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Yom Kippur Break Fast Menu Ideas
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the Jewish Year. Traditionally, Jews spend the day in temple. The day is characterized by a 25 hour fast where Jews do not eat or drink, allowing them to focus on the spiritual, or simply reflect on how they can live better lives in the coming year.
At the end of the day, it is tradition to share a celebratory meal - or Break Fast - with friends and family. This meal normally consists of typical breakfast items, as well as traditionally Jewish dishes. Since people have been fasting for 25 hours, it’s important to include foods that are satisfying and easy on the stomach.
My standard Break Fast menu includes both traditional brunch foods (kugels, bagels, cakes), as well as some more inventive, healthy items.
No Break Fast would be complete without a noodle kugel. This traditional Jewish "casserole" is made of egg noodles and embodies the essence of Jewish comfort food. Add eggs, sour cream, butter, sugar, and milk to the noodles and you have a dish no one can resist. Make it with or without raisins, or if you can't decide, make two! Recipes abound, but here is my favorite recipe from epicurious for the Easiest Noodle Kugel.
Bagels, Lox, and Cream Cheese
Another essential Break Fast menu item, bagels have Eastern European origins and are the most famous Jewish food in America. Smothered with cream cheese (often flavored with chives) and salty lox (i.e., smoked salmon), bagels are the perfect Break Fast item.
While not a traditional Yom Kippur dish, a carrot souffle is a delicious way to sneak some vegetables into the Break Fast spread. A combination of custard, egg whites, and softened carrots bakes together to create a delicious puffed cake. I've made a variation of this carrot souffle recipe, but using butter instead of shortening.
Strata or Frittata
No brunch or Break Fast would be complete without a egg-based dish. My favorite is a strata, a bread pudding like casserole made primarily with eggs, cheese, and bread. Cheese and vegetables can add texture and flavor. Assemble it ahead and bake it right before guests arrive.The strata pictured is a Spinach and Cheese Strata. An omelette or frittata would also work well.
Green or Beet Salad
With such an assortment of comfort food, a few refreshing items are also in order. A simple green salad with a light dressing (e.g., olive oil, champagne vinegar, honey, shallots) would fit the bill. Or, if you have time to be more creative, one of my favorites is a Beet and Pomegranate Salad.
Yogurt Parfaits and Fruit
Again, a yogurt parfait (yogurt, granola, and berries) and a fruit salad provide some light, refreshing options for your hungry guests.
Other Menu Items
- Bundt cake
- Lemonade, Juice, and Water (Lots!)