Make most of the Shavuot leftovers

THE Shavuot holiday has come and gone, but many of us have bountiful quantities of cheese, milk, cream and yoghurt left over.

There are all the soft cheeses — labaneh, ricotta, mascarpone; semi-hard cheeses — Brie, Camembert; hard cheeses — Parmesan, kashkaval, Gouda, Emmental, Emek; and salty cheeses — Tzfat, Bulgarian, feta.

Sometimes we have leftover bread, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs and fish.

These recipes, from chef Sa’ar Mor, can be served as appetisers or desserts, or even as the main dish.

Polenta made with Oats


  • 300g oats (not instant)
  • 400g milk or milk mixed with sweet cream
  • 25g butter
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated coarsely
  • ½ cup kashkaval or mozzarella cheese, grated coarsely
  • ½ cup mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds and pine nuts (optional)
  • A little nutmeg, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Grind one-third of the oats coarsely in a food processor.

In a large pot, cook the rest of the oats. Stir constantly until oats begin to emit a fragrant aroma. Be careful not to let oats burn.

Add ground oats to pot and then add a little milk while stirring.

Lower the flame to medium-low and cook while stirring constantly. Keep adding more liquid when needed. When all of the liquid has been absorbed, add the butter, cheeses and spices. When the mixture becomes thick, add the seeds and remove from flame. Stir.

Grease the pans and line with baking paper. Leave lots of paper hanging over the edge and make sure these parts are greased, too.

Pour mixture in pans so that they’re ²/3 full. Flatten mixture and then fold down extra baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 8 hours. Remove from fridge and slice into slices that are 1½ cm. thick. Grease a grill pan with ridges lightly with olive oil and toast slices until they turn dark. Remove them carefully and serve as a base for cheese and vegetables.

Salty Monkey Balls


  • 1 kg cold white spelt flour, sifted
  • 100g white or demerara sugar
  • 18g dry yeast or 50g fresh yeast
  • 300g cold milk
  • 300g cold water
  • 18g salt
  • 100g cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 50g pine nuts, roasted and chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 250g Brie or Camembert cheese, or other blue cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 50g olive oil or melted butter
  • ½ cup mixture of coarsely chopped herbs: thyme, basil, oregano, dill and rosemary


Mix the flour with the sugar and yeast. Pour water and milk into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Add the flour, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes.

Add the salt and continue mixing for another 5 minutes. Gradually add the butter cubes. When it’s finished mixing, add the pine nuts, black pepper and thyme leaves. Mix another 30 seconds.

Transfer dough to a greased work surface and knead dough. Return dough to the bowl, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Knead dough again and let rise for another 20 minutes. Repeat a third time. Cover and put in the fridge for an hour. Take out and let rest on your work surface for 10 minutes.

Separate dough into balls the size of ping-pong balls). Fill the balls with cheese cubes and then roll them in your hand until they’re round again.

Fill a bowl with olive oil or butter and another bowl with chopped herbs. Take some of the cubes and roll in oil/butter, then in the herbs. Leave some without coating.

Spray Kugelhopf pan with oil spray. Fill with balls in an organized fashion or haphazardly until pan is ¾ full. You can sprinkle with pine nuts and thyme, if you like. Cover and let sit in a warm place until balls double in volume.

Place a bowl with boiling water in an oven that has been preheated to 180ºC. Place pan with dough in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove bowl of water and lower temperature to 170ºC and continue baking for another 20- 25 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking, remove dough from the pan and place on a flat tray. In this way, all of the dough will become crispy and golden brown. Remove and place on a rack.

Layered Focacia


  • 500g white spelt flour, sifted
  • 35g sugar
  • 8g dry yeast or 25g fresh yeast
  • 300g cold water
  • 50g olive oil
  • 1 cup mixture of cheeses: mozzarella, Parmesan, Gouda or blue cheese (if you’re so inclined), grated coarsely
  • ½ cup leftover tomato lasagna or pasta sauce
  • Antipasti vegetables: roasted peppers, aubergines, courgettes, leeks, kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes
  • Basil and thyme
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated finely
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


In a bowl, mix flour with sugar and yeast. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook, pour in water. Add the oil and mix. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Add 10g salt and mix for another 5 minutes.

Transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface and knead. Return to bowl, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Then take out and knead again and then let rise for 20 minutes again. Repeat a third time.

Cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour. Take dough out of fridge and let rest on work surface for 10 minutes.

Separate into 3 balls. Rub them with olive oil and let rise, covered, for 30 minutes.

Roll out each ball on a floured work surface with a rolling pin into a rectangle that is 15x30cm and ½ cm thick.

Place baking paper on a tray that has been flipped over. Sprinkle with semolina or coarse durum flour. Place first layer of rolled out dough on baking paper and brush off any extra flour. Spread tomato sauce on top and sprinkle with basil. Place second layer of dough on top and spread with olive oil. Sprinkle on cheeses and antipasti, salt and thyme.

Place third layer of dough on top and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and kosher salt. Let rise 10 minutes.

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180ºC. Let tray heat up inside oven and then place baking paper and then focaccia on hot tray.

Bake for 10 minutes at this relatively low temperature to let focaccia bake evenly and cheese begin to bubble. Raise temperature to 230ºC and turn it to turbo. Bake for another 10 minutes until focaccia turns golden brown, the cheese spills out the sides, and the bottom is crispy.

Remove from the oven, peel off baking paper and place on a raised wire rack for a few minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Serve hot.

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