One of my favorite things about the Jewish tradition is all of the foods we eat to celebrate each holiday. Having food allergies, however, has made those traditional foods complicated--I’ve been gluten-free for almost three years, and until very recently I had been dairy-free for over ten years.
My food allergies have actually been a blessing in disguise because they forced me to think outside the box, looking across a variety of cultures to discover new and delicious flavors. My Shabbat and holiday tables are frequented by reimagined traditional Jewish foods: Gluten Free Kugels and Cholent to name a few.
Traditional Shavuot foods like blintzes and noodle puddings are problematic if you are gluten- and/or dairy-free, so why not celebrate Shavuot with the delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs of the summer? Think outside the box this year with a North African Carrot Salad and a Strawberry-Coconut Granita.
This salad uses a traditional North African dressing called charmoula--a mixture of oil, garlic, citrus, herbs, cumin, and salt. I find that this recipe works best with carrots, because their sweetness is a perfect pairing for the pungent dressing, but boiled, cubed potatoes with a chopped boiled egg would also be delicious. Toasting and then grinding the whole cumin seeds is really the key to this recipe--it gives the dressing a deep, earthy aroma.
For me, there is nothing more delicious than a cool, refreshing granita to top off a summer meal. Here I pair strawberries with a little coconut milk and a hint of cinnamon, but if you like this also works great with peaches, pineapple, or even melon.