Janene Silverman is a self-proclaimed non-religious Jew with admittedly Jewish taste, Jewish cookbooks, and most prominently, a love of Jewish-Italian food. She was raised going to temple for the first 12 years of her life, but when her family moved to Michigan, they became disconnected from religious tradition.
Silverman owns Raduno, a European-style delicatessen and café with nods to Jewish-Italian food traditions—chicken liver mousse, subtley sweet baked goods, and an Israeli couscous salad that is better than anything you’ve ever had from a deli case.
A California native, Silverman has lines connecting her to Hyde Park, New York where she graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, Piedmont, Italy where she honed her pasta skills and met her husband Beppe Canavero, and Omena, the location of the family vacation home. She brings this experience and tradition with her to Traverse City and her contemporary Passover menu that she shared with Oryana.
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the eight days of Passover. The traditional Passover Seder entails a 15-step choreographed combination of tastes, sounds, sensations, and smells including veggies dipped in saltwater, matzah, bitter herbs like horseradish, and more, arranged on the ceremonial Seder plate.
Janene gave us a peek into a portion of the contemporary menu she is preparing for the community this Passover.
Endive and Apple Salad with Spiced Walnuts
1 egg white
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb walnut halves
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
2-3 small endive heads, thinly sliced into rounds
3 cups arugula
Pepper and salt
- Whisk the egg white and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl till frothy. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon and pinch of cayenne, if desired. Add nuts and toss well. Spread on lined baking sheet. Bake at 300°F until glazed and golden at the edges. Cool and chop 1 cup.
- Combine shallot, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and let sit 10 minutes. Then whisk in olive oil and add apples to coat.
- Put endive and arugula in a salad bowl. Add apple mixture and nuts and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse
11 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher for Passover brandy
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.
- Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Whisk in olive oil, brandy and melted chocolate.
- Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, whisking until stiff but not dry.
- Fold whites into chocolate mixture. Spoon into 8 or 10 dessert cups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Shave chocolate on top before serving