July 13, 2024
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Recipe Revealed: Sababa’s Flavorful, Memorable Quinoa Salad

Danny and Mali Mizrahi, owners of Sababa Grill in Teaneck, have long been known for the restaurant’s delectable, classic Middle Eastern menu and inspired, authentic Israeli cuisine. Accessible, affordable and unassuming, tucked away near Rocklin’s newsstand, Brier Rose Books and Butterflake Bake Shop on Cedar Lane, Sababa has often been called Teaneck’s best-kept secret since its opening in 2005. But those who are “in the know” know that Sababa is the first place to run for fabulous, fresh Shabbat takeout on Friday, a magnificent weeknight meal in minutes or catering of a dozen different kinds of events.

Some chefs are born and others are trained, and the Mizrahis are a combination of both. But they have both been cooking so long they seem to conjure Israeli flavors almost with their eyes closed, and together, they make sure those flavors come through in every dish they serve. Danny was born in Haifa and is a sixth-generation Israelite, a true Sabra, though his family originally came from Kurdistan, Tunis and Spain. He grew up in the Masorti movement, and trained as a chef at the Dan Carmel and at Devir in Haifa. He worked in the Dan Caesaria and the Dan Tel Aviv before coming with his family to the States in 1982.

Mali was also born in Israel, where both of her parents had moved from Morocco. In addition to being a talented, natural-born cook (she generally cooks by feel, rather than by measurements), she is also a beloved teacher at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, where she teaches Ivrit b’Ivrit in Pre-K. The Mizrahi children attended RYNJ and now attend TABC and Ma’ayanot. The family were founding members of Teaneck’s Congregation Arzei Darom.

On Friday morning, the staff greets the many who come from near and far to buy a ready-made Shabbos meal featuring Yemenite chicken soup and roasted meats and potatoes, or to cherry-pick from the choices ready: from falafel-flavored chicken meatballs to inspired cauliflower-spinach kugel to saffron rice, shwarma and kufta kebabs. For those who like vegetables and dips, don’t forget to ask for the spicy carrots, grilled veggies, freshly made hummus or marinated eggplant. The full Shabbos and restaurant menus are available online at sababagrill.com.

Recently, after months, possibly years, of spoken-word poetry on the subject, Mali agreed to share with The Jewish Link her unique and delicious recipe for quinoa salad, a pleasingly nutty, flavorful addition to any Shabbat table, or, for that matter, suitable as a protein-packed main or side dish for any night of the week. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s endlessly adaptable with whatever fresh items one has on hand. Make your own version, or stop in to Sababa for the classic version (it changes with the seasons too!).

Mali’s Quinoa Salad

 

 

Procedure:

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables and fruits. Then, whisk together the dressing ingredients and combine everything while the quinoa is still warm. Season with salt and pepper.

Variations:

1. Use rice, wheat berries or your favorite grain in place of the quinoa.

2. Replace black beans with chickpeas, or use a combination of both.

3. Instead of only dried fruits, add chopped roasted fruits, such as peaches or pears. A dash of cinnamon on the roasting fruits will bring out their flavor and be a great complement to the dish.

4. Instead of or in addition to bell peppers, use roasted chopped broccoli, zucchini, carrots or butternut squash.

Sababa Grill is located at 456 Cedar Lane, Teaneck. Call 201-530-0808. Open Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Sababa is certified kosher under the supervision of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County (RCBC).

By Elizabeth Kratz

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