Ultimate Yom Haatzmaut Recipes

May 1, 2017
Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide

It’s Yom Haatzmaut time, which means two things; loving Israel and making a BBQ! This is the ultimate BBQ/Picnic menu – It is everything BUT the BBQ! These are the ultimate side dishes that will turn your BBQ from generic to AMAZING! Follow these easy steps and combine these side dishes with simple grilled steaks and chicken, and your world of picnics/BBQ will be changed forever!

P.S. This can all be prepared the day before!

Smoked Eggplant Pasta

The eggplant makes this dish, the flavors of smokiness and garlic are what creates the perfect creamy dressing for this pasta.


  • 1 box Tortellini pasta cooked to perfection according to box
  • 2 eggplants
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chili pepper sliced, seeds removed for less heat
  • 8 cloves garlic zested
  • 1½ cups spinach optional
  • 1½ teaspoons salt pink Himalayan
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons silan
  • 2 cups fresh basil stems removed
  • ¼ cup fresh mint chopped


  1. Using a fork, prick the eggplants all around and place them straight onto an open flame, 15 minutes per side, until completely blackened. Scrape into a large bowl, allowing a little bit of the black bits to get mixed in.
  2. Prepare a large skillet on high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and get hot. Add the tomatoes and chili pepper and cook for 6 minutes, mixing periodically.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 1 more minute. Once cooled, add pasta, remaining olive oil, salt lemon, silan, mint and basil and another drizzle of olive oil and salt if needed. Mix and serve warm or room temperature.

Exotic Sweet Potato Wedges

This recipe is win! It doesn’t ever dry out, lasts for days in the fridge and is a true crowd pleaser!


  • 4 sweet potatoes cut into large long pieces
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ Tablespoons garam masala spice blend
  • ½ Tablespoons sumac powder
  • ½ Tablespoons zaatar spice blend
  • ½ Tablespoons curry powder
  • ½ Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt pink Himalayan
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup mint chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425℉. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add all ingredients except cilantro and mint and mix well.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  4. Add fresh herbs right before serve. Serve hot or room temperature.

Note: If you don’t have these spices, use the ones you have but if you can buy these spices, they are worth investing in!

Nectarine and White Asparagus Salad

This is the perfect summer salad! Of course if you can’t find white asparagus you can substitute green ones, or sugar snap peas, or green beans into this recipe!


  • 2 purple onions sliced
  • 3 scallions sliced into 5 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus stems broken off
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 3 nectarines sliced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Tuscany spice blend
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard optional
  • 2 Tablespoons silan
  • 4 ounces butter lettuce


  1. In a salad bowl add the onions, scallions and asparagus and drizzle with ¼ cup of olive oil and 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar and mix well.
  2. Prepare grill pan on high heat. Add everything from the bowl and grill for 7 minutes, giving it a mix once. Remove from grill and place back in bowl.
  3. 3. Add the lettuce, nectarines and avocados.
  4. In a jar, add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, Tuscany spice blend, silan and mustard. Shake well and pour right before serve.

NoteYou can make this salad the day before, just don’t add the lettuce or dressing until right before you serve it.

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

This is so easy and lasts weeks in your fridge! If you have leftover dip, be sure to use it on chicken, in soup, on sandwiches or with your eggs!


  • ½ quart sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, if needed


  1. Add ingredients to food processor and blend.

Olive Tapenade


  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ quart kalamata olives


  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth***

Toasted Corn Salsa


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 corn cut from its core
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ purple onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ chili pepper seeds removed for less heat
  • ¼ cup fresh mint stems removed
  • ¼ cup fresh basil stems removed
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1½ teaspoons Himalayan pink salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until preferred texture.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.