s market)
    * Daikon radish (optional)
    * A splash of sherry or vermouth (optional)
    * Water (optional)
    * Kosher salt to taste (I salt the meat and the fat, which I score with a sharp knife)

    3. Put the Romertopf in the oven at 350 degrees. (If the clay oven has been soaked, then it releases a blast of steam when it reaches 212).

    4. After the first half hour, turn the heat down to 200 or 225 and let it cook for several hours.

    5. Turn off the heat and let it remain in the oven until morning.

    You can tweak the ingredients to make this more like a traditional cholent or more like the traditional brisket, with more onions, skip the carrots and daikon. My Bialystoker grandmother used a pressure cooker and cooked it until it was really dead, adding raw garlic and black pepper. It was usually a tough and stringy enough to accompany those leaden kreplach. My Hungarian grandmother was big on celery and onions and, FWIW, a much better cook. But I digress: The cholent method is an excellent way to produce a very tender, flavorful brisket. Serve with kasha (varnishkas if you’re partial, like I am, to the Hungarian side) or latkes.

  26. Fanny says:

    Will you please explain the over situation. How warm should it be to cook the meal? Once the pot is taken out of the oven it cannot be put back, correct? What if my over doesn’t have a “warm” button and the lowest temp is 150? Help!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Fanny, if you read the instructions carefully you’ll see that the oven should be 200 degrees, and that you should check the cholent periodically to make sure it doesn’t become too dry. I’m not sure what you mean by “cannot be put back”… if it’s not fully cooked, you can certainly put it back in the oven to cook longer. Click “print recipe,” all the instructions are there and it’s easier to read without the step-by-step photos. Enjoy!

    • Fanny says:

      Tori, thanks for your quick reply. You’re right, sorry I didn’t read it correctly. I recently converted to Judaism and am 24 years old. I have never made cholent before but i was in india for four months doing volunteer work in the slums and spent shabbos at chabad many times and it was incredible, they always had cholent on saturdays and maybe it was their kind hearts, but that cholent was such a refuge for me when being away from home. this weekend is my hebrew birthday so I want to make challah and cholent for the first time! I’m so excited I found your blog because the steps are so easy to follow! Will let you know how it turn out! :)

  27. Val says:

    sorry in advance for the stupid question… do you cook the eggs first and put them into the pot (without shell) – or do you put them raw (with shell) in the pot and cook them together with the rest at the same time – I have difficulties to believe that I can keep the eggs for so long in the shell in the oven – don’t they explode… and don’t they dry out totally???

  28. Ronny Gold says:

    Hi. I’ve been making crock pot chulent for over 10 years now. I put all the ingredients in together then leave it on high for 12 hours. I also add ketchup, a spoon of coffee (yes coffee!) and a spoon of honey. Its heaven. It gets licked clean every week!!! And its a 6 litre.

  29. charlie says:

    Thank you for the recipe I’m going to make it today… what a shabbos treat… I do have a question though. Is it possible to make without the bones? If so should I substitute some beef broth for water? I just don’t have the time to get bones and i already have the meat…
    Thanks again!

    • Tori Avey says:

      No problem. You can substitute some beef broth for the water for a stronger flavor, just be careful with the salt– the broth will have some salt on its own, so you may want to reduce the added salt a bit. Enjoy!

  30. julia aaronson says:

    Can I add red wine instead of water /or half and half of water and wine?

    • Tori Avey says:

      I don’t recommend it, I think it would throw off the taste with all the spices. But since I’ve never tried it I can’t say for certain.

  31. aliza says:

    hi! i love your blog :) thank you for these wonderful recipes! made your unstuffed cabbage last night for dinner in the sukka! delish! i want to make the hamin tonight- what would be intructions for crockpot? thanks!!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Aliza, I always cook this in the oven so I’m not sure how to modify, however a lot of readers have asked the same question. I plan to test it in the slow cooker this autumn. I will update the blog with slow cooker instructions once they are ready!

  32. Peter Solomon says:

    I made this cholent today and it was great, except for the eggs which tasted really bitter. I ended up throwing the eggs away. How are they supposed to come out?


  33. Andrea says:

    Hi, do you have a similar vegetarian cholent recipe you can recommend? Thanks!

  34. Liz says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it yesterday in the crock pot (12 hours on high as suggested by another reader) and it came out wonderful. I had forgotten the onions and it was still delicious.

  35. Perl Aviva says:

    Thank you for the recipe!
    I will try it next Shabbes but since it’s winter now sundown is very early on friday (here in Switzerland) and I will have to let it cook for about 20 hours until lunch time. Shall I reduce the heat of the oven or add more liquid?