With Passover just behind us, we can relax and enjoy the easier pace of spring and summer. The days are getting longer, a fact we notice most on Shabbat. Whereas the end of the Sabbath once arrived while we were still groggy from our naps and surfeited from second meal, we now find we can’t make it to sundown without some stirrings of hunger. That’s where third meal comes in.
Not the heavy, meat-laden, many-coursed repasts we enjoy at first and second meals, third meal is a lighter, more casual affair. There is the obligatory challoh, but we can now accompany the bread with simple cold salads based on vegetables, grains, eggs, or fish. The long gap between second and third meals means we may also be past the maximum 6-hour wait between meat and milk and can have a dairy meal, if we like.
Hot weather makes my thoughts turn to the regional foods of warmer climes like Provence, Sicily, or Turkey. A little chili spice, the acid spark of vinegar or tomatoes, and the smokiness of grilled vegetables helps soothe jaded palates as the weather wears on, growing hotter by the day. You can toss something together just before the meal, or if you’re like me, you can make it all ahead on Friday so there’s nothing to do on Shabbat but relax and enjoy the meal. I like to take the salads out of the fridge about 45 minutes before the meal to take a bit of the chill off them. This helps to develop the flavors.
This brightly-colored Provencal dish calls for just five ingredients. Use best quality olive oil and feel free to dip your challah in the delicious juices left on the plate. Serve with flaked tuna dressed with more of that good olive oil and brightened with a healthy spritz of lemon juice and some cracked black pepper.
A bit labor intensive, the flavors of this Italian-style potato salad are so addictive, you won’t mind the extra work. Give the salad plenty of time to come to room temperature before serving.
When it’s too hot to cook, make this no-cook Turkish tomato bulgur salad. Your kitchen stays cool and you get to eat this delicious salad.