Count on These Dishes for a Festive Lag B’Omer


Bring some Mediterranean flare to your holiday picnics or barbecues with these recipes.

The counting of the Omer is a time for spiritual growth; according to tradition, hair­cuts, weddings, dancing and other forms of entertainment are forbidden in this period.

However, Lag B’Omer is a time of celebration and these restrictions are either lifted for one day or ended. Many people hold picnics or barbecues, sing, dance.

On the evening of the start of Lag B’Omer, bonfires are lit and the celebrations begin.

Here are some recipes, courtesy of, for you to include in your Lag B’Omer festivities.

Chicken Kebabs
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into chunks (about 1-inch in size)
2 Tbsps. onion greek veggie dip, divided
1⁄8 tsp. turmeric
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks (about 1 inch in size)
1 small yellow onion, chopped into chunks (about 1 inch in size)

Stir chicken, 2 tablespoons of the dip and turmeric together in a small mixing bowl.

Refrigerate for at least 1⁄2 hour, allowing the veggie dip to tenderize and flavor the chicken.

Preheat broiler or grill.

Assemble kebabs, alternating pepper, onion and chicken on the skewers.

Grill on charcoal grill outside. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until juice runs clear from the chicken. Brush remaining dip over hot kebabs.

Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Grilled Flatbread With Hummus and Mixed Veggies
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup baby spinach
4 Indian flatbreads (Naan) or pocketless pita
1 cup hummus
4 tsps. grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tsps. dried oregano
red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic, onion, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes or until veggies are soft.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Set aside.

Place flatbread on grill or stovetop gas flame; grill for a couple of minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.

Place flatbreads on baking sheet.

To assemble, spread the surface of flatbreads with hummus (just like you would sauce for a pizza).

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of hummus. Top with veggies, then mozzarella cheese.

Sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes.

Place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4.

Hummus Wonton Ravioli
12 wonton wrappers
2 Tbsps. hummus
2 Tbsps. olive oil
Zaatar spice and sea salt to taste

Lay out a large baking sheet with parchment. Place the wontons on the baking sheet and dollop 1 teaspoon of hummus in the center of each square.

Fill a bowl with 1⁄4 cup water. Wet your finger with water and use to trace half the edge of the wonton square. Fold in half and seal, pressing both sides firmly together.

In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Saute raviolis on both sides until crisp. Cool on drying rack.

Sprinkle Zaatar spice and sea salt on both sides.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Basil Pesto Hummus Pasta Salad
1 lb. fusilli pasta (cooked according to package instructions)
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, rough chopped
1 cup fennel (2 small bulbs), finely chopped
1⁄3 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
1 container (10 oz.) basil pesto hummus
3⁄4 cup roasted red pepper (1 whole pre-roasted red pepper)
1⁄2 cup chives, minced
1 cup pasta cooking water, reserved
2 Tbsps. olive oil
fennel fronds for garnish

Cook pasta according to pack­age directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.

Prepare all of the vegetables. In a big bowl, toss the vegetables with the basil pesto hummus. Add pasta and pasta water and stir to combine. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Serve at room temperature. Drizzle each portion with a little splash of olive oil and sprinkle fennel fronds over top.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cucumber-Avocado Salad
2 medium cucumbers
1 cup cucumber and dill Greek yogurt vegetable dip
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. chopped parsley
2 avocados, ripe but still  slightly firm

Peel the cucumbers. Slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds in the center of the cucumbers by scraping them out with a teaspoon.

Slice each cucumber half in half again, lengthwise. Chop into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch thick chunks. Place in a mixing bowl.

Mix in the yogurt dip, salt and parsley.

Cut the avocados in half and remove pit. Scoop the avocado away from skin using a spoon. Chop avocado into chunks and fold into salad.

Serves 4.

Sabra Moroccan Carrots
4 large carrots, sliced
4 cups water
2 whole garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Dressing Ingredients:
3 Tbsps. Sabra Turkish salad
2 Tbsps. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

In a small pot add water, 2 ­tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 garlic cloves.

Bring water to a boil. Add carrots, cooking for 10 to 12 min­utes or until carrots are tender.

While carrots cook, prepare dressing. Mix Sabra Turkish salad, lemon juice, salt, cumin and olive oil. Mix well.

When carrots are ready drain water and discard garlic cloves. Do not rinse carrots.

While carrots are hot, add dressing. Mix well and refrigerate. Before serving add fresh cilantro or parsley.

Makes 1 and 1⁄2 cups.

Chocolate, Coconut and Caramel Hummus Pastries
20 phyllo tart cups
Filling Ingredients:
1 cup classic hummus
3⁄4 cup toasted coconut
1 cup finely grated premium chocolate (60 percent cocoa butter or more)
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 cup butter, cut into small chunks
3⁄4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
2 cups prepared caramel sauce

Mix all the filling ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Spoon a rounded teaspoon into phyllo pastry cup.

Top with a rounded teaspoon of caramel and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Place on serving platter.

Drizzle pastries and platter with caramel.

Serve immediately.

Makes 20 tartlets.

Chocolate Hummus Truffles
3⁄4 cup very finely grated good quality chocolate (60 percent cacao)
1⁄4 cup crushed Heath Bars or toffee pieces
1⁄4 cup classic hummus
2 bars (4 oz. each) good quality chocolate (60 percent cacao)
extra crushed Heath Bar, toffee or melted white chocolate for a decoration

Mix the grated chocolate, crushed Heath Bars or toffee pieces and classic hummus together in a small mixing bowl. Cover and chill for 20 minutes in refrigerator.

Roll the mixture into approximately 12 bite-size balls. Place on a plate or covered dish and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate bars over low heat until just melted. Remove truffle balls from the refrigerator.

Dip the truffles quickly into melted chocolate. Place on a wire cooling rack to drip off excess chocolate.

Top with optional decoration. Allow to set 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove before they set firmly and stick to the cooling rack. Place on a plate or in a storage container once they become slightly firm.

Makes 1 dozen truffles.


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