You don't have to be Jewish to eat or cook kosher food. In fact, while the last 10 years have seen a dramatic upsurge in kosher cuisine, and double-digit increases in annual sales of kosher products, the people who are fueling this trend are not necessarily Jewish.
The trend is also being driven by people for whom eating kosher is not a faith-based mandate. The newest kosher crowd is made up of a wide variety of people including vegetarians, vegans, those with certain allergies or lactose intolerance, people who describe themselves as health-conscious, people who are concerned with animal welfare and those interested in organic foods.
Although traditional ethnic foods are usually welcome and expected for Jewish holiday dinners, when it comes to everyday meals, today's more-modern and sophisticated kosher home cooks prefer to cook more modern and sophisticated American food.
Ronnie Fein's Hip Kosher: 175 Easy-to-Prepare Recipes for Today's Kosher Cooks offers recipes and menu suggestions that make it simple for the average book to create mouthwatering kosher meals.
Penne With Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
1 lb. penne pasta
6 large oil-packed artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted imported black, green or mixed olives, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in lightly salted water until it is al dente. Drain, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, 1/2 cup of the cheese and 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining cheese.