Schmaltzy Vegetables. Photography: Matthew Septimus
Schmaltzy Vegetables. Photography: Matthew Septimus

Schmaltzy Vegetables

Vegetables are the star of this dish, but, as is the case in any family, each member enjoys food a little differently: you can eat the sausage, and I will eat the schmaltzy vegetables underneath

Itta honors both her mother and her paternal grandmother’s cooking in her own cooking style. “It’s the food I grew up with and many of us have a special connection to the food of our childhood – especially if it’s damn good like mine was”, says Itta. “My grandmother is skilled at traditional Ashkenazi Jewish food, she grew up using a lot of schmaltz (chicken fat),” says Itta. “In contrast, my mother cooks with a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs. And me? I combine all of the above, as in this dish.”

During very difficult times in my marriage the relationship I have with my kitchen kept me going. My kitchen is like an old friend (or mother) that is always there for me in some capacity.”

Click to enter the Werdiger family’s New York kitchen

Ingredients for Vegetables and Sausage

  • 1 rutabaga peeled (if waxy) and cut into very small cubes
  • 1 celery root peeled and cut into very small cubes
  • 2 potatoes red skinned, scrubbed and cut into very small cubes
  • 1 leeks cleaned, dark green parts removed and chopped into 1-in/2.5-cm rounds
  • 1 lb (500 grams) bok choy roughly chopped
  • 1/3 bunch dill roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon Atlantic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (500 grams) Polish sausage (kielbasa) or German sausage, raw

To Serve:

  • 1 rye bread sourdough, whole
  • sauerkraut
  • mustard grain


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C fan/convection and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  • 2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the sausage, in a bowl and toss well. Spread out in a single layer on the tray. The vegetables should be touching but not overlapping.

  • 3. Bake the vegetables until just soft, about 20 minutes.

  • 4. Place the sausage on top of the veggies and prick with a fork a few times to prevent the casing from exploding.

  • 5. Roast in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the veggies are crispy and the sausage is cooked the way you like.

  • 6. Serve with sourdough rye bread, sauerkraut and grain mustard if you want the works.

*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.