Mushrooms with Onions: Warm Food on Shabbat

Mushrooms, onions and broccoli rabe
Mushrooms, onions and broccoli rabe
This post is less of a recipe and more of a discussion on what to eat on Shabbat that is warm. Klara, who lives near Jerusalem, came to visit me a few weeks ago. I like to learn about macrobiotics from her, even if I only eat a few of the recipes (but I learn from the discussions). We were discussing warm food on Shabbat.

It is customary for observant Jews to eat something warm on Shabbat; this is because even though we have the prohibition not to cook or to light a fire, we should still show don’t need to eat cold food. Or sit in the dark. The traditional warm Shabbat food that Ashkenazi Jews eat is chulent (see Ilana-Davita‘s and Lion of Zion‘s posts); Sephardim (Jews that were originally in Spain) eat dafina or chamin.

I prefer not to eat chulent, as I find it too heavy a food. So I have a tendency to make lots of salads, and I greatly enjoy those. However, in the middle of this winter I noticed that the food that we had warm on Shabbat was mostly chulent and potato kugel, neither of which are my favorite food. I do sometimes eat a bit of chicken warm. So I started warming up beans cooked with turmeric and other curried flavors. But I really wasn’t in the mood for the beans.

Back to my discussion with Klara: Klara felt that in keeping with macrobiotic teaching, food on Shabbat should be warm. I think there is a conflict here, as macrobiotics seem to suggest food should be eaten warm AND right away (not left on a blech or warming tray for 4 hours). And I wonder how many nutrients a salad-like food such as kale has after 4 hours of re-warming.

My conversation with Klara did spur me on to find this one dish that I liked re-warmed on Shabbat. It is simply mushrooms, onions and something green sauteed in a bit of olive oil.


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 boxes of mushrooms, preferably baby bella because they are “meaty”
  • a green: parsley, basil, kale, collards, thyme, sage – I used a bit of broccoli rabe

Warm a bit of olive oil. Chop the onion, mushrooms (into slices) and greens (into bits). Saute the onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to soften, add your chopped greens. If you don’t add the chopped greens, the recipe will be fine without it. Put it in a small casserole dish (covered) so it can be reheated on Shabbat.

Alternative: use Ilana-Davita’s mushroom recipe. She suggests serving it cold, but if you are in the mood for a warm mushroom dish for your Shabbat meal, this one might work.

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8 thoughts on “Mushrooms with Onions: Warm Food on Shabbat

  • I can’t believe I bought fresh mushrooms just yesterday – I was thinking to fry them in butter, but you made me change my mind – I have all the ingredient right now – thank you. Looks good on the picture – can’t go wrong with mushrooms and onions 🙂

  • Love it when the student surpasses the teacher :>)

    The only thing I would add is some kind of salt, either sea salt when sauteing the onions, and a pinch when adding the mushrooms. Or soy sauce near the end of cooking. Or for those daring, a little umeboshi plum, or ume vinegar. Definitely not all three, and definitely just a pinch. It’s a shame when all one can taste is salt.

    Now my question is, since you can’t photograph the food on Shabbos, was the green really this vibrant?

    Now that summer is coming, food at room temperature is just fine, and can be more enjoyable than hot food. And everything can be put into salads, grains, beans and of course all the vegetables, cooked as well as raw, or pressed (sitting with salt under pressure for a short while). For Shavuot, I made a new dish for me, vegetables layered in a kanten (like flavorless jello, but made with agar) – it was intriguing. I’m going to try to make it again for a potluck this week.

    • Thanks, Klara.

      No, the photo was taken right before Shabbat. Guaranteed it was a dark green by the time I ate it.

      I still haven’t bought the pickler or the salad presser. On the “to do” list.

      Note: I met someone who is allergic to pickles, including all the wonderful miso and umeboshi styles! She said she loves miso soup, but it gives her a migraine. Not everyone can eat all things. We all have different bodies.

  • You can press by fitting in a smaller bowl on top of your bowl of vegetables and putting weights on it (heavy bags of beans).

    As I learn more and more, it’s very clear to me how our bodies are indeed all different. But our bodies also change. When one starts eating more “clean,” what used to be an allergen, may not have the same effect after a while. But not if one goes back to eating the old ways. Lots of amazing stories on the net.

    • Thanks for a way to make a pressed salad! I will probably try that next, since it doesn’t require an internet order.

      A local chiropractor has had some success with reducing food allergies. However, the process is slow (and he’s not cheap). He also advocates that people include a little animal protein in their diets for maximum health, a controversial view.

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